The 10 Coolest Enterprise Cloud Storage Offerings In 2017

Cloud Storage Frenzy

The major trends that are disrupting the IT landscape, from hybrid cloud to hyper-converged infrastructure to the emerging Internet of Things, are demanding innovations in storage, both at the hardware and software layers.

As enterprises look to leverage new cloud-based technologies like advanced analytics and artificial intelligence while maintaining mushrooming databases, storage vendors are delivering ever-more versatile, scalable and intelligent solutions that operate across diverse environments.

New startups are forming to take on the storage challenges presented by complex cloud environments and compete with legacy vendors, which themselves are launching products and cloud services, or teaming with other companies to deliver integrated solutions. The channel partners helping enterprises embrace those offerings are seeing their practices scale.

Here are 10 of the coolest enterprise cloud storage products that debuted in 2017.

Get more of CRN's 2017 tech year in review.

Argon Systems

In September, Argon Systems, a young custom server and hyper-converged infrastructure appliance builder with deep ties to Microsoft, unveiled several new models.

The line of hyper-converged infrastructure appliances includes three models based on Microsoft's Storage Spaces Direct, the software-defined storage option included with Windows Server 2016 Data Center edition.

They include the Argon Systems Server 3000 with an all-NVMe storage configuration for maximum performance; the Server 5000 high-performance, high-capacity offering for applications like SQL Server; and the Server 6000 with large capacity for mixed applications.

Argon, founded in 2015, has a history of working with Microsoft on such offerings as an Intel Rack Scale Design infrastructure for Microsoft Azure Stack.

Chaos Sumo Smart Object Storage

Chaos Sumo released a product in November it describes as "intelligent" storage for Amazon Web Services S3 object storage.

The Chaos Sumo Smart Object Storage service provides data discovery, management and analytics tools to simplify storing data using the popular AWS service.

Chaos Sumo embeds intelligence in S3 via its Data Edge platform.

CloudVelox One Hybrid Cloud 5.0

With the 5.0 release of One Hybrid Cloud, CloudVelox introduced a comprehensive cloud recovery solution for business and mission-critical workloads.

CloudVelox said the product is intended as an alternative to traditional disaster recovery solutions that come with heightened technical challenges.

The product can set a minimum footprint in the cloud for low-cost disaster recovery, single-click initiation and single-click cleanup after disaster recovery testing, application-centric disaster recoveries, low-cost AWS region-to-region disaster recovery, and encryption of data in-flight and at-rest.

Commvault Endpoint Data Protection-as-a-Service

Commvault has long provided endpoint backup technology as on-premises infrastructure. But growing demand for data protection across mobile and edge devices motivated the company to close a gap in its portfolio by introducing a cloud-based backup service.

The product was introduced at the Commvault Go conference, where the company also unveiled a new partnership with Google Cloud as part of its multi-cloud strategy.

Microsoft Archive Blob

Microsoft's lowest-cost storage option for its Azure public cloud challenges rivals Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform in a heating cold storage market.

Archive Blob Storage is the cloud giant's most inexpensive tier, intended to preserve data that's so rarely accessed, in the past it might have been discarded.

The new option responded to archival solutions from Azure's top competitors – Google Coldline and AWS Glacier.

NetApp SolidFire

NetApp's latest version of its SolidFire all-flash storage operating system targets hybrid cloud environments.

The storage vendor simultaneously introduced enhanced StorageGrid object storage software with new capabilities around the Amazon Web Services cloud, including mirroring of object storage across geographies.

When introduced at the company's NetApp Insight 2017 conference, company leaders said the new products demonstrate NetApp's strong commitment to hybrid on-premises and cloud environments.

Nimble Cloud Volumes

Before its acquisition by Hewlett Packard Enterprise, all-flash and hybrid flash storage vendor Nimble Storage unveiled a new storage-focused cloud service aimed at making it easier for customers to switch between multiple clouds.

Nimble Cloud Volumes is an enterprise-grade block solution that allows businesses to use multiple clouds without getting locked into any of them.

Cloud lock-in is avoided by storing data on Nimble's flash storage-based cloud. Those data centers offer low-latency connections to Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services, allowing applications on the public clouds to access the data quickly.

Qumulo File Fabric

Scalable file storage software vendor Qumulo unveiled its first file fabric for easy scaling of data across on-premises and cloud environments in September.

Qumulo File Fabric eases scaling of billions of files to the Amazon Web Services cloud. The company describes the product as the IT industry's first universal-scale file storage system.

Veeam Support For Azure Stack

Veeam's new partnership with Microsoft has extended the data protection software vendor's capabilities into the Microsoft Azure Stack.

The integration will make it easier for Veeam customers to protect data residing on Azure Stack, a technology that extends Microsoft's public cloud into the data center. It will also make it easier to move data out of Azure Stack to the Azure public cloud, or to Veeam.

Veritas Cloud Storage

Veritas Technologies in September unveiled a new software defined storage offering -- and a hardware appliance based on that software -- aimed at adding intelligence to the growing amount of object storage being employed by businesses.

Veritas Cloud Storage includes intelligence features that take advantage of analytics, machine learning and classification technologies needed to help customers extract value from their object storage.

The product offers a cost-effective, flexible way for customers to acquire cutting-edge storage technology without being tied to the three-year buying cycles and lock-in, the company said.