The 2019 Storage magazine and SearchStorage Products of the Year winners have been revealed. While the 16 gold, silver and bronze recipients and one judges’ choice winner feature an assortment of cutting-edge storage technologies, the adoption of AI and predictive analytics to provide faster and more intelligent storage stood out in the best data storage products of the past year.
Commenting on the products, one judge noted that predictive analytics based on AI and machine learning technology is showing up in most products coming from major storage vendors.
This was particularly true of the winners in the competition’s storage system and application software category. The storage management tools included in this category feature AI and predictive analytics capabilities to identify problems and fix them. For instance, bronze winner DataCore Software’s Software-Defined Storage PSP9 Update uses DataCore Insight Services with cloud-based predictive analytics to identify and solve problems and make recommendations for capacity planning.
In the competition’s backup and disaster recovery hardware, software and services category, judges applauded gold winner Commvault Complete Backup & Recovery V11 SP 17’s AI enhancements. The backup and DR product is able to respond to system changes and meet service-level agreement requirements.
Winning products not only incorporate AI and predictive analytics capabilities, but some are designed to support customers’ AI workloads and their need for high-throughput and low-latency storage.
For instance, WekaIO’s WekaFS, gold winner in the storage system and application software category, is aimed at high-performance parallel processing applications and markets where AI and machine learning are heavily used.
In the disk and disk subsystem category, silver winner NGD Systems’ NVMe-based 32 TB Newport U.2 computational storage drive can process large AI data sets in close to real time. That capability combined with the drive’s high storage density enables users to do this processing without having to buy additional hardware.
Also in the disk category, bronze winner DataDirect Networks’ DDN AI400 NVMe-based all-flash appliance caters to high-performance computing requirements and the growing use of AI across various industries.
Cloud and hyper-converged trends
AI isn’t the only storage trend highlighted by the 2019 Storage Products of the Year awards. Winners in the cloud storage category, for example, underscore the popularity of multi-cloud and hybrid cloud storage.
LucidLink’s Filespaces 1.0 cloud file service, gold winner in the category, speeds access to data in cloud object stores around the world. Hammerspace won silver with data virtualization technology that facilitates access to and management of files and objects stored in public and private clouds. Scality scored bronze with its Ring8 software upgrade that sports multi-cloud data management and orchestration for large hybrid clouds.
In the competition’s new category covering hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) and composable infrastructure products, winners reflected the latest trends among these types of offerings. For example, gold winner Datrium Automatrix has a disaggregated architecture that combines primary storage both on-premises and in the cloud with backup and disaster recovery.
Also new to Storage Products of the Year is the Judges’ Choice award for best startup. For this award, judges looked at all companies that launched within the last five years and didn’t win a gold, silver or bronze award. Cloud Daddy walked away with this award in the backup and DR category for its Secure Backup V1.5. Judges called out the product, which provides data protection for AWS workloads, for combining security and infrastructure management, as well as helping manage the cost of data retention and recovery in the public cloud.
Storage Products of the Year innovation
Storage Products of the Year winners tend to be innovators, and this year is no different. Each of the 17 winners is doing something unique in some area of storage, pushing existing technologies to the next level and taking first steps with emerging technologies. And while the winners may be out front with AI, predictive analytics, cloud, HCI, composable infrastructure, and other emerging and cutting-edge technologies, they also reflect where the storage industry is headed and what technologies are worth attention.
Want to enter next year’s competition? Take a look at our full slate of winners, as well as our judging criteria and tips from our judges to find out what it takes to compete for gold, silver and bronze.