This content is part of the Essential Guide: Best data storage products 2017: Products of the Year

Data storage management tools: 2017 Products of the Year finalists

Storage management tools candidates for this year's Products of the Year competition reflect the growing importance of the cloud and machine learning.

Artificial intelligence and the cloud are common threads running through the finalists in the data storage management tools category of Storage magazine and SearchStorage's 2017 Products of the Year competition.

One company uses machine learning to figure out data storage workloads and improve performance. Another applies artificial intelligence to those workloads to move data into the most cost-effective tier without negatively affecting performance.

A new entrant in the data storage management tools category provides what it said is the first cloud archiving and management product to meet U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) standards. And a new kid on the block in cloud storage management comes via a familiar name, after it was acquired as it planned to roll out a new storage management tool.

Yet another entrant mixes containers with cloud technology to provide an enterprise private cloud product aimed at developers using public clouds for projects.

Another common factor that connects several storage management tools finalists this year is the ability to support multiple platforms. The finalists frequently mention multi-platform and multi-cloud support. In addition, support for multiple tiers of storage, including good old tape, is highlighted by some candidates.

To be eligible for this year's data storage management tools category, finalists' products must fit into at least one of the following sectors: storage management, performance monitoring, configuration management, provisioning or data reduction software.

Archive360 Archive2Azure

Archive2Azure is a regulatory compliance storage product optimized for the Microsoft Azure platform. It offers migration with full chain of custody, data fidelity and on-going disposition. Other features include real-time, on-demand indexing and native e-discovery functionality. Archive360 said that Archive2Azure is the first and only Microsoft cloud archiving and management product to meet SEC standards.

Caringo FileFly 2.0 Secondary Storage Platform

Caringo has added a secondary storage platform to its FileFly 2.0 system that moves any kind of data into Caringo's Swarm object storage platform. Specifically, the new Secondary Storage Platform takes unstructured data from Microsoft Windows Storage Servers and moves it into Swarm for archiving. FileFly 2.0 Secondary Storage Platform uses stubs to transparently migrate files back to primary storage whenever they are accessed.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise HPE Cloud Volumes

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Cloud Volumes is an enterprise cloud block storage service that provides a multi-cloud storage service for running applications in Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. This technology came to HPE through its acquisition of Nimble, and HPE Cloud Volumes offers native integration with HPE Nimble Storage flash arrays running NimbleOS v4.4 or higher. It also integrates natively with AWS through the Amazon Virtual Private Cloud connectivity service and Azure through the Virtual Network connectivity service.

Hitachi Vantara Hitachi Enterprise Cloud

Hitachi Enterprise Cloud with VMware vRealize and container platform products strive to provide private and hybrid cloud users with an experience similar to using the public cloud. Hitachi Enterprise Cloud offers container support for both traditional developers with applications virtualized on VMware vRealize and developers who use a cloud-based DevOps environment.

IoFabric Vicinity 3.0

IoFabric Vicinity 3.0 is a multisite, multi-cloud data fabric that handles data protection and availability combined with what the company called an industry-first cost optimization function built around artificial intelligence. Vicinity 3.0 automatically migrates data to the lowest-cost storage while making sure each application's requirements are met and maintained. Vicinity also has a new evergreen technology that maintains seamless live instances of data between sites and clouds.

ProphetStor Data Services Federator 5.0

In the data storage management tools category, Federator is an intelligent data orchestration platform that simplifies storage management and automates resource provisioning by using ProphetStor's patented machine learning technologies. Federator 5.0 features include self-learning and event-based protection, traffic model and elastic resource control. It can run on either bare metal or a virtual machine with a small footprint and will constantly monitor all storage workloads and generate predictions.

Quantum StorNext 6

Quantum StorNext 6 is a scale-out file system that delivers advanced data management features for on-premises, hybrid cloud and public cloud environments, as well as enhanced streaming performance. With the introduction of FlexSync and FlexSpace, StorNext 6 provides a fast, flexible and simple way to synchronize data between multiple StorNext systems. StorNext provides multi-platform client support and works across multiple tiers, including tape, object store and cloud.

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