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This content is part of the Essential Guide: Data storage systems: 2013 Storage Products of the Year finalists
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Enterprise storage systems: 2013 Products of the Year finalists

Learn more about the 12 finalists in the 2013 Products of the Year enterprise storage systems category.

Storage Products of the Year 2013 finalistsTwelve products are finalists in the storage systems category of the Storage magazine/ 2013 Products of the Year awards competition. This category features a variety of products, including Fibre Channel/iSCSI SAN, network-attached storage (NAS) and multiprotocol systems, DAS, hard disk drives (HDDs), solid-state storage, disk controllers, caching appliances, storage virtualization appliances and cloud gateway appliances.

Dell Inc. Dell Compellent Flash-Optimized SC220

Dell's flash-optimized Compellent SC220 can be used as an all-flash or hybrid array mixing solid-state drives (SSDs) and HDDs. The system automatically tiers data, placing write-intensive data on single-level cell (SLC) flash drives and read-intensive data on lower-cost multi-level cell (MLC) SSDs.


EMC's long-awaited upgrade to its unified storage system is flash-optimized and takes advantage of Intel's multi-core optimization technology. VNX also provides post-process block deduplication to reduce capacity, a feature helpful for virtual machine (VM) environments and SSDs.

Exablox OneBlox 3308

Exablox's first product is a scale-out object storage appliance for primary data and backup. Its OneSystem management software is a multi-tenant, cloud-based service that proactively monitors system health and status.

Hewlett-Packard Co. HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 Flash Storage

The all-flash version of HP's flagship 3PAR array uses flash-optimized software to dynamically adjust the granularity of cache-to-flash operations and ensures all application volumes are active on all disks and controllers simultaneously. The array also includes 3PAR's signature hardware-enabled thin provisioning features to reduce capacity requirements.

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) Hitachi Unified Storage VM All-Flash Array

The all-flash version of the HDS enterprise unified storage platform uses the vendor's proprietary flash module built for enterprise workloads. Its flash optimization software speeds I/O processing to increase throughput.

NetApp Inc. EF540 All-Flash Array

The EF540 is part of NetApp's E-Series high-performance platform. The array comes standard with dual-active controllers, redundant power/cooling canisters, hot-swappable components and automated path failover.

Oracle Corp. ZFS Storage Appliance NEW ZS3 Series

The ZS3 (previously the Sun ZFS Storage Appliance 7000) incorporates Hybrid Storage Pool cache with in-memory deduplication to improve flash performance. The system is also tuned to provide dynamic automation and improved performance and storage utilization when used with Oracle database applications.

Quantum Corp. Lattus Object Storage

The Lattus platform combines object storage with Quantum's StorNext file system. All Lattus products support HTTP/REST/Simple Storage Service and NFS/CIFS to work with software applications that need direct object storage access for low latency, near-line data access and long-term retention of unstructured archive data.

SimpliVity Corp. OmniCube

The SimpliVity appliance combines storage, compute and VMware ESXi hypervisors in one box. Designed mainly for VM-based applications, OmniCube performs in-line deduplication and can be used for primary storage, backup or disaster recovery.

Skyera Inc. skyHawk

The skyHawk all-flash array squeezes 44 TB of usable capacity into a half-depth 1U form factor before data reduction for $2.99 per gigabyte. Its operating system handles snapshots, clones, and a unified block and file infrastructure.

TwinStrata Inc. CloudArray 4.7

The latest update to TwinStrata's cloud storage controller added a Disaster Recovery as a Service capability that provides on-demand backup for data and applications running on VMware. The controller natively supports SAN and NAS protocols.

Western Digital Corp./HGST 6TB Ultrastar He6

The Ultrastar He6 is filled with helium instead of air and is the first 6 TB drive. It also requires less power and cooling than traditional air-filled drives.

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WOW! So many flash vendors! Congrats to the finalists. What about some of the other vendors -- Nimble, Nutanix, VMware vSAN, Tintri, Tegile, SolidFire etc.
Congratulation for all the finalist. Important infrastructure entering the Big Data era.
Surprised to Not see Nimble in the list. Last year NetApp did not feature and it raised some eyebrows, but Nimble featured. This year, NetApp is included and Nimble is omitted. Not sure what's the selection criteria is. Is this based on the new release for the given calendar year. Is this based on some performance scale and customer satisfaction survey? But, nice to see few names that I never heard of before. Since 2010 there has been number of start-ups entering into storage space, with their innovative solutions around flash & NVRAM, which indicates there is still plenty of opportunity in the mid & enterprise space.
Hi Ashwinwriter,

Thank you for asking about the selection process. We do have specific criteria for a product to qualify – first, the product must be new or significantly upgraded, and also must have been shipped between Nov. 1, 2012 and Oct. 26, 2013. Once we’ve received all the applications from vendors, a group of judges consisting of experts in the industry evaluate and rate the products based on six different categories. If you’re interested in reading more about those, we have them outlined here:
As an amazing AFA product, EMC ExtremIO is much much better than some named AFA in this final list, Amazing feature like true Scale-out, in-line deduplication and high capacity efficency, easy to use.etc. it is great product from EMC in this market.
Thank you Sarah for explaining the process. I appreciate it.
Congratulations to SimpliVity!!! We've been running the SimpliVity OmniCube solution for over 9 months and it's no surprise they are on this list! It was built from the ground-up with inline compression and de-duplication as 1st class features. Combine that with the enterprise-class built-in backup and DR capabilities, and management via an easy-to-use vCenter plug-in, and you have a complete solution that is second to none. Backing up 25+ virtual servers to our DR site takes less than 30 minutes, and DR test restores of a 250GB virtual server takes about 15 seconds! The initial investment and 5 year total cost was far less than a traditional server/SAN solution with the simplicity of a converged solution versus integrating separate hardware. When the time comes where we need additional capacity, our upgrade path is simply adding another OmniCube to the federation. No more "forklift" upgrades. Another great "feature" of the product is the personnel at SimpliVity. They are always great to work with, fast to respond to any questions we've had, and very knowledgeable. We could not be happier!
If you are looking for Backup, or DR, or Storage, sit through a demo with SimpliVity because probably for the equivalent cost of what
you would pay for any one of those you’re going to get all three plus some compute power on top of it… and it’s just a really, really full featured product. I purchased their product last year and I love it.
I'm extremely happy to see SimpliVity on the finalist list! We are a happy SimpliVity customer and with OmniCube we significantly improved our application uptime, RPO and RTO while reducing our infrastructure costs by more than half. The solution uniquely integrates real-time dedupe for all data and integrates compute, Flash/HDD storage in a flexible scale-out architecture. The ease of use and single management interface from within vCenter for all operations is incredibly powerful. Highly recommended!
Congratulations Simplivity! As a reseller and integrator of storage solutions including Simplivity, we're excited to see this recognition. Simplivity's ease of use and feature sets - especially for a customer who is looking at a total storage/backup refresh - make it a great option.
Congrats SimpliVity.
We like your Ultra Converged VMware Infrastructure Solution. :)
Greetings from PIRONET Cologne