The Most Innovative Cloud Products Of 2017

Cloud Innovators

CRN's 2017 Tech Innovator Awards honors the vendors drawing the roadmap for the future of IT and providing cutting-edge solution providers with the tools to navigate it. With countless vendor options on the market, identifying future-ready IT solutions for customers is no easy task.

The annual Tech Innovator Awards help to narrow the field, honoring honor groundbreaking vendors in 32 categories, with the winners and finalists chosen from among 216 applicants. Among this year's class are 16 vendors in the cloud market, driving collaboration and productivity with innovative apps and automating the management processes of complex cloud workloads.

Here we present the winners and finalists from this year's Cloud Applications, Cloud Backup/Disaster Recovery, Cloud Management and Cloud Storage categories.

Cloud Applications - Winner

Nimble CRM

Nimble CRM boosts the capabilities of Microsoft Office 365 and Google G Suite by seeding those productivity suites with data from social media sites and leading CRM platforms. The software draws data from social platforms such as LinkedIn; from CRM systems such as Salesforce and Dynamics; as well as from inboxes, calendars and previous contact records. Nimble CRM thus delivers to small businesses a consolidated and detailed view of customers through tools they're already using. In July, Nimble CRM launched a channel program to align with more solution providers in the Microsoft and Google channels.

Cloud Applications - Finalist

Avant BattleApp

Avant Communications launched its Avant BattleApp web application to make it easier for channel partners to sell IT solutions to customers, by showcasing their technology offerings via features such as the Data Center Locator and Fiber Locator.

Cloud Applications - Finalist

Binary Tree Power365

Power365 is Binary Tree's offering for Office 365 integrations between multiple tenants. The Software as a Service is targeted at enabling collaboration and productivity at organizations in the wake of M&A, through cross-tenant integration and migration.

Cloud Applications - Finalist

Impartner PRM

The Partner Relationship Management application from Impartner aims to make setting up a partner portal faster and simpler, along with providing a range of customization options and tools such as price quoting and deal management capabilities.

Cloud Applications - Finalist


The S/4HANA Cloud from SAP is a cloud-based "intelligent ERP" that leverages machine learning and predictive analytics -- with the goal of making advanced ERP possible in the public cloud, even without a large up-front financial investment or major changes to infrastructure.

Cloud Backup/Disaster Recovery - Winner

Rubrik Alta 4.0

With Alta 4.0, Rubrik is aiming to provide a simple, fast way to back up and recover critical business data -- which also scales more easily than traditional products. The offering doesn't require the sort of tedious implementation and operation processes found with legacy backup, such as substantial application/storage forecasting, architectural planning, and post-implementation tuning. Alta 4.0 can be up and running within 15 minutes of deployment, according to Rubrik, and its integration with cloud services is a major advantage over legacy products. The offering is compatible with operating environments including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, VMware, Hyper-V, Nutanix AHV, Linux and Windows.

Cloud Backup/Disaster Recovery - Finalist

Arcserve Unified Data Protection 8000

Along with offering highly expandable storage capacity (protection for up to 240 TB of raw source data) and advanced deduplication capabilities, Arcserve's Unified Data Protection 8000 Appliance supports offsite backup and disaster recovery in two of the largest public cloud services, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

Cloud Backup/Disaster Recovery - Finalist

Atadata Ataguard

Aimed at enterprise customers with multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud data deployments, Atatdata's Ataguard offers both automated failover (to any physical, virtual or cloud environment) and automated failback (enabling not just disaster recovery, but also planned events such as maintenance and testing).

Cloud Backup/Disaster Recovery - Finalist

Imanis Data 3.0

Imanis Data 3.0 aims to differentiate its data backup and recovery offering by providing recovery of massive data sets at an estimated five to 10 times faster than other available offerings. The product also provides advanced security features, such as early detection of ransomware attacks.

Cloud Management - Winner

Cloudify 4.0

For enterprises with workloads in the cloud, Cloudify provides a platform to orchestrate, manage and automate application processes regardless of the cloud network's underlying complexity. While Cloudify has its roots as a DevOps tool, the launch of Cloudify 4.0 marks the product's arrival as a cloud management platform capable of complete application and network management. Key features in the 4.0 release include the introduction of multiple tenants in a single Cloudify Manager; clustering capabilities for multiple Cloudify Manager instances; and improved Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) integration. The release also provides enhanced support for containers via the Kubernetes, Docker Swarm and Mesos orchestration platforms.

Cloud Management - Finalist

DH2i DxEnterprise v17

Using its Virtual Host technology, DH2i's DxEnterprise v17 release provides capabilities that enable workload portability between any hosts -- both for databases and containers. That simplifies management in part by decoupling instances and containers from their underlying infrastructures.

Cloud Storage - Winner

HPE Nimble Cloud Volumes

As a new wave of applications move to the cloud -- placing increased demands on storage -- Hewlett Packard Enterprise's Nimble Storage offers enterprise-grade availability and performance not typically found in other cloud storage options. The offering, Nimble Cloud Volumes, also makes it easy for customers to switch between multiple clouds. The block solution enables businesses to use multiple clouds without getting locked into any of them, by storing data on Nimble flash storage and then tying the data to Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services. Nimble Cloud Volumes is also less expensive than other approaches to moving between multiple clouds, since data can be moved between cloud providers or moved back to an on-premises environment without data egress charges.

Cloud Storage - Finalists

Archive360 Archive2Azure

Built on Microsoft Azure Services, Archive360's Archive2Azure is an offering for dramatically reducing on-premises data storage and management costs while also meeting regulatory compliance requirements. The solution enables migration, collection, retention, and management of unstructured data in a secure and compliant format.

Cloud Storage - Finalists

Igneous Hybrid Storage Cloud

With high-performance protection for large enterprises file systems, the Igneous Hybrid Storage Cloud offering provides data backup that runs without interrupting the work of end users -- while also delivering easy archiving and restoration of data.

Cloud Storage - Finalists

Scality RING7

Scality's RING7 provides a multi-site file and object cloud with a focus on preventing security breaches, through advanced encryption and other features. The offering provides full control to users over where their data is stored and provides replication to the AWS S3 cloud.

Cloud Storage - Finalists

WekaIO Matrix

WekaIO's cloud-native file system, Matrix, provides massive scalability along with flash-level performance. The software-based offering features a simple management interface, easy deployment, and a minimal utilization of Amazon Web Services compute instance resources so that more resources are available for running customer applications.