The winners in the backup and disaster recovery hardware, software and services category in the 2021 Storage magazine and SearchStorage Products of the Year competition reflect some of the most prominent concerns among data protection professionals, as well as growing trends in the market.
Common among all three winners is increased ransomware protection. With the continuation of widespread remote work, critical data is more vulnerable to attacks than ever. This has led to backup-specific developments in ransomware technology.
Cloud-native backup is a primary component of the top two offerings -- from Druva Inc. and Veeam Software -- in this category. Cloud backup and recovery is abundant in the market today, but products that simplify the cloud and improve reliability stand out against the competition.
Immutability is a useful data backup feature, especially against ransomware. Immutable backups can prevent malicious or accidental deletion of data because they are unchangeable. Veeam and our bronze winner, Kasten by Veeam, both offer products with immutability.
In addition, Kubernetes integration, a feature of both Veeam and Kasten, is an area of increased interest in the backup landscape.
The overall category included data protection hardware, backup software integrated with hardware appliances, tape libraries and drives, backup media, disk backup targets and deduplication devices. It also covered backup and recovery software; cloud backup and recovery services; and on-premises backup and disaster recovery (DR), snapshotting, replication and archiving products.
Gold winner: Druva Cloud Platform
Updates to the Druva Cloud Platform, now called Druva Data Resiliency Cloud, impressed the judges this year, which earned it the top spot in the backup and DR hardware, software and services category. The cloud-native data protection platform added anomaly detection, hybrid workload protection and orchestrated cloud DR.
These features made an already strong data protection platform even better suited to the rising threat of ransomware. "Zero-trust security models are increasingly important, especially when providing backup and ransomware protection," said one judge.
Along with offering protection for SaaS applications, the product comes with a reasonable price tag for strong performance without added complexity.
"It delivers cloud-like simplicity from a cloud-delivered service," said another judge, who also cited the flexibility of the platform's pricing as a major benefit.
Easy installation, edge application support and scalable structure were other key features that helped Druva nab the gold.
As one judge put it succinctly: "Druva just works."
Silver winner: Veeam Backup & Replication v11
Veeam Backup & Replication is a major player in the market. Version 11 of the product not only continued to do what Veeam does best but made more than 200 enhancements.
Continuous VM data protection was a major highlight to judges, as well as the immutable backup features that make Backup & Replication well-suited to ransomware protection. The product integrates native backup and recovery for major cloud services, including AWS, Google Cloud and Azure.
The integration of Kubernetes support and AI made this offering stick out to one judge, who declared it "great tech."
Other user-friendly updates to the platform enable customers to better meet service-level agreements with disaster preparedness and ransomware protection. These features help mitigate downtime and data loss, as well as meet compliance requirements with data retention.
Kubernetes support is an increasingly important feature for data backup and DR services, and many backup vendors have begun to expand or launch Kubernetes capabilities.
Bronze winner: Kasten K10 v4.5
Acquired by Veeam Software in September 2020, Kasten has been on a tear in the backup and disaster recovery services market with its Kubernetes-focused protection. K10 v4.5 added immutability for ransomware protection and insurance against accidental deletion. It supports container services, such as HPE Ezmeral Container Platform, Microsoft Azure Stack, Nutanix Karbon and Red Hat OpenShift.
"Kasten's K10 is one of the most innovative solutions for cloud-native data protection," said one judge. "It has strong integration into Kubernetes, while also delivering a level of ransomware protection that goes beyond what many of its competitors can deliver."
"Kasten has been and continues to be the leading software backup of containers," said another judge.
Kasten K10 took the top spot in this category in 2020 with an earlier version, and the vendor has continued to innovate and enhance the product. According to Kasten, this version features the industry's first Kubernetes-native ransomware protection capabilities.
Get the complete listing of the Storage magazine and SearchStorage 2021 Products of the Year category winners.