All Exclusives Featured Top Story

Reacting to the 2008 Storage Products of the Year

TechTarget's annual Storage Product of the Year awards have been announced!

TechTarget's annual Storage Product of the Year awards have been announced!

The mainstream media is still digesting the Oscar awards, but we in storage had our own announcement this week: TechTarget’s (now PDF) Storage magazine announced their Storage Products of the Year award for 2008.

Without further ado, the awards and my reaction!

Disk and disk subsystems

A category of much annual contention, the gold award went deservedly to the BlueArc Titan 3200. BlueArc’s product range is small, with just a few systems on offer, but the 3200 was indeed a major upgrade. The bronze-placed Hitachi Data Systems AMS 2000 might easily have taken the top award as well, however, introducing major advancements in the midrange market. Taking silver was the news-making Intel X25-E SATA Solid-State Drive.

The placement of disk drives in the same category as SAN and NAS storage systems, however, highlights something of a categorization problem for this award. Should Seagate, STEC, and Intel really be battling it out with the very systems that use their drives? I’d like to see separate component and array categories in the future.

Overlooked finalists in this category were EMC’s CLARiiON CX4, IBM’s XIVIsilon’s X-Series, 3PAR’s T-Class, and Xiotech’s Emprise 7000. Any of these might have placed, and 3PAR, IBM, and Xiotech might have taken gold with a different set of judges. Looking at this broad list, however, highlights the difficulty in this award. BlueArc, HDS, and Intel deserved praise, but the rest should be recognized as well!

Storage management tools

VMware takes a deserved gold award for Storage vMotion, certainly the MVP in storage software this year if one considers adoption and impact. Silver went to NetApp’s Deduplication technology, the first (and still only) deduplication certified for primary storage use. Bronze went to CloudNAS from Nirvanix, an addition that allowed the storage service provider to offer services using standard NAS protocols.

EMC’s integration of VMware with ControlCenter 6.1 deserved recognition as well, as did Mimosa’s updated NearPoint 3.5. One really overlooked product is SANPulse TechnologiesSANlogics 2.0 – go check it out and let me know if you think it deserved to place!

Networking equipment

If you haven’t experienced Riverbed’s gold-winning Optimization System (RiOS) 5.0, you might not understand just what the big deal is. 5.5 might win again next year, with solid updates to accelerate even tough WAN traffic like encrypted MAPI and signed SMB.

The silver award went to Brocade’s DCX Backbone, but time will tell if this is a wiser choice than rival Cisco’s updated MDS. I suppose if we compare only the updated DCX to what little Cisco did to the MDS last year, Brocade clearly gets the nod. But I might have skipped both products to let IBM’s updated SAN Volume Controller (SVC) have a place on this list. It added thin provisioning last year and remains IBM’s best storage product.

Bronze-winning NetEx HyperIP 5.5 could easily have taken top honors – it’s a real value for the money in WAN acceleration! Compared to Riverbed on features it doesn’t look like much, but compare price quotes and see if your head doesn’t spin!

Backup and disaster recovery software and services

VMware continued their roll with a gold medal for Site Recovery Manager 1.0. Like Storage vMotion, SRM came out strong to widespread acclaim, and is likely to have a major impact in the coming years. A solid choice.

FalconStor claims silver with their Network Storage Server (NSS) 6.0 platform. I’m puzzled by the placement of this product in the backup and DR category, but what can you do? Bronze went to Acronis Recovery for Microsoft Exchange, a product I don’t know much about. Must be good, though!

Backup hardware

Data Domain is everywhere lately, and their DD690 Deduplication Storage System picked up a gold medal here. I hear that these things are selling like crazy, though, which I’m sure Data Domain is happier with than the award! Permabit took silver with their Enterprise Archive Data Center Series. Lots of folks who know more about the backup space than I have had good things to say about it, as well as the bronze-winning Quantum DXi7500.

Although backup isn’t my thing, I wanted to point out that Cleversafe deserved mention with their, well, clever Dispersed Storage Network.

About the author

Stephen Foskett

Stephen Foskett is an active participant in the world of enterprise information technology, currently focusing on enterprise storage, server virtualization, networking, and cloud computing. He organizes the popular Tech Field Day event series for Gestalt IT and runs Foskett Services. A long-time voice in the storage industry, Stephen has authored numerous articles for industry publications, and is a popular presenter at industry events. He can be found online at,, and on Twitter at @SFoskett.

Leave a Comment