The 40 Coolest Software-Defined Storage Vendors: The 2020 Storage 100

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

Software is now the heart of the storage world.

Software capabilities, services, and cloud connectivity are all part of the storage operating system, which is where significant product differentiation happens.

As part of CRN's 2020 Storage 100, here are the 40 Coolest Software-Defined Storage Vendors.


Tony Barbagallo

President, CEO

Caringo develops object storage software that lets businesses control any volume, flow or size of unstructured information as a way to help cut unstructured data complexity and cost while improving its performance and extracting value from the data. Caringo’s symmetric architecture provides massive scalability, elastic content protection and automated management.


Michael Tso

Co-Founder, CEO

Cloudian develops AWS S3-compatible cloud-based, enterprise-class object storage technology with SMB and NFS support. Its HyperStore nodes can be deployed where needed to add capacity, and then can be scaled seamlessly. The company focuses on simplicity with a global data fabric that is managed within a single framework.


Dave Zabrowski


DataCore was one of the pioneers in software-defined storage for block, file and object storage, with software that can be deployed on new or existing servers and storage to pool and virtualize multivendor storage, create purpose-built storage servers, or as part of a hyperconverged cluster of servers.

DataDirect Networks

Alex Bouzari

Co-Founder, Chairman, CEO

DataDirect Networks offers high-performance enterprise-class block and data storage systems along with AI-focused storage and its WOS object storage platform. The company has made four key acquisitions including that of Nexenta, an early software-defined storage developer.

Dell Technologies

Michael Dell

Chairman, CEO

Dell is known primarily as a server and storage hardware vendor, with an emphasis on storage software development for its hardware. It also has a wide range of stand-alone storage software for data protection, as well as software-only versions of some of its hardware offerings.


Takahito Tokita

President, Chief Digital Transformation Officer

Fujitsu is the developer of the Eternus line of primary storage arrays and Celvin NAS appliances. The company’s Eternus CD10000 reference architecture includes a hyperscale software-defined storage platform that takes advantage of several open-source Ceph and OpenStack interfaces.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Antonio Neri

President, CEO

HPE is one of the top storage vendors in terms of sales, with a full range of all-flash and hybrid-flash storage, file and object storage, storage networking, data protection and data management software, and hyperconverged infrastructure offerings. The company last year moved to unify its diverse storage with its new HPE Primera platform.

Hitachi Vantara

Toshiaki Tokunaga

Chairman, CEO

Hitachi Vantara brings together the hardware and software elements of three companies—storage vendor Hitachi Data Systems, big data and IoT technology company Lumada, and data management and analytics company Pentaho—into a single unified approach to modernizing corporate infrastructures.


Ofer Bezalel

Founder, CEO

HiveIO is the developer of Hive Fabric, a hardware agnostic virtual desktop infrastructure offering that combines virtual desktops, virtual servers and software-defined storage in a single platform. The storage side combines local disk, RAM storage, external storage and hyperconverged storage.


Arvind Krishna


IBM has shifted its development to the software side, resulting in recent growth across a number of markets. IBM is now accelerating its business through the strength of its IBM Spectrum line of software-defined storage. Its new CEO, Arvind Krishna, took the reins April 6.


Moshe Yanai

Founder, CEO

Infinidat develops storage technology targeting customers looking for multi-petabyte scale with high availability and reliability. Its offerings include the InfiniBox petabyte-scale enterprise storage system, the InfiniGuard petabytescale data protection system, the InfiniSync synchronous mirroring software, and the Neutrx Cloud for Storage as a Service.


Dani Golan

Founder, CEO

Kaminario started life as an all-flash storage array developer, but then ditched the hardware to focus on software-defined storage. That resulted in its Data Plane Virtualization platform that lets businesses move mission-critical data between public and private clouds as needed without having to rearchitect or refactor the application stack.


Yang Yuanqing

Chairman, CEO

Lenovo offers a range of storage systems under its ThinkSystem brand, including all-flash and hybrid-flash arrays. It also partners with developers of key software-defined storage technology including Nutanix, Microsoft Azure Stack, and VMware vSAN to develop other storage and hyperconverged infrastructure offerings with its hardware.

Lightbits Labs

Avigdor Willenz

Co-Founder, Chairman

Lightbits Labs develops NVMe-over-TCPsoftware-defined disaggregated storage that turns commodity servers into high-performance storage systems with hardware-accelerated options without requiring changes to the network or the application clients. The company counts Cisco, Dell Technologies and Micron among its investors.


Sumit Puri

Co-Founder, CEO

Liqid’s composable infrastructure platform leverages industry-standard compute, networking, storage, GPU, FPGA, and Intel Optane memory devices to deliver a scalable architecture built from pools of disaggregated resources. Those components are interconnected over intelligent fabrics to the exact physical resources required.


Anand Babu Periasamy

Co-Founder, CEO

MinIO develops a high-performance software-defined distributed object storage system that runs on industry-standard hardware and is open-sourced under the Apache V2 license. The technology makes data available on-premises or in any public cloud, and makes any existing storage infrastructure compatible with Amazon S3.


George Kurian

President, CEO

NetApp develops all-flash and hybrid-flash storage but is a pioneer in connecting on-premises storage infrastructure to public and hybrid clouds via its Data Fabric platform. The company is also a pioneer in making its storage software available to run in the cloud.


Dheeraj Pandey

Co-Founder, Chairman, CEO

Nutanix made hyperconverged infrastructure the well-known technology it is today, as it was early with an integrated compute, storage and networking stack. The company’s products are available as turnkey appliances or as software integrated with third-party servers from a variety of server vendors.


Laurent Denel

Co-Founder, CEO

OpenIO develops software-defined object storage aimed at hyperscalable, on-premises infrastructures. It uses a grid of nodes with its ConsciousGrid technology to provide hardware-agnostic support within the same cluster, with unlimited scaling and consistent performance for big data, high-performance computing and AI.


Safra Catz


Oracle offers what it terms “engineered” storage designed to help Oracle applications and databases run faster. Its portfolio features automated storage management to simplify operations, and protect and recover mission-critical Oracle databases with zero data-loss capabilities. The company also offers cloud storage as part of its Oracle Cloud.


Faye Pairman

President, CEO

Panasas is the developer of the PanFS parallel file system, which it delivers via its ActiveStor Ultra turnkey appliances. PanFS provides the performance and the enterprise-grade reliability and manageability to help businesses process large and complex datasets related to mixed workload high-performance computing environments.


Patrick Harr


The Panzura Freedom cloud file system was built from the ground up to power enterprise-scale deployments in the cloud and securely allow collaborative global teams to work with large file sizes. Data is stored as a single source of truth in the cloud and syncs to local caching appliances.

Pavilion Data Systems

Gurpreet Singh


Pavilion Data Systems develops NVMe over Fabric technology purpose-built to utilize current and future memory-class media and NVMe SSDs. The Pavilion Data platform features high-performance and fast RAID rebuilds, and includes data management capabilities such as thin provisioning, snapshots, and data at rest encryption.


Bill Stover

President, CEO

Pivot3 is the developer of the Acuity hyperconverged infrastructure platform that scales as needed across on-premises, edge and cloud infrastructures with management from a single pane of glass. It includes policy-based, priority-aware management; erasure coding for data protection; and high-performance NVMe PCIe flash storage.

Pure Storage

Charles Giancarlo

Chairman, CEO

Pure Storage develops all-flash storage technology, including the FlashArray block storage line and the FlashBlade unstructured storage line, all based on its Pure1 storage operating system. The company is also known for its Evergreen Storage offering that ensures arrays are regularly and automatically upgraded to the latest technology.

QNAP Systems

Teddy Kuo

Chairman, CEO, and Founder

QNAP Systems develops a comprehensive range of NAS appliances and video surveillance for home, small business and enterprise users with a wide range of storage, backup, snapshot, virtualization, multimedia and other capabilities. It also offers QuTScloud, a cloud-optimized version of the QNAP NAS operating system.


Jamie Lerner

Chairman, CEO

Quantum originally made its mark as a leading provider of tape automation and data protection appliances, but over the last few years moved heavily into providing storage technology targeting verticals such as media and entertainment, surveillance, and industrial IoT, as well as smart storage for research and analytics.


Bill Richter

President, CEO

Qumulo develops enterprise-proven hybrid cloud file storage and file services that provide real-time visibility and control of data across on-premises and the cloud. Its cloud-native file system provides the same experience and capabilities across on-premises, hybrid, cloud and multi-cloud environments.

Scale Computing

Jeff Ready

Co-Founder, CEO

Scale Computing’s HC3 IT infrastructure platform combines servers, storage and virtualization into a single offering. The company’s HC3 software can replace traditional IT silos of virtualization software, disaster recovery software, servers, and shared storage with a fully integrated, highly available platform for running applications.


Jerome Lecat

Co-Founder, CEO

Scality offers two product lines for helping store and manage data. Scality Ring is a software-defined native file and object storage solution for large-scale on-premises storage and management of unstructured data. Zenko is software that provides hybrid cloud and multi-cloud data management and orchestration.

Stellus Technologies

Jeff Treuhaft

President, CEO

The Stellus Data Platform offers a modern, NAS platform based on the company’s key-value over fabrics technology that provides high performance, especially for unstructured data. The platform helps cut the need for file and block conversions, global data mapping, and global cache management.


Mihir Shah

Co-Founder, CEO

StorCentric combines the resources of companies it acquired: Vexata’s all-flash storage; Nexsan’s Unity high-performance block and file storage, E-series and Beast high-density block storage; Assureon compliant archiving technologies; Drobo prosumer and SMB storage; and Retrospect onpremises and cloud storage.


Gal Naor

Co-Founder, CEO

StorOne develops software-defined storage technology for all-flash or hybrid arrays, virtual storage, secondary storage or cloud storage, and supports all protocols including block, file and object storage using NVMe, Intel Optane and SSD. It can also be used as the base for an on-premises cloud storage offering.


Dan Jaworski


SwiftStack, which in March was acquired by Nvidia, develops a software-driven data storage and management platform for data-intensive workflows that provides businesses access to data across the edge, data centers and public clouds. Its on-premises, scale-out and geographically distributed object and file storage product scales to hundreds of petabytes.


Philip Wong

Chairman, CEO

Synology develops network- attached storage, networking and surveillance technology. Its NAS line includes rackmount and desktop models with capabilities aimed at home and personal users to SMBs to enterprises. The company also develops software targeting data protection, cloud, and file share and synchronization clients.

Vast Data

Renen Hallak

Co-Founder, CEO

Vast Data in early 2019 unveiled a new $40 million funding round and introduced its Universal Storage system, which targets high-performance workloads such as AI and deep learning with a combination of high-performance NVMe-over-Fabric, consumer-grade QLC (quad-level cell) flash technology, and 3D Xpoint non-volatile memory.

Violin Systems

Todd Oseth

President, CEO

All-flash storage vendor Violin Systems is focused on tier-zero and tier-one workloads, including online transaction processing, virtual desktop infrastructure, AI, machine learning and IoT. The company, which in the past was known for its high-performance memory technology, last year expanded with the acquisition of the X-IO storage business.


Pat Gelsinger


VMware’s vSAN, or Virtual SAN, software-defined storage is at the heart of many private and public clouds and works in conjunction with other VMware software for managing virtual volumes and providing disaster recovery. It also offers software for building hyper-converged infrastructure integrating compute, storage and networking capabilities.


Liran Zvibel

Co-Founder, CEO

WekaIO’s file system promises fast performance and endless scalability, with a single global namespace for a shared data lake that can access and manage trillions of files from one directory. Its NVMe-native shared file system runs on commodity servers with high bandwidth and low latency performance in InfiniBand or Ethernet-based clusters.


Nelson Nahum


The Zadara Cloud Platform combines industry-standard x86 server hardware with the company’s software-defined storage technology to offer customers enterprise-class performance, security, and scalability along with multitenant cloud capabilities. The technology works with any data type and any protocol at any location across hundreds of nodes.