Find out the storage management tools category winners in Storage magazine's/SearchStorage.com's 2009 enterprise data storage Products of the Year awards. SearchStorage.com senior news director Dave Raffo discusses the 2009 winners in the storage management tools category, which encompasses technologies such as storage resource management (SRM) and storage-area network (SAN) management software, performance monitoring, file systems, volume management, virtualization software and security software.
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Storage management tools POY winners
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Products were judged by a panel of users, analysts, consultants, and Storage magazine and SearchStorage.com editors. Judges rated the products on six criteria: innovation, performance, ease of integration into environment, ease of use and manageability, functionality and value.
Last year's big winner in this category was VMware Inc.'s Storage VMotion.
Here are the winners in the Products of the Year 2009 disks and disk subsystems category:
Bronze: Bycast Inc. StorageGRID 8
Those wary of the security or performance of cloud storage might take heart with Bycast StorageGRID 8, which addresses the business and technical needs of private and public cloud storage providers.
StorageGRID 8 includes security partitions that can support multiple users through a single system and a Distributed File System Gateway (DFSG), and also provides support for VMware ESX servers, as well as enhanced audit and reporting capabilities.
StorageGRID has been around for awhile and it has been used primarily for archiving medical records and test results that take up huge chunks of capacity. With Version 8, Bycast has broadened to support cloud storage providers and companies that want to use it for internal private clouds.
Its discrete security partitions will let service providers or IT departments support multiple customers through one system. It has some other cloud-friendly features as well, such as the ability to use chargeback, and improved auditing and reporting capabilities.
Silver: Seanodes Inc. Exanodes Virtual Machine Edition
Virtual server technology is still wildly popular among IT organizations, but taking advantage of its advanced features requires users to have networked storage. The Exanodes Virtual Machine Edition is an approach to shared storage that doesn't require additional hardware, or an external SAN or fabric. Pricing for Exanodes VM Edition is $1,425 per ESX Server.
The idea of Exanodes is to turn commodity hardware into an iSCSI storage network. So with Virtual Machine Edition, Seanodes is specifically targeting VMware ESX virtual servers. That lets customers take advantage of VMware features, such as VMotion and Consolidated Backup, without having to buy a new storage network. They can turn the servers they have now into a network and use the new storage-friendly features of VMware.
Gold: Akorri Inc. BalancePoint 3.0
The trend with storage management tools has been a shift to agentless monitoring and more end-to-end monitoring. Akorri's BalancePoint has been ahead of the curve in agent-free monitoring, and the latest version adds analysis for Brocade Communications Systems Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. SAN switches, and richer metrics for virtual machines and storage.
BalancePoint 3.0 supports most major storage systems, with this version adding support for 3PAR Inc.'s InServ Series. Entry-level list pricing to manage 5 TB of storage and all attached applications and servers is $8,750.
BalancePoint is an agent-free monitoring tool that broadened its scope with Version 3.0. In the previous version, Akorri focused on managing virtual storage. Now it's focusing on end-to-end visibility into mapping and layouts, as well as performance monitoring from the virtual machine all the way back to the arrays.
By adding SAN switches, they filled a big gap in that end-to-end market. Brocade and Cisco are the major switch vendors, so supporting those two basically covers the entire Fibre Channel (FC) switching landscape. New switch capabilities include performance analysis, the ability to identify over- and underutilized SAN switch ports and easier switch performance management.
Editor's update: Check out the 2011 storage management tools category winners.