14 questions to ask backup/storage analysis companies

Organisations often ask us how they can evaluate suppliers of backup/storage analysis and migration and we have seen different approaches to this problem. Many offerings don’t make it clear how they’re going to work or what effect they will have on your business, your staff and your systems.

By asking a few simple questions, you can unearth what’s involved in the process and how it will affect you. I’ve put together a short list of fourteen questions that should help you evaluate the offerings on the market.

1. How long does it take and how much resource is required to complete the analysis?

2. How accurate are the results of analysis?

3. How do you ensure you get a consistent point of analysis?

4. What is the impact on me and my staff?

5. What operational overhead will it cause on my system performance?

6. How do you use the information gathered to provide any real action or change, ie is it just going to provide more statistics or a real action plan?

7. Does it provide me with a TCO (total cost of ownership) or business case for selecting the upgrade options?

8. What industry or commercial metrics do you leverage to give us the results?

9. Is the analysis limited to one vendor’s products or is it vendor neutral?

10. How do you cope with multiple products in multiple data centres, across multiple geographies?

11. How you do handle analysis of common functions, done differently by different vendors?

12. How will you size and model specific new technology capabilities?

13. Does the analysis combine all data points and does it understand the dependencies and mutual requirements between both storage and backup?

14. Will you recommend a target environment bespoke to my requirements?

Are these questions useful? Let me know!

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Ian Smith is Chief Technology Officer for Butterfly Software, responsible for the vision and direction of the company in addressing the storage and backup challenges facing businesses. Ian is the driving force behind the Butterfly concept, having worked for over a decade with major technology vendors and systems integrators, delivering storage and backup solutions to major corporations. After achieving an Honours degree in Geology Ian started his IT career initially working for the British Antarctic Survey – following this role he became part of the innovative development and implementation team that built the HSBC internet banking environment. As one of the co-founders of Butterfly in January 2009, Ian has been a driving force in the technology direction that the company has taken in its short history.