What’s Happening in Data Storage?

Friday, April 17, 2015

New technologies have sparked an explosion of data that differs from the data files handled by your IT department in the past. There is a vast amount of data and that’s why data storage is a priority for most IT teams today. Looking back at the past year, a number of steps were taken to address hyperscale data storage, including major improvements in utilisation, cost savings, management and more.

What were some of the top data storage trends that emerged last year?

The Cloud
More and more organisations are moving to utilise the cloud for storage as concerns about security, scalability, recoverability and data ownership are being addressed.

Cloud Failover
Using the cloud as a disaster recovery option for storage by enabling failover to the cloud as a secondary data centre seems to be growing in popularity.

Blurred Lines
Vendors continued to improve the technology so that it becomes invisible to users and in some cases to administrators, whether their data is living on-premise or off-premise in the cloud.

Converge means hardware abstraction, software-defined storage and networking services, central orchestration, and geo-distributed architecture, which enable infrastructure to become an efficient, agile, elastic service for delivering the application workloads that a business depends on.

Software Defined Storage
SDS has been growing in the virtual market, driven by the converged platform and hypervisor vendors. As intelligence is added into the hypervisor, or a storage VM, more companies are going to leverage internal server storage and rely less on SAN and NAS for VM deployments.

Each year The Storage magazine pulls together a group of users, analysts, consultants and magazine writers and editors to determine what are the best data storage products. They only focus on products that were introduced or significantly upgraded within the past year. As a result, new or lesser-known data storage products often fare well against entrenched products if those products were not appreciably upgraded.

Best Data Storage Products for 2014

Storage system software

This category includes file systems, volume management, storage virtualization, security software, storage optimization, solid-state caching, cloud storage, software-defined storage and object storage.

GOLD: PernixData Inc. FVP version 2.0
Version 2.0 of PernixData FVP can accelerate the performance of file and block storage and VMs through the pooling of server-based flash and RAM

SILVER: Atlantis Computing Inc. USX 2.0
Atlantis USX 2.0 software-defined storage adds support for VMware's Virtual Volumes and "teleport" capabilities so users can move VMs among storage systems, data centers and the cloud

BRONZE (tie): VMware Inc. Virtual SAN 5.5
VMware's Virtual SAN supplies shared storage for virtual machines via the pooling of disk and flash capacity from clustered ESXi hosts. Features include read/write caching and policy-based management

Storage systems: All-flash systems

Flash has emerged in enterprise storage arrays to the point where nearly every vendor has an all-flash version and most SAN purchases included some flash.

GOLD: Hewlett-Packard 3PAR StoreServ 7450
Hewlett-Packard incorporated 3PAR thin technologies and the use of commercial multi-level cell flash drives into its 3PAR StoreServ 7450 all-flash storage system that can rival hard disk drive arrays on cost

SILVER: Pure Storage FlashArray 450
The FA-450 is Pure Storage's highest capacity model. It includes FlashProtect to aid against flash failure, FlashReduce high-performance inline data reduction, FlashRecover data-reduction-optimized backup and DR, and Forever Flash to extend array lifecycles.

Samsung is honored for being the first 3D NAND SSD that makes it possible to get more capacity and better performance on a drive. A Dynamic Thermal Guard feature automatically protects data from extreme heat or cold.

Backup and DR software and services

The challenges associated with backing up data have changed quite a lot in the past few years. Many users are looking to streamline backup processes to deal with growing backup data sets, shrinking backup windows and an increasingly mobile workforce.

GOLD: Asigra Inc. Cloud Backup Version 13
Asigra's enterprise-class, multi-tenant, agentless backup and recovery software product automates the backup of data residing in third party-based cloud applications such as Google Apps, Office 365 and Salesforce.com, consolidating the data into a central backup repository.

SILVER: Unitrends Certified Recovery Suite (UCRS)
UCRS offers hypervisor-level protection for three major hypervisors, as well as full disaster recovery automation that can extend to the Unitrends Cloud for off-site failover to automate testing and service-level agreement enforcement

BRONZE: Code42 EDGE Platform Version 4.1.4
With Version 4.1.4, endpoint backup and secure sync and share are deployed from a single platform, installed across any sized enterprise. A single admin console deploys and manages CrashPlan and SharePlan, regardless of where the data is stored or where the keys are kept.

Backup hardware

The backup hardware category in the 2014 Products of the Year awards evaluates tape libraries and drives, backup media, disk backup targets, virtual tape libraries, deduplication devices and gateway appliances for cloud backup. This year's vendor offerings include technologies aimed at improving dedupe performance.

GOLD: Hewlett-Packard StoreOnce 6500
Hewlett-Packard's StoreOnce 6500 backup device uses federated deduplication to consolidate backup in remote sites. It offers one-to-many and cascaded disaster recovery configurations to protect data. Backups are managed from a central location

SILVER: Quantum DXi6900 Deduplication Appliance
Quantum Corp.'s purpose-built backup appliance works with all major backup software. iLayer software makes multi-site data protection easier, with setup configuration wizards, detailed resource utilization reporting and an intuitive topology-based view of the environment

BRONZE: Dell DR6000
The Dell DR6000 Backup Disk Appliance accelerates the data ingest rate for environments running hundreds of Windows and Linux client in a single environment. An integrated console can manage and monitor up to 64 DR appliances within an Active Directory

To read more about the winners go to Best data storage products 2014: Products of the Year