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Best data storage products 2016: Products of the Year

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Storage and SAN management tools: 2016 Products of the Year finalists

The six finalists in the 2016 Products of the Year storage and SAN management tools category run the gamut from network probes to complete SAN control software.

There's a short stack of six finalists in the storage and SAN management tools category for the Storage magazine/SearchStorage...

2016 Products of the Year award. Even so, the list represents a wide variety of technologies.

They range from a complete data center management suite to a tool for checking on how the network component of your NAS system is performing at any given moment. Only one entrant in the storage and SAN management tools category is brand new to the market. The others are upgraded products. All six fit into one of these areas that made them eligible for consideration: SRM and SAN management software, performance monitoring, configuration management, provisioning, or data reduction.

Cisco Data Center Network Manager 10.0

Data Center Network Manager 10.0 from Cisco Systems is the newest version of the management tool the networking giant uses to manage its Cisco MDS and Nexus lines of switches used in SANs for small businesses to full enterprises. The new HTML interface shows administrators how devices are connected from their virtual machines (VMs) across the fabrics down to the LUNs on the storage devices.

Data Dynamics Inc. StorageX 7.8

Data Dynamics Inc. StorageX 7.8 is a policy-based tool for file migration, consolidation, tiering and archiving. Data Dynamics claims the software can reduce the time of a file migration project and the total cost of storage implementation by 50%. New features in version 7.8 include file security management that allows users to automatically map security identifiers (SIDs) from the source to the destination, and visual data mobility planning.

NetApp ONTAP 9

NetApp ONTAP 9 is the latest version of the company's enterprise data management software. Significant upgrades in this latest version include new inline data reduction capabilities, easier deployment and data management that allows new workloads to be deployed in under 10 minutes, and new integration with Docker and OpenStack.

NetApp SANtricity 11.3

There is a wide variety of various types of technologies and types of companies represented.

NetApp SANtricity 11.3 is the latest version of the software the company uses to manage its NetApp E-Series storage systems. The storage SAN management tool offers automated I/O path failover, automated load balancing, as well as online configuration, reconfiguration, and maintenance capabilities. New features in 11.3 include the ability to store and present up to 30 days of performance data, including I/O latency, IOPS, CPU utilization and throughput, and easier to use alert management, including an embedded SNMP agent and MIB.

ProphetStor Data Services Federator 4.0

ProphetStor Data Services Federator 4.0 is an upgrade from last year's bronze winner in this category, Federator SDS 3.0. New features in Federator 4.0 include asynchronous replication with 256-bit AES data-in-flight encryption, DiskProphet technology to predict failures for hard disk drives and solid-state drives and an improved GUI with tools and management for high availability.

Virtual Instruments VirtualWisdom NAS Performance Probe

Virtual Instruments VirtualWisdom NAS Performance Probe is a real-time, full line rate performance and availability monitoring product for NAS infrastructure. That real-time feature is what Virtual Instruments claims as its primary differentiator from alternative products.

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What do you look for in a storage or SAN management tool?