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2022 Storage 100: Who’s Got Your Backup?

Solution providers looking to place their bets on vendors with the most innovative technologies can turn to the Storage 100, which shines a spotlight on 2022’s forward-thinkers.

The storage world is driving in the fast lane of change as the focus on speeds and feeds gives way to a focus on business requirements.

Businesses may still require the highest-performance, lowest-latency storage systems for specific workloads where speed is still king. But in most cases, the right storage technology for a workload depends on specific features and services—consumption-based pricing, cloud connectivity, virtualization, resiliency and anti-ransomware capabilities.

And it’s solution providers who are driving that storage discussion with their customers about how storage technology will be deployed—on-premises, in the cloud, or a combination of the two. Solution providers looking to place their bets on vendors with the most innovative technologies can turn to CRN’s annual Storage 100 list, which shines a spotlight on 2022’s most forward-thinking vendors.

NetApp and Pure Storage have nearly completely repositioned themselves with a focus on how to manage data across cloud and on-premises infrastructures, IBM is growing its software-defined storage business, and Dell Technologies and Hewlett Packard Enterprise have fully embraced storage services and consumption-based models.

Today, it’s the software that defines all the features of storage, said Michael Tanenhaus, principal at Mavenspire, an Annapolis, Md.-based solution provider and longtime Dell channel partner.

“Every iteration of the software brings more features,” Tanenhaus told CRN. The hardware helps drive the performance.”

Tanenhaus said storage technology is being recycled, with features that used to be carried out in hardware now done by software.

“Look at AWS,” he said. “Some of the services carried out in the cloud are those done by storage arrays for a long time. Now AWS is bringing in those features like automatic tiering to make sure data gets put into the right place.”

Software is evolving to address performance issues, Tanenhaus said.

“In software development, when technology is first kicked from development to production, it’s kicked to hardware first because the software isn’t fast enough,” he said. “But eventually software gets fast enough to take care of the performance. Sometimes a tweak to a line of code can double the performance.”

As part of the 2022 Storage 100, CRN highlights 50 software-defined storage vendors, in which software capabilities, services and cloud connectivity are included; 20 data management vendors, which ensure that the right data is available as needed; 20 data protection vendors, which ensure data is backed up, archived and accessible; and 10 storage component vendors, which give software and data a hardware base on which to operate.

The 50 Coolest Software-Defined Storage Vendors: The 2022 Storage 100

The 50 coolest software-defined storage vendors of the 2022 Storage 100 bring software capabilities, services and cloud connectivity to storage technology.

The 20 Coolest Data Protection Companies: The 2022 Storage 100

As part of CRN’s 2022 Storage 100, here are 20 of the hottest vendors that are helping simplify data protection.

The 20 Coolest Data Management Companies: The 2022 Storage 100

As part of CRN’s 2022 Storage 100, here are 20 of the hottest data management vendors today.

The 10 Coolest Storage Component Vendors: The 2022 Storage 100

These 10 storage component vendors give software and data the right base on which to operate.

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