Some useful advice to make storage solutions that work for your customers
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1 Don't gravitate to preferred vendors: "Customers need someone to take a neutral, unbiased third-party approach in architecting a solution%85"
,Vito Valenzano, director of storage practice, Comark
2 Don't presume customers understand storage: "I have customers who don't know the difference between NAS and SAN or that there even is a difference."
,Denise Buonaiuto, IBM's vice president of worldwide partner sales
3 Don't presume hardware will interoperate as advertised: Take advantage of vendors, distributors or, if possible, the Storage Network Industry Association's interoperability test labs. "SANs have come a long way, but I think there is still a great need to verify interoperability. If I were an integrator, I'd make sure I tested it before I installed it."
,Nancy Marrone, analyst, Enterprise Storage Group
4 Don't mix and match switches if you don't have to: "Even if there was complete compatibility, customers would have the extra burden of using and maintaining multiple management tools, along with increased complexity with maintenance and support. I'm not a big supporter of intermixing multiple switch-vendor products in a storage infrastructure."
,Mark Teeter, director of enterprise storage solutions, Advanced Systems Group