IBM, FalconStor, StoreAge and Veritas all recommended that RHF put its entire storage infrastructure on a Fibre Channel SAN both for reliability and to ease virtualization. Some vendors had recommendations about how to accomplish that, but one thing was clear: It had to be done.
We asked the vendors for an ROI analysis, and we found the responses surprisingly vague. Now, we'll admit that ROI means different things to different people. However, the generic benefits of virtualization and the ancillary benefits were, in our estimation, the same in each response. The main themes were increased uptime, better capacity utilization, snapshots, mirroring and easier storage-pool management. Note that the pricing we used to evaluate the vendors doesn't include the necessary hardware to create a SAN at RHF, though most vendors included recommendations to address that issue.
Other areas we looked at were capability, which we defined as the proposal's ability to work with and repurpose each storage hardware subsystem presented in the RFI proposal, as well as how much downtime the company would have to endure. We defined suitability as the ability to work with the software running RHF's and WTI's storage infrastructures, and easily manage and work with the OSs presented. Completeness rated our total high-level view of the proposed system, how much it would impact business practices and how all the parts of the proposal fit into the whole.