The Best Data Storage and Management Tools of 2021


Winners in the Storage System and Application Software Category of the Contest Storage The SearchStorage 2021 Products of the Year magazine and competition continues the trend of supporting Kubernetes. However, managing large-scale storage environments has become a new priority.

Last year, winning products supported multiple clouds as customers moved more of their infrastructure out of their data centers in response to COVID-19. As customers deploy more infrastructure in the cloud, their needs have shifted to better management tools for their large, complex, and geographically distributed storage environments.

Such environments make it difficult for managers to maintain performance optimization, cost optimization, data governance, compliance, and other storage-related metrics. Additionally, without tools to manage the data and the storage it resides on, customers will struggle to take full advantage of their datasets for analytics and business intelligence. This problem is further complicated by the uninterrupted growth of data.

The category of storage systems and application software is broad, so it’s not uncommon for the top three products to not be directly comparable to each other. This year, the winners are a Kubernetes platform, a flash array and an unstructured data management product as a service. The common thread between them is that they help customers manage large-scale data storage and management.

Gold Winner: Portworx Enterprise 2.8

Pure Storage’s Portworx is a Kubernetes data services platform that provides persistent storage, data protection, automated capacity management, and other features for applications running on Kubernetes. The software itself runs entirely from containers in Kubernetes and can create storage pools from local storage clusters, external storage arrays, and major public cloud providers. These providers include AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.

Portworx Enterprise 2.8 enables customers to run Kubernetes applications at scale. It introduced integrations with Pure Storage products, giving the platform new abilitiessuch as dynamic storage provisioning on FlashArray and FlashBlade, unified environment visibility, and predictive analytics through Pure1 storage management software.

The Portworx Enterprise 2.8 specification generator allows users to select their cloud platform and configure their storage devices.

A judge called Portworx Enterprise 2.8 the “best-in-class storage and data management for cloud-native workloads”, adding that it “seamlessly combines workload and storage management”. The consensus among the judges is that the product meets important scaling needs when customers put Kubernetes into production.

A judge noted that while Portworx Enterprise 2.8 is a good choice for developers, it may require some tweaking for traditional storage and IT admins to use.

Silver Winner: Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform

Pavilion Data Systems Inc.’s HyperParallel flash array and its HyperOS software combine to provide a high-performance storage system. The product claims up to 120 GB/s read at 100 microseconds (µs) latency and 90 GB/s write at 25 µs latency measured on the host. The HyperParallel Data Platform is built like a network switch, allowing support for up to 20 independent controllers and 72 drives.

HyperOS 3.0 brought significant enhancements to the platform, including a global namespace for NFS and S3, data versioning, a native file system called Pavilion HyperParallel File System, and support for containerized apps on its multi-controller infrastructure.

Pavilion Hyperparallel Data Platform
The Pavilion HyperParallel Data Platform management interface includes metrics for IOPS, latency, and bandwidth on its main dashboard.

A judge described Pavilion’s storage platform as “very innovative from the first release”, praising its unique method of handling multi-protocol support by running each protocol natively on separate controllers. Another judge praised the system’s ability to handle blocks, files, and objects simultaneously.

A judge pointed to Pavilion’s new versioning capability as a basic way to detect and fix bit rot, a problem that occurs in large SSD arrays regardless of vendor. Judges also generally praised the support for containerized apps.

Bronze Winner: Komprise Intelligent Data Management 4.0

Bronze winner in the Storage Systems and Application Software category, Komprise’s Software enables customers to analyze, migrate and replicate data across storage silos whether it resides in flash, hard drive, object or cloud storage. The product is designed to help customers understand their entire data estate by extracting data from the storage it resides on and unifying it into a single namespace. This consolidated view, combined with built-in analysis tools, helps customers identify better ways to use their data or optimize storage.

Komprise Intelligent Data Management 4.0 enables multisite implement to enable more granular data management. Each site can have its own data storage and management policies tailored to its individual needs and security requirements, and a centralized dashboard gives administrators a consolidated view across all sites. The update also introduced global search and analytics, allowing customers to run custom queries against all unstructured data in an organization’s infrastructure.

Intelligent Data Management Komprise 4.0
The centralized Komprise Intelligent Data Management 4.0 dashboard provides administrators with a consolidated view across all sites.

Komprise directly addresses two major storage concerns: unstructured data growth and data usage, a judge has said.

“A good data management product is worth its weight in gold these days, and Komprise’s multisite hybrid cloud data management is what many companies are working on,” added Judge.

Find out who won top honors in each of the five categories of the Storage magazine and SearchStorage’s 2021 Product of the Year competition.


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