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2021 Storage 100: The Data Conversation Starts Here

How storage is deployed rests with solution providers assessing exactly what their customers are trying to accomplish. These 100 companies aim to be part of that discussion.

There are many choices to be made in how data will be stored, protected and managed to meet changing customer requirements. As the debate over storing data on-premises versus in the cloud continues, what becomes evident is that businesses clearly care about the value they can generate from their data.

That focus on value means that how storage is deployed, whether on-premises or in the cloud or some hybrid combination of the two, depends heavily on what business customers are trying to accomplish, said Chris Case, president of Sequel Data Systems, an Austin, Texas-based solution provider.

There is still a lot of on-premises storage, but the cloud is changing the conversation, Case told CRN. “The focus is on the workload,” he said. “It’s important to look at the data type and the required performance characteristics to determine where the data sits, and then determine if it is stored on the cloud or connected to the cloud or backed up to the cloud. The application and business is the start of the conversation.”

Vendor partners typically have multiple platforms that address varying use cases and the issues of working both on-premises and in the cloud, Case said. And that, he said, is key to being a good partner in storage. “Some customers want to keep storage on-prem, some want to go all-cloud,” he said. “Customers are at different IT maturity levels. They’re all at different stages.”

CRN’s Storage 100 recognizes the need solution providers have for finding the right storage infrastructure for each customer based on its own need for performance, flexibility and costs. The 100 vendors highlighted here are among the most innovative providers of storage technology that can be used for deployments spanning the scope of business user requirements from traditional on-premises to full-on cloud, from hardware to software, from capital expense to managed services and everything in between.

There are 20 vendors focused on managing data, 20 vendors that are focused on backing up and restoring data, 20 vendors that develop the components used to build storage solutions, and 40 vendors that have developed the software that provides the kind of storage services needed to meet today’s changing workloads and applications whether on-premises, in the cloud or at the edge.

The 20 Coolest Component Vendors: The 2021 Storage 100

These 20 storage component vendors give software and data the right base on which to operate.

The 40 Coolest Software-Defined Storage Vendors: The 2021 Storage 100

The 40 coolest software-defined storage vendors of the 2021 Storage 100 bring software capabilities, services and cloud connectivity to storage technology.

The 20 Coolest Data Management Companies: The 2021 Storage 100

As part of CRN’s 2021 Storage 100, here are some of the companies that tackle data management for analytics, AI, machine learning and more.

The 20 Coolest Data Protection Companies: The 2021 Storage 100

The 20 coolest data protection vendors of the 2021 Storage 100 ensure data is backed up and archived, and is accessible should it need to be recovered.

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