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There are seven finalists in the Storage magazine/SearchStorage.com 2013 Products of the Year storage management tools category. The category includes products that can handle storage resource management, performance monitoring, capacity planning and provisioning. Many of the 2013 entries were upgrades to existing products that now feature extended support and monitoring capabilities for both physical and virtual environments. Only one product -- Dell's Foglight for Storage Management -- is a return finalist, having also made the cut in 2012.
Brocade Communications Systems Inc. Fabric Vision Technology
This hardware and software product automates deployment of monitoring policies across multiple switches and fabrics using policies based on Brocade's expertise in this technology. Diagnostic Port is new to the product this year; it's a patent-pending technology to ensure signal integrity for Gen 5 Fibre Channel optics and cables.
DataDynamics Inc. StorageX 7.0
StorageX is a storage management platform designed for large environments where lots of vendors' products are in play. Version 7.0 showcases new data migration features, including policies that automatically scan storage resources on a scheduled basis and identify folders that contain data that should be migrated to less expensive tiers of storage.
Dell Inc. Dell Foglight for Storage Management v3.0
Dell Foglight for Storage Management, formerly known as vFoglight Storage, works with VMware vCenter to monitor and analyze data at the virtual machine level as well as the physical level. In version 3.0, Dell enhanced the product with additional support for Compellent, EqualLogic and EMC VMAX arrays. Also added was pool-level performance and capacity monitoring.
EMC Corp. ViPR
EMC's new ViPR software-defined storage product centralizes storage management and automates provisioning by combining storage virtualization and cloud management so administrators can see all managed storage as a single pool. In addition to monitoring and reporting on virtual storage pools through a self-service portal, ViPR can also be integrated with cloud stacks with support for standard REST application programming interfaces.
Load DynamiX Inc. Performance Validation Appliances
The appliance combines workload modeling software with a load-generation device designed to do performance testing in networked storage environments. Two new features made Load DynamiX stand out in 2013: a graphical interface that helps even inexperienced storage managers to configure and run tests, model workloads and analyze results; and what the company calls "cloud scale simulation'' -- a way to emulate millions of IOPS.
Symantec Corp. Data Insight 4.0
Symantec's Data Insight platform is aimed at the management of unstructured data. It allows users to see what data exists, how it's being used, who owns it and who has access to it. The version 4.0 upgrade introduced a social network map, "what if" analysis capability, a new query interface, and integration with Symantec Enterprise Vault and Symantec Data Loss Prevention.
VMTurbo Inc. VMTurbo Operations Manager 4.1 and Storage Extension
The VMTurbo Operations Manager is a provisioning tool that was initially created for the virtual server layer, but was extended to the storage layer in this release with the Storage Extension add-on. VMTurbo aims to maintain optimized performance by using metrics, workload requirements and user-defined constraints to recommend workload placement. Administrators also have the option to automate the workload placement and resource configuration.