Best data storage products 2013: Products of the Year

Last updated:February 2014

Editor's note

Storage Products of the Year 2013

For the eleventh year in a row, Storage magazine and present the Products of the Year awards.

We invited storage companies to nominate offerings for the 2013 Products of the Year awards, which recognize data storage products that were either initially introduced in the last year or significantly enhanced over a prior version. For previously available products, the upgrade must have incorporated significant new features. Products could be entered in six categories: backup and disaster recovery (DR) software and services, backup hardware, storage infrastructure, storage management tools, storage system software and storage systems. And as we've seen in previous years, our winners represent not only a wide range of technologies, but an eclectic mix of well-established and start-up product vendors.

Our Products of the Year competition is different from "Readers' choice" or other top product contests. We focus specifically on the past year, so a veteran product with a storied and well-regarded heritage may come up short compared to a less well-known product if the more established product wasn't appreciably upgraded during that time. So, the pursuit of a Gold, Silver or Bronze award is based largely on a "what have you done lately" perspective.

Products were judged by a panel of users, analysts, consultants, and Storage magazine and editors. Products were rated based on innovation, performance, ease of integration into environment, ease of use and manageability, functionality and value.

Below, you will find our selections for the best data storage products of 2013. To get a more in-depth description of each product and why it was chosen, please click on the related links in each section. We've also included links to the product finalists in each category, so you can read about the 52 finalists that we think are poised to help storage keep pace with today's rapidly changing data center environments.

1Backup hardware

Products eligible for consideration include tape libraries and drives, backup media, disk backup targets, virtual tape libraries, deduplication devices and gateway appliances for cloud backup.

2Storage infrastructure

The category was open to switches, host bus adapters, network interface cards, security devices, converged network adapters, virtual networking and I/O products, and WAN optimization products. NOTE: Only one award was given in the category this year.

3Storage management tools

The category includes products that can handle storage resource management and SAN management software, performance monitoring, capacity planning, provisioning and data reduction.

4Storage system software

This year's winners span a wide range of technologies, such as file systems, volume management, storage virtualization software, security software, storage optimization applications, solid-state caching software and cloud storage software.

5Storage systems

This category features a variety of products, including Fibre Channel/iSCSI SAN, network-attached storage and multiprotocol systems, DAS, hard disk drives, solid-state storage, disk controllers, caching appliances, storage virtualization appliances and cloud gateway appliances.