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The winners in the backup and disaster recovery hardware, software and services category of the Storage magazine and SearchStorage 2020 Products of the Year competition reflect two major trends: container protection and getting more out of your data.
Containers, which virtually package and isolate applications for deployment, have become increasingly popular. While IT typically designs containers to exist only when needed, the data inside them may need to last longer and be protected.
Two of the winners in this category -- Kasten Inc. and Portworx Inc. -- have targeted container backup. It's clear how important this service is to IT, as larger vendors acquired both of these companies in 2020.
Rubrik Inc. rounds out the winners' circle with a data management tool that automates data classification and discovery for reporting on sensitive data, such as personally identifiable information. Using data backups for more than just backup is a key trend as organizations look to take advantage of other important services.
The backup and disaster recovery hardware, software and services category featured many impressive entries, including some from new companies. We're highlighting one of them -- Clumio Inc. -- for its backup as a service, with the Judges' Choice award, which honors an outstanding startup.
The category overall included data protection hardware, backup software integrated with hardware appliances, tape libraries and drives, backup media, disk backup targets and deduplication devices. It also covered backup and recovery software; cloud backup and recovery services; and on-premises backup and disaster recovery, snapshotting, replication and archiving products.
Gold winner: Kasten K10 v2.5
Kasten CEO Niraj Tolia has said he thinks Kubernetes is going to be "the next VMware" -- that is, the next infrastructure of choice. Just as VMware workloads require protection, so do Kubernetes deployments. With K10 v2.5, Kasten, which has been out in front of the Kubernetes backup and recovery trend, is the gold winner in the backup and disaster recovery hardware, software and services category.
Any organization using containerized applications should consider Kasten K10 to back up its deployments or provide application portability across public clouds and on premises, according to the vendor.
Addressing that need in the market, Veeam Software acquired Kasten for $150 million in cash and equity in September 2020, shortly after launching a partnership with the vendor.
Version 2.5 adds a cloud-native transformation framework with backup and mobility enhancements for Kubernetes applications. Judges liked the updated product's comprehensive features, including automation as well as data and application migration in Kubernetes deployments.
This is "one of the few [products] to address the needs of container data management with support for all major Kubernetes products and cloud services," said one judge. Another called Kasten "a clear leader in Kubernetes backup."
Silver winner: Rubrik Polaris Sonar
Privacy, security and compliance are critical areas for organizations to achieve success, especially in an age of regulations such as GDPR. Polaris Sonar is a new product from the cloud data management and backup vendor that enables organizations to discover and report on sensitive data without affecting production.
Organizations are seeking more from their backup vendors. Rubrik helps enterprises collapse complex backup infrastructure into a single platform for data recovery, governance, compliance and agility, according to the vendor.
Sonar is built on the vendor's Polaris SaaS platform.
Judges liked that the product goes beyond traditional backup and recovery capabilities. They complimented its ability to use machine learning and analytics for improved security and data governance, as well as its scanning and classification of sensitive data.
"[Sonar] sits squarely in an evolving market segment where the lines between backup, compliance and security are being blurred," one judge said. It's a "unique solution to a difficult problem in backups," said another.
Bronze winner: Portworx PX-Backup
Portworx is another leader in the container management market. Its PX-Backup product manages the container data lifecycle, catalogs relevant metadata, improves visibility of data access and enables restoration of full Kubernetes applications with a single click, according to the vendor.
Organizations can send backups to any S3-compatible object storage, and then store and recover them in a single cloud or data center, or across multiple clouds and data centers.
Like Kasten, Portworx became part of another company in September 2020 when Pure Storage acquired it for $370 million.
Our judges were impressed by PX-Backup's design and value for cloud-native environments, and its support for local disaster recovery.
"Portworx evolved its platform from purpose-built storage to containers to adding a host of secondary storage workloads that went beyond persistent storage for Kubernetes -- adding disaster recovery, high availability and compliance," one judge said.
Judges' Choice startup award winner: Clumio
Clumio CEO and co-founder Poojan Kumar has said he wants his company to do with backup what Salesforce has done with CRM. That is, he wants to deliver a true backup service offering that's completely run and managed in the cloud by Clumio.
Coming out of stealth in 2019, Clumio made its mark in the data protection market and has now earned the Products of the Year Judges' Choice award for best startup.
Clumio protects Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, Elastic Block Store and Relational Database Service; Microsoft 365; and VMware Cloud and vSphere. The vendor claims rapid recovery, restore flexibility and air-gap protection.
Judges said they liked Clumio's innovation and cloud-native capabilities.
Its "focus on cost, scale, and security and integration with leading ecosystems and apps make it a well-targeted service," one judge said. Its "goal to migrate up the value chain with fully managed data services creates potential for expansion alongside cloud service provider partners."
Learn more about the winning Storage magazine and SearchStorage 2020 Products of the Year in all five categories.