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The Top SAN Consultants

Three providers of storage consulting services -- Electronic Data Systems Corp. (EDS), Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) -- are clearly in a class by themselves, according to the October report from Byte and Switch Insider.

The "Storage Consulting Services" report was produced in association with Thomas Lah Ltd., a market research firm. Founder Thomas E. Lah developed a methodology to evaluate storage consulting providers exclusively for Byte and Switch Insider -- the SCS Rating system (which stands for Services, Capabilities, and Satisfaction).

An overall SCS Rating was compiled for nine leading storage consulting service providers: EDS, HP, IBM, CNT (Nasdaq: CMNT), Datalink Corp. (Nasdaq: DTLK), EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), GlassHouse Technologies Inc., Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek) (NYSE: STK), and Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS). The SCS Rating is based on a standardized questionnaire submitted to each company, as well as follow-up interviews.

Based on the SCS Ratings, the Byte and Switch Insider report finds that EDS, HP, and IBM "have clearly differentiated themselves from all the other service providers in this marketplace. They have the broadest service portfolios and the most mature service infrastructures."

The "Storage Consulting Services" report identifies three distinct tiers of providers in this space: "Once you get past all the marketing-speak, you will find that there are unmistakeable differences in the storage service vendors available in the marketplace. These differences are not based on company size and company revenues. The relevant differences can be seen in the services they offer, their ability to deliver those services, and their formal commitment to customer satisfaction."

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