Gabriel Consulting Unveils Key Findings of 2010-11 Unix Server Vendor Research

What Buying Criteria Matter Most to IT Customers? Do They See Differences Among the Major Vendors?

BEAVERTON, Oregon June 21, 2011 — Gabriel Consulting Group (GCG), an independent analyst firm, today released key findings of its fifth annual 2010-11 Unix Server Vendor Preference Survey, a report focused on vendor selection trends among 306 enterprise data center managers responsible for data centers of all sizes.

In the ‘Buying Criteria’ section of the survey, IT customers were given nine factors to rank in order of importance. Key findings include:

  • The number one enterprise Unix buying criteria was ‘Availability and Stability.’  Only 1% of respondents said this was ‘Less Important’ to them.
  • Rounding out the top four choices were:
    • ‘Operating System Quality’
    • ‘Predictable Performance’
    • ‘Vendor Support’
  • Less than 20% of customers said ‘Acquisition Price’ was the most crucial factor in their buying decision.
  • The last-place choice was ‘We already know the systems.’

“Not surprisingly, system availability and stability was number one with a bullet on the commercial Unix buyer wish list. More than 93% rated it as their key or most important buying criteria,” said Dan Olds, Principal Analyst at GCG. “This, and the other factors right behind it, really point out the role that commercial Unix systems now play in modern data centers. These are the ‘big iron’ boxes that have to scale, and can’t go down when under a heavy load.”

For each of the above buying criteria factors, survey respondents were asked whether they see much distinction between the major vendors.

  • Over half said there is a ‘significant’ or ‘huge’ difference between vendors in ‘Acquisition Price,’ a buying factor they had ranked as relatively unimportant.
  • Other factors noted for vendor differentiation were:
    • ‘We know the systems – no learning curve’
    • ‘Virtualization Capability and Tools’
    • ‘Vendor Support’
  • ‘Predictable Performance’ was the factor on which customers saw the least contrast between vendors; 70% saw ‘some’ or ‘no’ difference.

“We saw some very interesting results in this section of the survey. For example, customers believe that there are great differences between the major commercial Unix vendors in terms of acquisition price,” said Olds. “They also believe that there are considerable differences between different Unix brands, although they also say that these differences don’t present any problem for them, and aren’t factored much into their buying decisions. The also see a fair amount of difference in virtualization and the quality of vendor support.”

GCG is also releasing findings from other sections of the 2010-11 Unix Server Vendor Preference Survey. More information and detailed results are available here. Connect with Dan Olds and GCG on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

About Gabriel Consulting Group

Gabriel Consulting Group is a research, analysis, and consulting firm dedicated to helping clients achieve maximum return on their Information Technology investment.


Contact: Dan Olds

503-372-9389 Office

503-730-5072 Mobile

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