BACKGROUND IMAGE: iSTOCK/GETTY IMAGES
Twelve products are finalists in the storage systems category of the Storage magazine/SearchStorage.com 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 Corp. VNX
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.