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Report on Unstructured Data Management

Outperformers being Komprise, NetApp, Varonis and Cohesity

WaltersThis market report, published on May 19, 2024, was written by Whit Walters, analyst, GigaOm.




GigaOm Radar for Unstructured Data Management (UDM)v4.0

1. Executive Summary

The proliferation of unstructured data – emails, log files, images, and videos – within organizational data stores and isolated data silos poses a growing challenge for management. The sheer volume, inaccessibility, and fragmented nature of all this data obscures its vast potential, leaving it as an unused asset within these digital repositories. However, this landscape is changing. As data ecosystems flourish, UD) tools are emerging, poised to unlock the vast potential of dormant data and propel organizations into a data-driven future.

A new wave of innovative technologies, like generative AI and retrieval-augmented generation (RAG), offers the key to unlocking this hidden potential, transforming a previously untapped resource into a strategic asset. These advancements enable organizations to unearth deeper insights from complex data and generate synthetic data for enhanced training and analysis.

This is where UDM enters the equation. UDM solutions go beyond mere data storage, empowering a range of professionals to extract vital value from their previously untapped data assets.

Through a powerful set of features, UDM transforms once-amorphous data into readily searchable and interpretable assets, empowering informed decision-making across the organization:

  • Robust metadata management: UDM enriches unstructured data with descriptive tags and contextual information, unlocking its inherent structure and making it readily searchable and interpretable. Imagine data transformed from cryptic files into intuitive, categorized collections, available to be navigated by data scientists, marketers, and compliance officers alike.
  • User-defined tags: Stakeholders personalize data categorization with custom tags, tailoring it to their specific needs and workflows. This granular control allows deeper exploration and targeted analysis, accelerating the discovery of valuable insights hidden within the data. No longer a vast, uncharted ocean, the data sprawl becomes a meticulously organized landscape where relevant nuggets of information are readily unearthed and put to work.
  • Rapid retrieval: Powerful search engines integrated with UDM solutions leverage the enriched metadata and custom tags to enable lightning-fast data retrieval across the entire data estate. No matter how vast or dispersed it might be, finding the precise data you need becomes effortless, streamlining workflows and maximizing data use. Imagine traversing that data landscape, being able to pinpoint the exact needle in the haystack with intuitive precision.

These are just some of the ways UDM solutions empower organizations to harness the full potential of their unstructured data. By combining robust metadata management, flexible custom tagging, and lightning-fast data retrieval, UDM unlocks a new era of data-driven decision-making and competitive advantage. Enhanced data governance, facilitated by precise labeling and intuitive organization, ensures seamless compliance and risk mitigation. Additionally, the ability to rapidly locate data across the data estate empowers informed decision-making and fuels agile responses to market shifts and opportunities.

Strategic deployment of UDM solutions grants organizations full visibility into their data, informing the development of cost-effective roadmaps that maximize ROI on storage. Imagine shedding the limitations of data silos and inaccessible formats, and gaining unfettered access to your data landscape regardless of its complexity. By harnessing the power of UDM, you can build a strategic data roadmap, enabling interventions that optimize costs, bolster security and compliance, deliver enhanced services, and unlock the immense potential of data reusability.

This is our 4th year evaluating the UDM space in the context of our Key Criteria and Radar reports. This report builds on our previous analysis and considers how the market has evolved over the last year.

It marks a change in our analysis of UDM, combining the insights from previous reports that looked at infrastructure and business use cases separately. We now recognize the need for a unified understanding that bridges the gap between technical capabilities and real-world business applications. Previously, the infrastructure report delved into the nuts and bolts of UDM solutions, exploring aspects like data tiering, lifecycle management, and search functions. The business report, in contrast, examined how UDM tackles challenges like compliance, security, and big data analytics. However, treating these areas in isolation can mask the powerful synergy between them.

By merging these perspectives, we aim to offer a more comprehensive and actionable view of UDM. Instead of siloed technical details and specific business cases, this report explores how infrastructure features directly translate into tangible business benefits. We’ll analyze how effective data management at the infrastructure level empowers organizations to achieve key business objectives, such as enhanced security, streamlined compliance, and data-driven decision-making. We also look at how AI/ML is accelerating enhancements to the landscape.

This report examines 24 of the top UDM solutions and compares offerings vs. the capabilities (table stakes, key features, and emerging features) and nonfunctional requirements (business criteria) outlined in the companion Key Criteria report. Together, these reports provide an overview of the market, identify leading UDM offerings, and help decision-makers evaluate these solutions so they can make a more informed investment decision.

2. Market Categories and Deployment Types

To help prospective customers find the best fit for their use case and business requirements, we assess how well UDM solutions are designed to serve specific target markets and deployment models (Table 1).

For this report, we recognize the following market segments (these were separate reports previously, and we’ll now integrate them into a unified report):

  • Infrastructure focused: Solutions for this segment are designed to target data and metadata management at the infrastructure level, including automatic tiering and basic information lifecycle management, data copy management, analytics, index, and search.
  • Business focused: Solutions for this market are designed to solve business-related problems, including compliance, security, data governance, big data analytics, e-discovery, and so on.

In addition, we recognize the following deployment models:

  • User-managed: Usually installed and run on-premises, these products often can work well in hybrid cloud environments.
  • SaaS: Based on a cloud backend and provided as a service, these solutions are typically optimized for hybrid, multicloud, and mobile and edge use cases.

Table 1. Vendor Positioning: Target Market and Deployment Model
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Table 1 components are evaluated in a binary yes/no manner and do not factor into a vendor’s designation as a Leader, Challenger, or Entrant on the Radar chart (Figure 1).

“Target market” reflects which use cases each solution is recommended for, not simply whether that group can use it. For example, if a SMB could use a solution but doing so would be cost-prohibitive, that solution would be rated “no” for SMBs.

3. Decision Criteria Comparison

All solutions included in this Radar report meet the following table stakes—capabilities widely adopted and well implemented in the sector:

  • Data and metadata collection
  • Reporting
  • Metadata index and search
  • Integrations

Tables 2, 3, and 4 summarize how each vendor included in this research performs in the areas we consider differentiating and critical in this sector. The objective is to give the reader a snapshot of the technical capabilities of available solutions, define the perimeter of the relevant market space, and gauge the potential impact on the business.

  • Key features differentiate solutions, highlighting the primary criteria to be considered when evaluating a UDM solution.
  • Emerging features show how well each vendor is implementing capabilities that are not yet mainstream but are expected to become more widespread and compelling within the next 12 to 18 months.
  • Business criteria provide insight into the nonfunctional requirements that factor into a purchase decision and determine a solution’s impact on an organization.

These decision criteria are summarized below. More detailed descriptions can be found in the corresponding report, “GigaOm Key Criteria for Evaluating UDM Solutions.”

Key Features

  • Metadata analytics: An essential requirement of UDM systems is the ability to provide advanced metadata analytics consumable through dashboards and reports. Solutions should, at the least, provide basic information about capacity consumption and growth trends, but the more they enable users to dive into data types, user activity, potential risks, and more, the better.
  • Global content search: While metadata search does help users find data across on-premises and cloud storage infrastructures, full-content indexing enables a global search capability that is much more useful across the entire organization. The usability of a UDM solution will be evaluated, as will its ability to perform complex queries and allow them to be saved for future reuse. It should enable users to create policies based on searches, and to execute actions following a search.
  • Big data analytics: It requires advanced data lakes and platforms that offer robust data warehousing, flexible data preparation, powerful tools, and integration with popular frameworks. Some UDM solutions support all of these, while others offer more basic capabilities. Prospective buyers should consider solutions based on their own data volume, desired analytics complexity, and budget to empower data-driven decisions and extract maximum value from their unstructured data.
  • Data governance and compliance: UDM systems can be configured to automatically handle compliance breaches, including through policy-based data movement via the orchestration and automation capabilities of the solution. We look at a solution’s regulatory and policy compliance features, such as preconfigured GDPR policies, checking whether applicable rules (GDPR, CCPA, and so on) have been violated, whether there are regular updates to account for privacy law changes, and how document classification is handled (sensitive data flagging).
  • Access control: Traditional security and data protection tools are not designed to operate at the data level, and this is why a data management solution can make a real difference. To secure unstructured data, UDM solutions offer advanced protection through granular access control and proactive threat detection. This can range from basic role-based controls to more extensive (but manual) capabilities such as advanced permissions, user activity auditing, and basic anomaly detection. Even better is AI-powered security that incorporates behavioral analytics and automated responses.
  • Workload orchestration: In addition to discovery, indexing, and classification capabilities, organizations need to be able to orchestrate and automate data management at scale. We assess a UDM solution’s capabilities related to data migration, policy-based data movement, and data repatriation.
  • AI/ML model customization: AI and ML are becoming prevalent in the management of unstructured data. Via AI/ML, solutions should be able to detect ongoing trends, events, and anomalies; make real-time recommendations; initiate automated actions; and perform content analysis and metadata augmentation.
  • Data protection: Traditional data protection tools often struggle to effectively protect unstructured data due to its complexity and dynamic nature. UDM solutions, with the ability to continuously index and analyze data and metadata, should be able to go beyond traditional tools by providing deeper insights and faster threat detection. Capabilities should include data loss prevention (DLP), data anonymization, and data masking.

Table 2. Key Features Comparison
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Emerging Features

  • AIOps and model training: UDM solutions are evolving beyond core functionalities, embracing emerging features like AIOps and advanced model training. AIOps leverages AI for automated management and optimization, predicting issues, resolving them proactively, and ensuring smoother performance. Model training, often powered by ML, unlocks deeper insights through tasks like data classification and anomaly detection. However, effective implementation requires high-quality data, streamlined MLOps integration, and explainable AI capabilities. These emerging features hold immense potential for enhancing UDM efficiency, automation, and data-driven decision-making, but their implementation is still maturing.
  • Generative AI for data management: UDM solutions are at the forefront of innovation, in particular by making use of generative AI and RAG, an AI framework. Generative AI unlocks creativity with realistic content generation, personalization through tailored experiences, and efficient synthetic data creation. RAG empowers UDM solutions to access external knowledge, enhancing accuracy and generating reliable responses for data-driven decisions. These features hold immense potential to transform data workflows, but their adoption is still evolving.

Table 3. Emerging Features Comparison
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Business Criteria

  • Architecture: UDM solutions have different architectures depending on whether they are infrastructure focused or business focused. The main differences in the architecture designs involve the varying ways in which data and metadata are collected, which also contribute to defining the focus, characteristics, and feature set of the product.
  • Scalability: Scalability is a key aspect of UDM. Not all solutions are designed to cope with large infrastructures and capacities, and some features require many more resources than others to provide results in a timely manner. In general, for solutions that aim to work with content at scale, out-of-band operations are preferable, and a cloud backend can help to minimize response times when needed.
  • Flexibility: Flexibility is crucial for UDM solutions, which should be able to adapt to an organization’s evolving data landscapes and changing business needs. They should be able to handle a wide range of unstructured data types (text, images, audio, and more) and to readily integrate with new data sources as they emerge.
  • Performance: Performance and efficiency are always significant in business solutions, but when the amount of data to be analyzed and managed is in the range of multiple petabytes and that data will be used for the most sophisticated use cases—such as data augmentation, big data analytics, full content indexing and search, ML, and security—these factors become critical. The approaches UDM solutions take differ, depending not only on the product but also on regulations about how and where data should be treated. Nevertheless, all should be able to handle the amount and variety of data they’ll process as well as the number of users accessing and analyzing data concurrently.
  • Manageability and ease of use: Data management is the kind of application that can be considered horizontal to the entire organization, and UDM solutions are often made accessible to a broad range of roles across the organization administrator, data officer, compliance management staff, and so on. As such, the solution should provide an interface that’s intuitive, simple, and familiar, enabling a seamless user experience tailored to each persona.
  • Ecosystem: Data is scattered among various storage systems and geolocations, and accessed through different protocols, so UDM solutions need to be versatile and offer multiple integration capabilities that respect present and past organizational choices. These solutions therefore benefit from a broad array of partners who can help provide access to a variety of systems. This includes marketplace-like integrations, by which simplified installation processes hide most of the complexity of the configuration procedure.
  • Cost: In most cases, users start with basic requirements that grow and change according to business and infrastructure needs. Generally, users should opt for solutions with simple licensing models and a feature set that allows them to expand the scope of the solution and increase the number of use cases over time.

Table 4. Business Criteria Comparison
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4. GigaOm Radar

The GigaOm Radar plots vendor solutions across a series of concentric rings with those set closer to the center judged to be of higher overall value. The chart characterizes each vendor on two axes—balancing Maturity versus Innovation and Feature Play vs. Platform Play—while providing an arrowhead that projects each solution’s evolution over the coming 12 to 18 months.

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This year’s UDM report shows a market that’s both growing stronger and changing direction. We have integrated the previous two reports on UDM into a single report. The focus is shifting to include streamlined management of data alongside its storage. It emphasizes the growing need for solutions that help businesses control and understand their data. Established vendors remain strong, but innovation is key. Newcomers to the market are making a difference through AI/ML, offering smarter automation, better security, and stronger analysis of unstructured data.

The Radar chart in Figure 1 reveals different strategies that vendors are taking. Some focus on building out features within their core offerings, becoming a one-stop-shop for all needs. Others keep their solutions open and focused on integration, building partnerships rather than all solutions themselves. AI/ML powers many of these new, flexible strategies.

A group of mature Platform Play Leaders show that many core UDM needs are now considered standard. At the same time, there are several Innovation vendors that show remarkable creativity, especially using AI/ML solutions for proactive security and streamlined data insights. These vendors challenge the established Leaders as the market landscape continues to shift.

The Leader circle stays competitive, highlighting the growing importance of governance and compliance features alongside technical know-how. Outperformers leverage new technologies – especially AI/ML – signaling potential changes in market positions.

The UDM market reflects the critical nature of secure platforms and intelligent technologies. Businesses in need of reliable and compliant solutions have many strong options from among the vendors with Maturity. Those prioritizing cutting-edge innovation will find the market increasingly driven by AI/ML advancements from smaller disruptive players. Success lies in balancing current needs with an eye for the future—choosing partners based on clear business goals and data management requirements.

In reviewing solutions, it’s important to keep in mind that there are no universal “best” or “worst” offerings; there are aspects of every solution that might make it a better or worse fit for specific customer requirements. Prospective customers should consider their current and future needs when comparing solutions and vendor roadmaps.

5. Solution Insights

Arcitecta, Mediaflux

Solution Overview
Founded in 1998, Arcitecta focuses on enterprise data solutions. Navigating a fiercely competitive landscape, the company continuously refines its core Mediaflux platform, prioritizing security, immutability, and data governance as strategic differentiators.

Mediaflux platform emerges as a compelling contender in the data management arena, transcending the mere storage layer to orchestrate information as a holistic conductor. Its comprehensive suite, encompassing security, governance, and orchestration alongside core storage functionalities, caters to organizations grappling with data deluge. Mediaflux empowers efficient storage, retrieval, and analysis, scaling to tackle massive data volumes.

Firm’s philosophy, in stark contrast to the fragmented tool buffet approach, champions a consolidated solution for all data management needs, and Mediaflux emerges as the epitome of this philosophy. Comprising key components that form a well-coordinated ensemble, it serves as a one-stop shop for enterprises seeking a comprehensive approach to managing their data. The foundation is laid by resilient cluster controllers and storage nodes, ensuring scalable performance and a robust infrastructure capable of handling extensive data mountains effectively.

One of Mediaflux’s standout features is its single global namespace, providing seamless access through diverse protocols like network file system (NFS), server message block (SMB), and Amazon Web Services (AWS)’ S3. This simplifies data discovery and utilization by offering a unified interface. The WORM file system further enhances its appeal, establishing a fortress of data integrity that remains untouchable by ransomware or manipulation. This feature provides an immutable safeguard for valuable information assets. And Mediaflux’s XODB database, which leverages NoSQL agility, powers lightning-fast indexing and search capabilities, contributing to rapid data retrieval and analysis.

In addition, Mediaflux places a strong emphasis on metadata management, going beyond mere bytes. Comprehensive metadata tagging facilitates contextual understanding and ensures internal and regulatory compliance. The workflow engine takes center stage, introducing automation to liberate valuable resources from repetitive tasks. This capability enables a strategic focus on higher-value activities while streamlining essential processes. Finally, the open API fosters an ecosystem of interoperability, integrating Mediaflux with existing tools and workflows, promoting flexibility and adaptability within diverse technological environments. In essence, Mediaflux, guided by Arcitecta’s philosophy, provides a unified and robust solution that addresses a spectrum of data management needs while emphasizing efficiency, security, and interoperability within modern enterprises.

Mediaflux acts as the data nerve center. Data flows in, automatically indexed and searchable by the nimble XODB. Access controls and auditing keep everything secure, compliant, and adhering to strict regulations. The workflow engine streamlines repetitive tasks, while the open API fosters a data ecosystem, connecting Mediaflux to existing tools and enriching workflows. Arcitecta orchestrates data management, transforming information into a strategic asset.

Mediaflux stands out with its comprehensive data management approach, providing a centralized hub that addresses diverse data needs. Its WORM technology ensures immutable data storage, maintaining authenticity and safeguarding against cyber threats. The platform’s resilience against ransomware is notable, leveraging point-in-time backups and WORM architecture for robust data protection. Extensive auditing and compliance features streamline adherence to regulations, fostering peace of mind. Scalability and performance are strengths, as the solution efficiently handles colossal data volumes via effective indexing and search capabilities, enabling swift insights. The inclusion of an open API facilitates seamless integration with existing tools and workflows, fostering the creation of a versatile data ecosystem and promoting interoperability.

Mediaflux excels in traditional data management, but there’s room for improvement in native AI/ML integration to unlock deeper insights and automate complex data analysis tasks. While the platform ensures security, enhancing it with advanced threat detection and prevention features could provide an additional layer of defense against evolving cyber threats. Currently limited to on-premises installations, expanding deployment options to the cloud, which is in the works, would aid adoption by organizations embracing cloud-first strategies.

Purchase Considerations
Potential customers should consider leveraging professional services for tailored support, ensuring a smooth journey from initial setup to ongoing maintenance. Training is crucial to empower organizations with Mediaflux expertise, maximizing the platform’s potential. Prospective customers choose from various 24/7 support plans for peace of mind and prompt issue resolution. While on-premises deployment is the current option, the upcoming cloud deployment expands accessibility. Mediaflux offers flexible licensing options, adapting to storage capacity and desired functionalities to meet diverse needs.

Tailored to diverse industry demands, this solution excels in a spectrum of use cases. In the dynamic realm of media and entertainment, it proves indispensable for efficiently managing vast digital asset libraries, providing content creators with powerful search and retrieval tools to streamline workflows. In the critical domain of healthcare, its strength lies in securely storing and governing sensitive patient data, ensuring strict compliance , and safeguarding patient privacy with the utmost diligence. For scientific research endeavors, the solution facilitates the analysis of large datasets from research projects, offering ease and confidence that accelerates the pace of scientific discovery. In the complex landscape of financial services, it emerges as a trusted ally adept at maintaining immutable audit trails crucial for regulatory compliance and fraud prevention. Through these capabilities, the solution not only builds trust but also effectively mitigates risks in the intricate dynamics of financial services.

Radar Chart Overview
Arcitecta is positioned in the Innovation/Platform Play quadrant. The vendor prioritizes security and functionality within its solution. WORM technology delivers strong immutability, appealing to organizations safeguarding critical data assets. While lacking full integration of AI/ML and lacking cloud deployment presently, a focus on compliance and commitment to evolving security trends positions it as a Fast Mover. As AI/ML adoption grows alongside its planned cloud presence, the path to the Leaders circle opens. Mediaflux merits serious consideration by enterprises valuing secure on-premises solutions with extensive functionalities.

Aparavi, Data Intelligence

Solution Overview
Founded in 2017, Aparavi has emerged as a leader in the UDM space, recognized for its user-friendly interface, robust data classification, and strong focus on security and compliance.

It offers a SaaS solution for unstructured data management, empowering organizations to gain control and extract value from their data chaos. It collects information across distributed data stores, including on-premises NAS/SMB shares, cloud drives (Dropbox, OneDrive), and applications like Microsoft 365 (Teams and emails). Its advanced data discovery and classification capabilities, fueled by over 150 prebuilt policies, identify sensitive information, PII, and other critical data types across all storage locations. With searchable metadata and exportable reports, the company provides centralized data governance and compliance insights. Users can then manage their data through automated policies or manual controls, moving information to colder storage, enforcing data sovereignty, or fulfilling data subject access requests (DSARs).

Firm’s SaaS platform shines with its user-friendly interface, rendering intricate UDM tasks accessible even to nontechnical users. The platform’s intuitive UI is a game-changer, elevating data discovery, classification, and overall governance processes, fostering heightened user adoption and operational efficiency—a pivotal strength that democratizes the complexities of UDM.

For data classification, Aparavi differentiates itself with an extensive suite of over 150 prebuilt policies, accompanied by customizable options. This robust data classification engine surpasses conventional approaches, adeptly pinpointing sensitive data across diverse sources. The platform empowers organizations with the flexibility to tailor policies to their specific needs, ensuring alignment with compliance requirements, proactive data risk management, and the unearthing of concealed insights within unstructured data repositories.

Aparavi places a strategic emphasis on data security and compliance through its multitenant architecture and robust role-based access control. This dedicated approach ensures a secure environment, with built-in compliance features streamlining DSARs and providing adept support for various regulations, including GDPR and CCPA. This alignment with evolving data governance standards underscores a crucial strength.

Aparavi’s capabilities extend to automating data lifecycle management via intelligent policies. By automating tasks such as data movement to colder storage, inactive data management, and enforcement of data sovereignty rules, the platform significantly reduces manual effort, ensures consistent data governance practices, and liberates resources for more strategic initiatives within the organization—an indispensable strength that marks a significant advancement in operational efficiency and resource optimization.

Despite its strengths, the company faces certain challenges that warrant consideration for organizations seeking a comprehensive UDM solution.

While Aparavi has a REST API for integration, it lacks prebuilt connectors to third-party tools. This gap in interoperability could pose limitations, requiring additional development efforts for seamless integration with existing organizational infrastructures.

On the analytics front, the firm, while offering basic data search and reporting capabilities, lacks some of the more sophisticated analytics features compared to some competitors. Organizations with a specific focus on in-depth data insights and anomaly detection might find it necessary to supplement Aparavi with additional tools to meet their analytical requirements.

Purchase Considerations
When contemplating adoption of the company, potential customers should weigh several factors. Aparavi provides flexibility through both cloud-based and on-premises deployment options, accommodating organizations with diverse infrastructure preferences. To make an informed decision, it is crucial to consider your specific IT environment and security requirements when selecting a deployment model.

Additionally, Aparavi offers professional services tailored for the setup and optimization of your UDM environment. Opting for these services can be beneficial if you require assistance with tasks such as data migration, policy configuration, or user training. Firm’s pricing structure uses a tiered model based on data volume and storage needs. To align with your budget and requirements, carefully evaluate your data landscape and usage patterns to choose the most cost-effective pricing plan.

The company serves a diverse array of organizations grappling with UDM challenges. This includes enterprise businesses aiming to handle substantial data volumes across dispersed locations, ensuring compliance with data privacy regulations, and safeguarding sensitive information. Healthcare organizations benefit by securely storing and managing patient data, complying with HIPAA regulations, and facilitating data access for research and analytics. Financial institutions find value in Aparavi’s capabilities to identify and protect financial data, comply with PCI DSS and other financial regulations, and streamline data discovery for audits and investigations. Content-heavy organizations leverage Aparavi’s solutions to efficiently manage media assets such as images, videos, and documents, optimizing storage resources and enabling streamlined content search and retrieval.

Radar Chart Overview
Aparavi earns its position as a Challenger and Forward Mover, driven by its innovative data classification capabilities, intuitive user experience, and commitment to security and compliance. Its comprehensive approach to unstructured data governance and focus on breaking down silos position it to disrupt established players. Recent strategic moves enhancing both functionality and reporting demonstrate its forward momentum. While building out deeper analytics and wider integrations would offer an even stronger value proposition, Aparavi’s current offerings make it a choice worth considering for organizations seeking greater control of and visibility into their unstructured data.

Atempo, Miria

Solution Overview
The French software vendor is renowned for its expertise in data management. Miria, its flagship product, caters to diverse needs, from large monitoring and evaluation (M&E) companies and national archives to research centers and enterprises. In 2023, it shifted its enhancements focus from pure migration to broader data management, reflecting evolving market demands.

Since last year’s profile, Miria has expanded its capabilities and refined its focus, solidifying its position as a versatile solution for organizations grappling with data sprawl and compliance challenges.

It transforms unstructured data management with a unified and centralized platform offering a comprehensive suite of five core services. The analytics service facilitates the exploration and classification of data, enabling informed storage placement and cost reduction. Recent enhancements include tagging capabilities for targeted filtering and the initiation of direct data movement, marking a notable evolution since the previous year. Miria’s archiving service is designed to free up primary storage and ensure long-term data preservation. A significant addition is the integration with ML, enriching media archives with descriptive metadata, a feature introduced since last year’s report. The migration service facilitates the relocation of files with user rights across on-premises or cloud environments. Currently limited to

NAS and scale-out file systems, the development of FastScan technology is underway to expedite migration completion for object storage and cloud services. The backup service ensures the protection of files and unstructured storage against disasters, with improved quota management for backup and archive repositories, providing enhanced granularity and control. Lastly, the mobility service empowers users with secure, high-performance data movement and options for remote storage replication and synchronization. Miria’s integrated suite continues to evolve, offering a versatile and powerful solution for diverse data management needs.

Miria’s comprehensive suite addresses a wide range of data management needs, eliminating the need for multiple solutions. Company’s commitment to innovation is evident in features like ML integration and the upcoming erasure coding to tape for global data optimization across cloud platforms. The platform’s advanced analytics, including dynamic tagging and efficient data movement triggers, empowers users to make informed decisions. Performance enhancements like FastScan and optimized small file writing to tape contribute to efficient data movement. Miria’s compatibility extends to various storage platforms, with continuous updates reflecting its commitment to versatility.

Miria is less adept in ease of deployment, especially for on-premises setups, though efforts like “OneClickDeploy” services are underway. Moreover, competing with established players, such as IBM Storage Protect and Datadobi, in specific areas like HPC environments and backup requires better communication about Miria’s unique value proposition. The ongoing restructuring of documentation aims to simplify the documentation and provide clearer guidance for users less versed in technical details.

Purchase Considerations
Professional services may be necessary for complex deployments or extensive customization, despite Miria’s increasing user-friendliness. Investing in user training ensures optimal adoption and accelerates return on investment. Organizations will want to carefully consider Miria’s volume-based subscription model to align licensing with their own usage patterns. Consider on-premises, cloud, or hybrid deployment options based on specific infrastructure and security requirements.

Miria excels in various use cases, making it particularly well-suited for organizations engaged in large-scale data migrations or those requiring efficient file relocation across different storage tiers. It proves invaluable for companies navigating compliance mandates or seeking long-term data preservation solutions through its robust data archiving capabilities.

Additionally, the solution is adept at storage optimization, helping organizations reduce primary storage costs and optimize data placement across diverse storage platforms. Its flexibility shines in hybrid and multicloud environments, where it enables seamless management of unstructured data across both on-premises and cloud infrastructures. Furthermore, the solution caters to the particular needs of the media and entertainment industry by streamlining archive workflows and incorporating AI-powered metadata enrichment for efficient media asset management.

Radar Chart Overview
Miria is positioned as a Challenger and Fast Mover within the Innovation/Feature Play quadrant. Its evolution into a broader data management solution reflects its understanding of the changing market landscape. Recent updates focus on data analytics, and the incorporation of ML into archiving features demonstrate the platform’s forward trajectory. Miria’s strength lies in offering a multifaceted, centralized platform. However, a focus on simplifying deployment and strengthening its value proposition will be key to competing with established players moving forward.

BigID, BigID Data Intelligence Platform

Solution Overview

Founded in 2016, BigID has emerged as a prominent player in the data intelligence market, focusing on enabling organizations to unlock the full potential of their data while mitigating risks and ensuring compliance. With a commitment to open platforms and enterprise-grade scalability, it caters to Fortune 500 companies and large enterprises managing vast amounts of data.

It has focused on both organic growth and strategic partnerships in the past year. Notably, it entered into an OEM agreement with Cohesity, integrating its own technology within Cohesity DataHawk for data classification. Additionally, it expanded its integration portfolio with leading cloud platforms and security vendors.

The BigID Data Intelligence Platform is a comprehensive solution that empowers organizations to discover, classify, and govern their data across cloud, hybrid, and on-premises environments. It leverages advanced AI/ML capabilities to automate tasks, enhance accuracy, and drive actionable insights.

BigID is a single unified solution with multiple integrated applications that cater to diverse data management needs, from data discovery and classification, and privacy and compliance to security posture management and governance. It efficiently scans and catalogs both structured and unstructured data from diverse sources. The platform employs advanced sensitivity classification, blending traditional methods with AI/ML-powered techniques to accurately classify sensitive data. Centralizing risk detection, investigation, and mitigation, the data security posture management (DSPM) capabilities ensure holistic data security. Uniform Data Labeling & Tagging standardizes data labeling across platforms and frameworks, enhancing security and governance.

With prebuilt compliance policies and automated reporting, the privacy management, consent, and compliance app streamlines data management, enabling compliance with regulatory requirements. The data minimization and data retention modules ensure efficient data management by implementing data minimization and retention policies. Addressing security risks associated with user access and potential insider threats, the access intelligence and insider risk mitigation apps provide robust security measures. Leveraging data-centric zero trust principles, BigID restricts access to sensitive data. For rapid response to data breaches and ongoing risk monitoring, the platform offers breach impact minimization and security and risk reporting tools. Finally, the identity-driven insider risk breach response and data governance for LLMs capabilities facilitate efficient breach response and risk mitigation associated with LLMs through effective data governance.

BigID leverages its hyperscan technology to rapidly scan and catalog data sources. Advanced AI/ML algorithms then analyze the data to identify sensitive information, assign risk scores, recommend actions, and provide automatic remediation. Users can access insights and manage data through a user-friendly interface or integrate BigID with existing platforms for automated workflows.

BigID sets itself apart through its extensive functionality, covering a broad spectrum of data management capabilities, including discovery, classification, security, governance, and compliance. The platform stands out for its robust integration of AI/ML, using these technologies to automate tasks, enhance accuracy, and deliver actionable insights. Another distinguishing factor is its open platform, featuring an accessible API that allows for custom integrations and seamless extension of functionality. BigID’s focus on large enterprises is evident in its enterprise-grade scalability, making it well-suited for efficiently managing vast amounts of data and catering specifically to the needs of large organizations.

A number of BigID’s features are particularly compelling. Its feature-rich platform covers a wide range of data management needs from discovery to governance. It offers AI/ML-driven insights, which enhances accuracy and automates tasks for efficient data management. Its open platform facilitates customization and integrations with existing tools. And it is enterprise-ready, scalable, and secure enough to meet the needs of large organizations.

Despite its capabilities, BigID does have some areas that need improvement. The solution should be further simplified to enhance the user experience for business users. Although the company provides extensive documentation, this, too, needs to be simplified, with continued clarification and optimization to improve accessibility.

Purchase Considerations
When assessing this solution, there are a number of factors to consider. First, implementing BigID effectively may require professional services for customization, integration, and training, necessitating a clear understanding of the associated requirements. Moreover, given the comprehensive training and support resources offered by BigID, organizations may want to factor in costs for ongoing learning and assistance for staff.

Another crucial aspect is BigID’s flexibility with regard to deployment, with on-premises, cloud, and SaaS options, allowing alignment with organizational preferences and security requirements. Customers should also carefully evaluate licensing models, which vary based on deployment choices and the specific modules selected, to ensure a tailored fit for the organization’s needs.

The solution caters to diverse needs, offering features like data mapping for comprehensive insights, secure cloud migration, and data lifecycle management. It excels in data minimization, identifying and removing redundant sensitive data to reduce storage needs and risks. Insider risk mitigation ensures threat detection, and centralized data security posture management enables proactive risk management. Incorporating zero-trust principles, the solution protects sensitive information, while robust unstructured data management supports compliance, security, search, and business intelligence goals.

Radar Chart Overview
BigID solidifies its position as a Leader in the Innovation/Feature Play quadrant with its comprehensive Data Intelligence Platform. The focus on extensive features and a unified platform approach resonates with large enterprises seeking advanced data discovery, classification, and governance capabilities. Continuous innovation, including AI/ML advancements and strategic partnerships, drives its classification as a Fast Mover. Despite complexity in deployment and documentation, BigID effectively addresses evolving data governance demands within complex enterprise environments.

Cohesity, Cohesity Data Cloud Platform

Solution Overview
Cohesity, a leader in AI-powered data security and management, has a rapidly growing presence and customer base. Founded in 2013, the company has garnered recognition for its innovative platform and focus on delivering robust data protection and management solutions for modern enterprises.

It delivers a multicloud data platform called Cohesity Data Cloud that simplifies and secures unstructured data management across on-premises, cloud-native, and SaaS environments. It combines comprehensive data protection, management, and security capabilities in a single unified platform, offering organizations centralized control and enhanced data insights. Data Cloud empowers diverse use cases, from backup and recovery to file and object data management, threat intelligence, and data analytics.

Data Cloud is not simply a single product but rather a suite of integrated offerings encompassing:

  • SmartFiles, which provides unified file and object data management for file shares, object stores, and backup targets.
  • DataProtect, for backup and recovery for diverse workloads, including VMs, databases, and applications.
  • DataHawk, for AI-powered threat intelligence and data classification for proactive security.
  • FortKnox, for secure data vaulting and air-gapped protection against ransomware and cyberattacks.
  • Cohesity Data Insights, which provides data analytics capabilities for enhanced data utilization and business insights.

However, Data Cloud operates as a single platform, managed through a unified Helios interface. This centralized approach streamlines data management tasks and provides visibility across all protected data.

Cohesity stands out as a data management powerhouse with a unified platform, consolidating various data needs into a single, efficient system. Its cloud-agnostic approach ensures adaptability through multicloud and hybrid deployments, granting organizations flexibility. The incorporation of AI-powered security underscores firm’s commitment to advanced threat detection and protection. Scalability and performance are notable strengths, with the solution able to efficiently manage substantial data volumes without compromising performance. Additionally, the vendor provides valuable data insights, enabling informed data governance decisions. These strengths, complemented by a robust partner ecosystem and a dedication to innovation, position the company as an enticing choice for those seeking a unified and secure data management platform.

While Cohesity demonstrates significant strengths, areas for improvement include market awareness, especially in APAC and EMEA, where brand recognition lags behind North America. The ISV partner ecosystem could be enhanced to match competitors, both in breadth and depth. Additionally, initial costs for comprehensive deployments could be high compared to point-product solutions. Addressing these challenges is pivotal for solidifying Cohesity’s leadership in the dynamic data management landscape.

Purchase Considerations
For organizations considering Cohesity, professional services might be required for complex initial deployments. Ongoing training is advisable to maximize platform utilization and bolster security. The firm offers on-premises, cloud-based, or SaaS deployment options. Evaluate flexible licensing to align with specific organizational needs. Careful consideration of these factors and engaging with the company will lead to an optimal configuration and a sound investment for your organization.

Cohesity is a versatile solution catering to a broad spectrum of use cases across industries. It excels in data protection and recovery, offering robust backup and disaster recovery capabilities for VMM, databases, and applications. Additionally, it provides comprehensive solutions for data management and security, including unified file and object storage, advanced data classification, and effective threat protection. The platform facilitates data insights and analytics, allowing organizations to extract valuable insights regarding data usage, optimize storage resources, and make informed, data-driven decisions. Furthermore, Cohesity ensures seamless cloud migration and consolidation, supporting efficient data migration and management across both on-premises and cloud environments. This comprehensive suite of capabilities positions Cohesity as a versatile and adaptive solution for organizations with a wide range of data management requirements.

Radar Chart Overview
Data Cloud Platform is positioned as a Leader in the Innovation/Feature Play quadrant because of its unified approach to data security and management. A focus on robust protection, centralized control, and AI-powered threat intelligence distinguishes its offering. Consistent expansion with new features and strategic cloud partnerships showcases its Outperformer status. As Cohesity addresses brand awareness in expanding markets and navigates ISV ecosystem growth, its potential to further disrupt the data management landscape remains strong.

CTERA, Insights and Global Reach

Solution Overview
Founded in 2008, the company has established itself as a leader in the global file system market with its focus on security, scalability, and innovation.

It delivers a cloud-native global file system platform that empowers enterprises to manage unstructured data across on-premises, cloud, and edge environments. It combines global data access with data protection, insights, and governance capabilities, ensuring optimal performance, robust security, and actionable data intelligence. CTERA’s platform comprises various components, including edge filers, a central portal, endpoint clients, and data analysis services, offering a unified data management experience.

The platform is composed of several key components:

  • CTERA Portal: Facilitating data protection, provisioning, and monitoring of the global file system, this platform acts as the central hub for administration and analytics.
  • CTERA Edge Filer: Deployed on-premises or in the cloud, these physical or virtual appliances streamline remote site access and accelerate data transfer.
  • CTERA Drive: Enabling file access, sharing, and data protection directly from user devices, these software applications are endpoint clients for workstations.
  • CTERA Insight: Delivering advanced data visualization, analytics, and trend analysis, this is an add-on SaaS service that empowers informed data governance decisions.

This multicomponent architecture allows the company to cater to diverse user needs and adapt to a variety of deployment models.

A notable highlight is firm’s military-grade security, distinguished by the possession of the only DISA-certified global file system. This certification underpins unparalleled security, featuring end-to-end encryption, private key management, and a zero-trust architecture—an ideal choice for government agencies and organizations with stringent security prerequisites.

Offering multicloud and hybrid flexibility, CTERA supports deployment across diverse cloud providers while seamlessly integrating with on-premises infrastructure. This agility empowers organizations to opt for the most cost-effective and performance-optimized cloud solutions based on their unique requirements. The firm effortlessly scales to manage data for multiple entities, making it suitable for large enterprises and service providers with its scalability and multitenancy prowess.

It actively invests in AI-powered innovation, incorporating features like ransomware detection and data anomaly detection. This proactive approach keeps the solution ahead of emerging cybersecurity threats, enhancing overall data protection capabilities. Going beyond simple file management, CTERA offers comprehensive data services, encompassing data migration tools, integrated backup and disaster recovery, and data management workflows. This holistic approach delivers a complete data governance solution, further amplifying CTERA’s prowess in the data management realm.

Additionally, in the realm of access protocols, SMB/NFS support is readily available and now native S3 access is as well. This allows integration with certain cloud-native applications and data pipelines.

While the company exhibits excellence across various dimensions, there are areas that present opportunities for refinement. Notably, content indexing and data classification, although strong, are offered as add-ons. This potentially increases licensing costs for organizations requiring these advanced features. Recognizing and addressing these considerations ensures a nuanced understanding of vendor’s strengths and opportunities for enhancement within the dynamic data management landscape.

Purchase Considerations
When assessing CTERA, specific criteria should guide the evaluation process. For organizations with rigorous security demands, company’s military-grade security features stand unparalleled. Its adaptability across on-premises, cloud, and hybrid deployments accommodates diverse infrastructure environments. For those with advanced data governance needs, careful consideration of potential add-on costs for data classification and comprehensive protection services is essential. Complex deployments or extensive customization may require professional services and training. Thoroughly evaluating licensing options and deployment models ensures a cost-effective alignment with organizational requirements.

The firm addresses various use cases, providing primary and secondary cloud file services, streamlined content collaboration for remote teams, secure data pipelines for unstructured data transfer to cloud data lakes, scalable media storage, and military-grade security for government and defense applications. This diverse range of industry-specific solutions positions the vendor as a versatile choice for a broad clientele.

Radar Chart Overview
Firm’s cloud-native platform presents as a strong Challenger to established Leaders within the Platform Play space. Prioritizing edge management, collaboration, and security, it excels in distributed enterprise environments. Its recent simplification of licensing, zero-trust approach, and integration with popular cloud services demonstrate agility and market responsiveness, earning it the Fast Mover designation. As CTERA expands its AI-powered capabilities and strengthens content indexing, it has the potential to move further along the innovation trajectory and further bolster its leadership position.

Data Dynamics, Unified Unstructured Data Management Platform

Solution Overview
Founded in 2000, Data Dynamics is well-established in the UDM space. The company has a strong focus on innovation and regularly adds new features and capabilities to its platform. It empowers organizations to gain control over their unstructured data, optimize storage costs, mitigate security risks, and unlock insights through AI/ML-powered analytics.

It offers a comprehensive Unified Unstructured Data Management Software (UUDM) for managing petabyte-scale data across on-premises, cloud, and hybrid environments. The platform encompasses three core solutions: StorageX (data location optimization and migration), Insight AnalytiX (privacy risk classification), and ControlX (data exposure risk remediation).

The UDM solution’s 3 key components operate as follows. StorageX optimizes data placement across storage systems and locations, using AI/ML for automated metadata tagging and supporting policy-based management. Insight AnalytiX identifies and classifies personally identifiable information (PII) through AI/ML and keyword recognition, generating detailed analytics reports to guide remediation efforts. ControlX mitigates risk through data isolation, quarantine, and re-permissioning, maintaining an immutable audit trail with blockchain technology and seamless integration with existing workflows through RESTful APIs for enhanced security and automation.

The company positions itself as a data management powerhouse with its robust UUDMP. This comprehensive software integrates data analytics, security, compliance, and mobility, offering organizations a holistic solution. Advanced AI/ML features set Data Dynamics apart, with automated tagging, business sensitive and PII classifications for superior data intelligence and risk management. The platform’s broad storage coverage ensures flexibility, supporting data across various storage systems, including on-premises, cloud, and hybrid environments. With policy-based management and immutable audit logging, The firm facilitates efficient data governance through automation and centralized policies. The platform further excels in offering strong data movement options, providing organizations with the flexibility to optimize storage costs and enhance performance.

Despite its strengths, the vendor faces some challenges. The platform’s primary focus on unstructured data may limit its appeal to organizations with significant structured data management needs, potentially requiring separate solutions. Moreover, while it’s well-established in the industry, it may not enjoy the same brand recognition as larger competitors, which affects market awareness. Integration complexity could be a hurdle, as implementing the full UUDMP across diverse environments may demand IT expertise and upfront investment.

Purchase Considerations
Ideal candidates for Data Dynamics are organizations dealing with large volumes of unstructured data across multilocation environments. Those prioritizing strong data security, privacy features, and AI/ML-powered insights will find Data Dynamics to be a valuable solution. The flexibility of deployment options, including SaaS and on-premises deployment, caters to diverse organizational needs.

The solution is aptly tailored for diverse use cases, including data migration and optimization, offering the potential to reduce storage costs, enhance data access, and streamline cloud adoption processes. It excels in addressing data security and privacy compliance concerns by mitigating risks associated with data exposure, safeguarding business sensitive data and PII and ensuring adherence to regulatory requirements. Additionally, the solution proves valuable for AI/ML-powered data analytics, unlocking insights from unstructured data to fuel business intelligence, research endeavors, and innovation. With a focus on hybrid cloud data management, it enables organizations to oversee data across on-premises and cloud environments, providing centralized control for efficient and cohesive data management strategies.

Radar Chart Overview
The vendor is positioned in the Maturity/Platform Play quadrant. It demonstrates extensive experience with its approach to complex UDM challenges. Established within the industry, it actively responds to evolving regulations and prioritizes secure hybrid cloud data management. As a Fast Mover, Data Dynamics’ consistent software updates, including advanced AI/ML analytics, business intelligence, and actionability keep its offering relevant. While complexity within the platform could deter some IT groups, for organizations who have the resources to manage it, the company provides a unified solution for unstructured data analysis, security, compliance, and migration – potentially disrupting established Leaders within this space.

Datadobi, StorageMAP

Solution Overview
Datadobi is a global leader in vendor-neutral UDM solutions. Founded in 2007, it has a loyal customer base across various industries and specializes in helping organizations tame the chaos of unstructured data. Through its flagship offering, StorageMAP, it empowers businesses to manage, analyze, and optimize their data with unparalleled scale and efficiency.

In the past year, the company has solidified its position through significant advances. Key improvements include enhanced FinOps features, through which integration with cost management platforms and expanded carbon footprint tracking in StorageMAP offer increased value for budget-conscious organizations. Furthermore, the platform now has advanced migration capabilities, supporting concurrent multiprotocol access and WORM data migrations to cater to the complexities of enterprise environments.

StorageMAP enables organizations to gain deep insights and orchestrate actions across their sprawling unstructured data estate. It tackles critical challenges like cost optimization, risk mitigation, and compliance by unlocking the hidden value within files and objects. Through powerful metadata analytics, data movement capabilities, and FinOps features, StorageMAP helps businesses maximize data efficiency and make informed decisions about their information assets.

StorageMAP is a single, comprehensive solution for comprehensive unstructured data management. It goes beyond basic discovery and reporting, offering deep metadata analysis, powerful data movement capabilities, and automated actions based on user-defined policies. This approach positions StorageMAP as a central hub for all data management needs, eliminating the need for multiple point solutions.

StorageMAP stands out with its orchestration capabilities, excelling in data movement and replication. Supporting various migration scenarios, including file-to-file, file-to-object, and object-to-object, the platform empowers organizations to optimize storage usage, comply with regulatory requirements, and ensure data accessibility. Its granular analytics, fueled by DQL (Datadobi Query Language) and tag-based organization, enables users to delve deep into metadata. This feature facilitates easy location of specific data sets, identification of sensitive information, and tracking of data usage, enabling informed, data-driven decisions.

Cost and carbon consciousness are integral to StorageMAP, which integrates FinOps features that track data-related costs and carbon footprint. This ensures organizations can optimize storage use, reduce unnecessary expenditure, and align with sustainability goals. The platform’s lightweight and scalable design, with an out-of-band architecture and minimal VM requirements, makes it resource-friendly and easily adaptable to diverse environments, from small-scale deployments to large enterprise data lakes.

In addition, its roadmap reflects a strong commitment to innovation, with planned additions such as customized dashboards, end-user API interaction, and AI/ML enhancements, demonstrating Datadobi’s proactive approach to evolving data management needs.

While StorageMAP excels in data movement, it currently lacks some built-in security features, like anomaly detection, ransomware protection, and AI/ML-powered security functions. This may be a consideration for organizations with stringent security needs. Additionally, compliance capabilities are on the roadmap, with features for regulatory adherence and document classification planned but not yet available, potentially impacting organizations facing immediate compliance challenges. Moreover, the user interface, while providing valuable insights, could benefit from customizable dashboards and self-service functionalities for specific user roles to enhance overall usability and workflow efficiency.

To strengthen its position as a central hub for data management, the vendor could also explore expanding ecosystem integrations through partnerships with cloud providers and data governance platforms. These enhancements would not only fortify Datadobi’s current standing but also position it well for future growth and industry leadership.

Purchase Considerations
The company offers comprehensive professional services and training packages to ensure a smooth implementation of StorageMAP and maximize user adoption. These resources become essential for complex deployments or organizations new to data management best practices. StorageMAP offers a flexible subscription-based licensing model, aligning costs with data usage and eliminating upfront capital expenditures. While the platform caters to a broad range of industries and organization sizes, organizations with highly specialized data management requirements may need to consider niche competitors.

The Datadobi solution caters to diverse use cases, including data migration and consolidation, for which StorageMAP streamlines data movement across various storage platforms, optimizing storage utilization, improving data accessibility, and ensuring compliance. For organizations prioritizing both cost optimization and carbon reduction, FinOps features within StorageMAP identify and eliminate unnecessary data storage, leading to significant cost savings and a minimized carbon footprint, aligning with sustainability goals. StorageMAP excels in data discovery and governance, providing powerful search capabilities and tag-based organization to enable users to identify, classify, and manage data effectively, thereby enhancing data governance and ensuring regulatory compliance. Furthermore, for big data analytics and AI/ML integration, StorageMAP’s data pipelines and APIs facilitate seamless integration with big data platforms and AI/ML tools, empowering organizations to harness unstructured data for advanced analytics and ML initiatives.

Radar Chart Overview
StorageMAP offers focused innovation as an Entrant within the Innovation/Platform Play quadrant. Robust data movement capabilities, advanced metadata analytics, and its integration with FinOps are a clear value proposition. A focus on cost and carbon footprint reduction alongside a commitment to Innovation positions the vendor as a Forward Mover. As it addresses evolving security needs and broadens its platform integrations, it has the potential to evolve into a major contender within this space.

Dell Technologies, Dell DataIQ

Solution Overview
Dell is a global leader in infrastructure and technology solutions, serving businesses of all sizes across various industries. With a focus on innovation and open ecosystems, it aims to empower organizations to reach their full potential through data-driven insights and cutting-edge technology.

It empowers organizations to tame their unstructured data sprawl through a comprehensive suite of solutions, with DataIQ as its central intelligence hub. DataIQ goes beyond basic data storage by providing deep insights, optimizing data placement, and facilitating secure data movement across diverse platforms and cloud environments. This holistic approach helps businesses unlock the hidden value within their data, improve efficiency, and make informed decisions.

The heart of Dell’s data management portfolio, DataIQ offers unified visibility and control over unstructured data across on-premises, cloud, and hybrid environments. In addition, the suite includes a number of integrated offerings. DataIQ Core provides in-depth data analysis, data movement capabilities, and features for cost optimization. PowerScale integration enables advanced monitoring and management specifically tailored for PowerScale scale-out file systems.

The integration of ECS delivers profound insights and lifecycle management for ECS object storage platforms, and Isilon integration enhances the performance and management capabilities of Isilon NAS systems. The suite is further enriched by data movers and plugins, which streamline data movement processes and unlock additional functionalities such as anomaly detection and compliance checks. In essence, DataIQ serves as a versatile and comprehensive solution within Dell’s data management ecosystem, addressing a range of needs and ensuring efficient control over unstructured data throughout various storage environments.

DataIQ operates as a software-based solution, deployable on-premises or as a virtual machine. Its modular architecture allows seamless integration with Dell’s storage portfolio and third-party solutions, creating a powerful data management ecosystem.

DataIQ stands out with its unparalleled visibility, offering powerful search and indexing capabilities that provide immediate insight into data usage, location, and classification across platforms. This capability empowers organizations to identify valuable assets, optimize storage use, and enhance overall data governance. Additionally, DataIQ excels in cost and carbon optimization by tracking storage costs and carbon footprint, aligning with current green IT trends and enabling businesses to save money while minimizing environmental impact. The platform’s modular architecture, diverse deployment options, and seamless integration with Dell’s storage portfolio and third-party solutions provide flexibility, scalability, and an open ecosystem, further contributing to its strengths.

Despite its strengths, DataIQ faces some challenges. While it offers encryption and basic access controls, the platform currently lacks built-in anomaly detection, ransomware protection, and AI/ML-powered security. This may lessen its appeal for organizations with stringent security requirements. Additionally, there are compliance gaps. Though DataIQ provides data classification and tagging, it lacks specific features for regulatory compliance (GDPR, HIPAA, and so forth), which may be a concern for organizations dealing with strict data privacy or sovereignty regulations. Improving user interface granularity for enhanced usability and workflow efficiency is another challenge to address.

Purchase Considerations
Organizations considering DataIQ should take advantage of Dell’s comprehensive professional services and training packages to ensure a smooth implementation and maximize user adoption. These resources are particularly beneficial for complex deployments or organizations new to data management. DataIQ’s subscription-based licensing, typically priced annually based on data managed, aligns costs with data usage, minimizing upfront capital expenditures. While DataIQ caters to diverse industries and organization sizes, organizations with highly specialized data management needs may need to explore niche competitors to ensure a precise fit for their requirements.

UDM solution DataIQ proves highly suitable for a range of use cases. For data migration and consolidation, it efficiently streamlines data movement across platforms, allowing organizations to optimize storage use, enhance data accessibility, and ensure compliance. In terms of cost optimization and sustainability, DataIQ’s features for cost and carbon tracking enable businesses to pinpoint and eliminate unnecessary data storage, resulting in substantial cost savings and a reduced environmental impact, aligning with sustainability goals. Additionally, for organizations focused on advanced analytics and AI/ML integration, DataIQ’s data pipelines and APIs integrate with big data platforms and AI/ML tools, empowering them to harness unstructured data for advanced analytics and ML initiatives. Lastly, for data governance and compliance, DataIQ’s robust search and classification capabilities actively support data governance efforts and enhance adherence to regulatory requirements.

Radar Chart Overview
DataIQ stands as a strong Challenger within the Maturity/Platform Play quadrant, demonstrating stability in core features alongside rapid development with targeted acquisitions and cloud strategy. Advanced data visibility, cost and carbon footprint tracking, and flexible deployment options are noteworthy strengths. Dell’s emphasis on addressing security gaps and evolving their AI/ML integration showcase both its Fast Mover trajectory and focus on future expansion. As this platform enhances regulatory compliance and broadens industry-specific offerings, its leadership potential within the Platform Play market will further solidify.

Druva, Data Resiliency Cloud

Solution Overview
Druva, a data resilience leader, empowers businesses to confidently manage their unstructured data across diverse environments. In 2023, it acquired Data Dynamics, showcasing its commitment to comprehensive data management solutions.

Druva’s Data Resiliency Cloud has gone beyond mere backup, evolving into a unified data management platform. It centralizes control across diverse sources, from endpoints and data centers to SaaS applications and AWS workloads. This SaaS-based solution simplifies data governance, empowers advanced search of unstructured data, and safeguards against threats with intelligent security features. Whether aiming for seamless recovery, boosting compliance, or unlocking data insights, Druva empowers organizations to harness their data confidently.

Data Resiliency Cloud is a comprehensive suite of integrated offerings, with data protection and recovery that provides centralized backup, disaster recovery, and ransomware protection across diverse workloads. Its data governance and management capabilities include advanced metadata analytics, federated search, and content-based recommendations, facilitating efficient data management and ensuring compliance. Leveraging insights and AI/ML, the platform incorporates anomaly detection, storage optimization, data privacy features, and enhanced ransomware protection. Moreover, Druva offers both cloud and hybrid deployment models, which support SaaS deployment and offer flexibility and scalability for organizations operating in hybrid cloud environments.

Company’s unified platform differentiates it from siloed backup solutions. Its focus on AI/ML-powered insights, content-based recommendations, and advanced security sets it apart.

Druva differentiates itself with a unified data management approach, streamlining data governance and reducing complexity across diverse environments. Its powerful search and analytics capabilities unlock hidden insights, facilitating compliance through federated search and advanced metadata analytics. Firm’s commitment to AI/ML innovation ensures proactive security measures, efficient resource utilization, and heightened data privacy. With a security-first focus, the platform incorporates robust features like ransomware protection and immutability, ensuring resilient data.

While Druva offers robust features, it may still be perceived primarily as a backup solution. Proactive efforts are needed to showcase the platform’s comprehensive capabilities. Additionally, although the company provides solid features, more user-driven customization options for dashboards and reports could enhance usability.

Purchase Considerations
Prospective buyers should consider Druva’s professional services and training programs to ensure a smooth implementation and maximize user adoption. The platform’s subscription-based licensing, with flexible models based on data volume and features, simplifies budgeting and avoids upfront capital expenses. Organizations prioritizing cloud deployment will find Druva’s SaaS approach advantageous compared with on-premises solutions.

The solution is capably designed for a variety of use cases. In data center and cloud consolidation, it excels in streamlining data management across hybrid environments, optimizing storage use, and improving data accessibility. Offering robust capabilities in ransomware protection and disaster recovery, the solution proactively defends against cyberattacks and ensures swift recovery from disruptive events. For organizations emphasizing data governance and compliance, the solution provides centralized control over data, simplifies compliance audits, and ensures adherence to regulatory requirements. Moreover, its proficiency in advanced analytics and AI integration empowers users to leverage data insights for informed decision-making and unlock the full potential of unstructured data, enhancing overall operational efficiency.

Radar Chart Overview
Data Resilience Cloud presents a compelling case within the Innovation/Platform Play quadrant. As a strong Challenger, Druva goes beyond basic backup, incorporating a unified approach to data protection, governance, and AI-powered insights across diverse enterprise workloads. Its recent strategic acquisition and ongoing dedication to cutting-edge security solutions places it solidly as a Fast Mover. Continuous improvements with an expanded focus on cloud integrations and proactive cyber mitigation further underscore its trajectory within the increasingly competitive market.

Google, Elastifile

Solution Overview
Google Cloud, a leader in cloud computing, acquired Elastifile in 2019 to bolster its cloud file storage capabilities. This integration leverages Google’s infrastructure and expertise to offer Elastifile as a managed service within the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) ecosystem.

Elastifile is a high-performance, scalable, and enterprise-grade file storage solution built on GCP. It delivers POSIX-compliant NFS file services for demanding workloads in data analytics, media rendering, genomics processing, financial modeling, and electronic design automation. It offers a seamless cloud-native experience, simplifying data management and optimizing infrastructure costs.

It is a comprehensive suite of integrated components rather than a single product. Within this suite, data containers serve as scalable units, offering independent control over performance and capacity for user data storage. The data fabric component connects these data containers across regions and cloud providers, facilitating global data access and enabling disaster recovery measures. The management console, accessible through a web-based interface, provides a centralized platform for provisioning, monitoring, and managing Elastifile infrastructure. Additionally, programmatic interfaces in the form of a REST API and a command-line interface (CLI) are available, enabling automated deployment and seamless integration with other tools within the Elastifile ecosystem.

The product differs from traditional file systems with its use of Google’s distributed infrastructure and software-defined approach. This enables rapid scaling, granular control, and cost-efficient resource utilization.

Elastifile’s excellent performance stands out in the storage landscape, delivering millions of IOPS and GB/s of throughput, surpassing traditional NAS solutions. Its scalability and elasticity allow seamless growth to meet evolving data storage needs, eliminating hardware limitations. With cloud-native integration deeply rooted in GCP, Elastifile offers simplified deployment, management, and cost optimization. The platform has enterprise-grade features, including data integrity checks, snapshots, replication, and access control, ensuring comprehensive data protection. Embracing a cost-effective pay-as-you-go pricing model, it eliminates upfront capital expenses and scales efficiently with usage.

Elastifile, despite its association with Google, is not well known compared to established on-premises file storage solutions, and it likely lacks some advanced features present in mature competitors, such as data tiering or deeper integration with specific industry-standard applications. Potential vendor lock-in could pose challenges during data migration, potentially being more complex compared to open source platforms.

Purchase Considerations
Organizations should evaluate their technical requirements, ensuring Elastifile’s performance and scaling capabilities align with workload demands. A careful assessment of Elastifile’s cloud adoption strategy is also essential to ensure compatibility with existing or planned cloud migration initiatives. Customers can choose between Google Cloud’s managed service or a self-managed deployment on their infrastructure. Support and training resources are available to provide comprehensive assistance for effective adoption and management of Elastifile.

It is a versatile solution that is suitable for a wide variety of use cases. In HPC, its scalability and low latency render it ideal for managing data-intensive workloads. For media and entertainment, it streamlines workflows by providing fast file access and global data distribution capabilities. In life sciences research, the solution efficiently stores and analyzes large genomic datasets. In financial services, it safeguards financial data through robust security features and access controls. And in engineering and design, it facilitates collaborative workflows and seamless access to large design files.

Radar Chart Overview
Google is positioned in the Innovation/Feature Play quadrant; it offers a compelling case with its high-performance cloud-native storage solution. This focus drives the vendor into the Fast Mover and Challenger positions as it tackles traditional on-premises solutions. Deep integration with GCP simplifies deployment and optimizes costs, emphasizing its position on the Feature Play side. While brand awareness within the enterprise storage and management market is growing, further market penetration is needed to establish Google Elastifile as a mainstream contender.

Hammerspace, Global Data Environment

Solution Overview
Hammerspace Global Data Environment (GDE) is designed to navigate the intricate challenges associated with today’s extensive and decentralized data environments. By consolidating access and automating management across diverse storage silos, platforms, and locations, GDE leverages data in place on existing storage to create a cross-platform Parallel Global File System, which establishes a global namespace accessible through protocols such as SMB, NFS, and S3. This allows users to experience file access as local, regardless of where the files are actually stored. Intelligent policy implementations facilitate data movement, optimizing performance, enhancing security, and managing costs by not creating data copy proliferation. The result manifests as accelerated insights, heightened operational efficiency, and reduced storage complexities.

Established in 2018, Hammerspace is a notable player in unstructured data management, with the recent acquisition of Rozo Systems augmenting its capabilities through the integration of high-performance erasure coding technology. Firm’s core strengths lie in unified data management, dissolving traditional storage silos to provide a panoramic global perspective. Automated data orchestration, propelled by policy-driven automation, and high-performance data access differentiate the vendor from conventional siloed solutions. The acquisition of Rozo Systems and the recent platform update (Release 5) emphasize Hammerspace’s dedication to operational efficiency and user experience, solidifying its standing in the evolving landscape of UDM.

The company excels in delivering a cohesive, single-pane view of data, irrespective of its location or storage specifics. This capability streamlines data access and control, dismantling traditional data silos and fostering a unified approach that transcends geographical and storage barriers. The company overcomes challenges of copy proliferation when managing data outside, or across, the storage silo. Unifying data into a single global filesystem, data can be accessed by anyone or any application with appropriate permissions, from anywhere, without creating redundant or forked copies of the data.

A key strength lies in Hammerspace’s implementation of intelligent policies, intricately automating data movements, placements, and tiering. This not only reduces operational effort but optimizes the entire data lifecycle management process, ensuring efficiency and precision.

Facilitated by a parallel global file system which creates a vendor-neutral metadata control plane, GDE ensures swift and efficient data access, minimizing latency and heightening productivity – a critical advantage for organizations relying on rapid data retrieval and processing capabilities.

The vendor faces challenges in providing extensive content-based search and visibility, relying on third-party tools for full-content indexing. While featuring strong access controls, it lacks native security enhancements such as data loss prevention (DLP) and ransomware protection. These challenges indicate that ideal users may prioritize consolidating data silos and improving global file access over advanced analytics or built-in security automation. Despite potential complexity, organizations leveraging third-party tools for security, compliance, and analytics can benefit from Hammerspace’s robust automation and scalability in large-scale, multilocation deployments.

Purchase Considerations
GDE’s standout feature is its seamless scalability, accommodating burgeoning data volumes and diverse storage environments. The solution offers flexible deployment options, including cloud, on-premises, and hybrid models, positioning Hammerspace as a versatile choice for organizations navigating varied data requirements and infrastructural landscapes. Professional services, training options, and comprehensive support are available. GDE is offered through a subscription-based licensing model.

It is a versatile solution addressing data management challenges across industries. In media and entertainment, it streamlines global collaboration, ensuring efficient workflows and intelligent tiering for optimized storage. In healthcare, it unifies storage across facilities, enabling quick and secure access to patient data for informed medical decisions while complying with regulations. For R&D, especially in scientific computing and engineering modeling, it tackles performance bottlenecks, facilitates data access, and streamlines migration between storage layers. In manufacturing and engineering, it ensures centralized access to design files, addressing security concerns and enabling collaborative version control. In financial services, it consolidates data, streamlining access to transaction logs and audit data, with enhanced security and compliance features. Beyond industry specifics, Hammerspace breaks data silos, enables global teams, ensures compliance, and optimizes storage costs.

Radar Chart Overview
GDE challenges the limitations of legacy storage silos by embracing a unified, policy-driven approach to data access and distribution. As a Challenger, it delivers high-performance and automated data placement across multisite and hybrid cloud environments. The recent acquisition and integration of new erasure coding technologies demonstrate ongoing strategic growth and an emphasis on innovation, earning it the Fast Mover classification. Hammerspace’s vision and continued investment positions it as a strong disruptor and visionary within the Innovation/Platform Play quadrant.

Hitachi Vantara, Hitachi Content Platform

Solution Overview
A global leader in data technologies, Hitachi Vantara empowers organizations to harness their data for competitive advantage. Through its comprehensive portfolio of data management solutions, including those that handle unstructured data management, it helps businesses optimize data use, enhance security, and unlock new levels of innovation. With a long-standing commitment to innovation and customer success, it delivers reliable, scalable, and intelligent solutions to tackle the evolving challenges of the data-driven world.

Company’s UDM portfolio includes Hitachi Ops Center Protector for data protection and copy management, Hitachi Content Platform for object storage, Hitachi Content Intelligence for optimizing and augmenting data and metadata, Hitachi Content Software for File for high-performance file storage, and HCP Anywhere Enterprise for protecting and sharing data among far-flung users. More than just storage, the portfolio empowers organizations to manage, govern, secure, and make use of their unstructured data across on-premises, cloud, and hybrid environments. With features like intelligent data placement, automated workflows, AI-driven ransomware protection, and compliance enforcement, Hitachi’s solutions offer a streamlined path to maximizing data insights and driving business value.

UDM portfolio addresses various facets of unstructured data management:

  • Hitachi Content Platform is the core of the portfolio and a highly scalable object storage solution offering flexible deployment options (appliance, software, cloud) and robust data protection features. It empowers organizations to store, protect, and access critical data efficiently.
  • Hitachi Content Intelligence (HCI) is an intelligent data management engine that acts as the brains of the operation, enriching metadata, automating workflows, and enabling advanced data governance functions like classification, tagging, and lineage tracking. HCI unleashes the hidden value within unstructured data, transforming it into actionable insights.
  • Hitachi Content Software for File is a high-performance parallel file system that integrates with Hitachi Content Platform, offering unmatched performance for demanding workloads while leveraging the scalability and efficiency of object storage. Hitachi Content Software for File bridges the gap between traditional file systems and the modern world of object storage.
  • HCP Anywhere Enterprise is a file cloud gateway that extends Hitachi Content Platform’s reach to the edge, enabling users to easily access and manage data located outside the central repository. It features advanced ransomware protection and integrates with Hitachi Content Intelligence for streamlined data governance even at the edge.
  • Ops Center Protector is a copy data management solution that empowers organizations to create secure backups, enforce data governance policies, and rapidly recover from ransomware attacks.

Hitachi’s comprehensive portfolio covers all facets of data management, providing organizations with a convenient one-stop shop for their unstructured data needs. What sets the company apart is its intelligent data management, particularly with HCI, which transforms static data assets into dynamic insights through automated workflows and AI-driven capabilities. Firm’s hybrid cloud agility ensures adaptability, catering to both on-premises and cloud environments, providing organizations with the flexibility to evolve their data infrastructure as needed. Notably, Content Platform Anywhere Enterprise offers advanced ransomware protection, safeguarding data against evolving cyber threats.

The complexity of Hitachi’s multitude of integrated solutions may pose difficulties for smaller organizations, potentially requiring additional investment in training and expertise. Moreover, while the solution does offer advanced data management capabilities, additional investments in automation could improve ease of use and help eliminate manual configuration tasks for streamlined deployment and management. Additionally, the comprehensive nature of Hitachi’s solutions might incur higher upfront costs compared to some point-product competitors, a consideration for organizations with specific budget constraints.

Purchase Considerations
Organizations with significant unstructured data volumes are ideal customers for Hitachi’s solutions. Though the solutions are generally user-friendly, some might require specific technical skills or additional training for optimal utilization. For those planning to leverage hybrid or multicloud environments, Hitachi’s flexible deployment options align well with a strategic approach to data infrastructure requiring seamless integration across on-premises and cloud environments.

UDM portfolio addresses diverse use cases across industries. Its data protection and backup features ensure secure storage and archiving, and include disaster recovery and ransomware protection. The platform excels in data compliance and governance, enforcing policies, regulations, and retention requirements through automated workflows and intelligent data classification. Additionally, UDM empowers organizations with data analytics and AI capabilities, facilitating the extraction of valuable insights from unstructured data through seamless integration with analytics platforms and AI frameworks.

Radar Chart Overview
With a diverse suite of interconnected solutions aimed at UDM, Hitachi Vantara retains its position as a Leader within the Maturity/Platform Play quadrant. A commitment to advanced data intelligence, particularly within Content Intelligence, underscores its position. Ongoing product updates ensure Hitachi provides seamless hybrid cloud integration alongside advanced ransomware protection features, showcasing its Fast Mover designation. While complexity still presents a potential barrier, for established enterprise environments seeking scalable storage, unified protection, and streamlined compliance capabilities, Hitachi remains a compelling choice.


Solution Overview
Hewlett Packard Enterprise is a global technology leader offering a broad range of IT solutions. In recent years, it has prioritized innovation in data management and analytics.

It empowers organizations to transform their vast stores of unstructured data into valuable business insights. Its comprehensive suite, spanning storage, backup, and AI-driven analytics, eliminates data silos, simplifies management, and unlocks actionable intelligence from previously untapped resources. From sensor logs and video feeds to medical images and social media data, the company empowers organizations to harness the full potential of their unstructured data ecosystems.

Firm’s unstructured data offering is not confined to a single product but comprises an integrated array of solutions:

  • The HPE Alletra 4000 provides a scalable, hybrid-ready storage platform for efficiently managing petabytes of unstructured data, ensuring high density, performance, and security.
  • HPE GreenLake for File Storage offers cloud-managed file storage with pay-as-you-go flexibility, simplifying file sharing and collaboration.
  • HPE Ezmeral Data Fabric integrates data from various sources, including unstructured data, enabling self-service data discovery, governance, and AI-powered analytics at scale, providing a foundation for analytics and AI workloads.
  • HPE Ezmeral Unified Analytics focuses on developing, deploying, and managing AI and ML models, providing a seamless enterprise-grade experience across a variety of popular open source tools for extracting insights from unstructured data to facilitate tasks like anomaly detection, predictive maintenance, and intelligent automation.

HPE differentiates itself through several key features. First, a unified platform provides a single pane of glass for efficiently managing all aspects of unstructured data. It simplifies data control and streamlines processes, enhancing overall data management efficiency. It also incorporates AI-driven insights, using AI/ML to unveil hidden patterns and deliver actionable intelligence derived from a variety of unstructured data sources. In addition, the flexible platform accommodates on-premises, hybrid, and cloud deployments. This adaptability allows the vendor to integrate with existing infrastructure, enabling users to choose the deployment model that best suits their organizational needs.

HPE stands out because of the breadth of its solutions, comprising a comprehensive suite that covers the entire unstructured data lifecycle. From storage and backup to AI-powered insights, these capabilities eliminate the need for siloed solutions, offering instead a unified platform to meet diverse data management needs. HPE’s proven scalability and performance make it an ideal choice for organizations facing growing data demands, as its solution handles massive data volumes with robust performance and agility. Its innovative use of AI/ML provides cutting-edge capabilities, enabling organizations to unlock valuable insights that were previously inaccessible. Additionally, HPE’s deployment flexibility, which includes on-premises, hybrid, and cloud-native options, enables it to align with existing infrastructure and cloud strategies.

Although the firm is an established technology leader, its comprehensive unstructured data management capabilities may be less well-known compared to specialized vendors. Implementing a full Ezmeral Data Fabric ecosystem is likely to involve integration complexity and may well require significant upfront investment and integration effort, particularly for complex environments.

Purchase Considerations
Organizations should evaluate their particular data management needs, considering factors such as data volume, performance requirements, and desired functionalities to choose the right storage, backup, and analytics solutions. The assessment should also consider the need for AI/ML integration. If embedded capabilities are not needed, a more basic data management platform than the vendor would likely suffice. Determining your preferred deployment strategy (on-premises, hybrid, or cloud) is crucial to ensure compatibility with existing infrastructure. Lastly, taking advantage of HPE’s professional services and training programs can assist with initial implementation and ongoing data management optimization.

The solution is highly adaptable to a variety of use cases, including media and entertainment, for which it streamlines video workflows, facilitates the management of large media libraries, and provides valuable insights from audience data. In healthcare, the solution securely stores and analyzes medical images, extracts insights from patient data, and optimizes clinical workflows. For the manufacturing sector, it predicts equipment failures, optimizes production processes, and enhances quality control through the analysis of sensor data. In financial services, the solution excels in securely managing financial data, detecting fraud patterns, and enabling personalized customer experiences through comprehensive customer data analysis. Additionally, for life sciences, the solution enables the analysis of genomic data for research purposes, personalized treatments, and facilitation of the development of new drugs with the aid of AI-powered analytics.

Radar Chart Overview
HPE presents a compelling choice for enterprises with evolving data demands, holding a solid position as a strong Challenger within the Maturity/Platform Play quadrant. Its broad suite of solutions tackles storage, backup, and AI-powered analytics, providing a unified approach to a traditionally fragmented data management landscape. Recent strategic acquisitions underscore its Fast Mover designation, as the firm rapidly integrates innovations with established solutions. Though its brand recognition for niche data management and deep analytics might lag, the company, as a long-standing technology leader, is aggressively positioning itself to compete in this ever-growing market.

IBM, Storage Discover

Solution Overview
IBM, a leading technology provider, continues to invest heavily in Storage Discover, leveraging its extensive data management expertise and cloud infrastructure to deliver a best-in-class solution.

Storage Discover is a modern data catalog and metadata management platform for exabyte-scale unstructured data storage. It simplifies information governance, accelerates AI/ML initiatives, and unlocks hidden insights across diverse on-premises and cloud environments.

It stands out as a comprehensive software suite, offering a range of functionalities to address diverse data management needs. Its capabilities include high-performance data ingestion, integrating with major storage systems such as IBM Cloud Object Storage, Storage Scale, and non-IBM systems, ensuring rapid capture and indexing of metadata. The suite further excels in automated metadata enrichment with its ability to apply policy-driven tagging, user-defined keywords, and ML-extracted business glossaries to enhance data classification and discovery.

Additionally, Storage Discover provides powerful search capabilities, enabling users to locate relevant data through an intuitive UI, SQL-like queries, and faceted search functionalities. The suite orchestrates data optimization and archiving processes based on user-defined policies, maximizing storage efficiency and reducing costs through activities like data tiering, de-dupe, and archival storage. With a strong focus on AI/ML integration, Storage Discover streamlines data preparation and delivery for big data analytics and AI/ML projects, ensuring a seamless integration with Watson Knowledge Catalog. Its extensible ecosystem, leveraging an open application catalog, allows the integration of user-developed and third-party agents, enhancing overall functionality and adaptability.

Storage Discover takes a distinctive approach to unstructured data management through a number of key features. Its unified catalog for hybrid cloud offers a single pane of glass, facilitating seamless management of data across varied on-premises and cloud storage solutions, emphasizing flexibility and control. The integration of AI/ML-powered insights allows the automation of critical tasks, enabling hidden value to be uncovered and accelerating time-to-insights for AI/ML projects. Storage Discover also places a strong emphasis on data governance, providing robust capabilities for data classification, tagging, and policy management. This ensures compliance and responsible data usage, making it a comprehensive solution for unstructured data management.

Storage Discover exhibits exceptional scalability and performance, managing exabyte-scale data volumes with impressive ingest speeds and search capabilities. Unlocking hidden value, the platform leverages AI-powered insights, automated data management, and efficient tiering/archiving processes. With a focus on today’s hybrid data landscape, it offers flexibility by supporting diverse on-premises and cloud storage systems. The integration of AI/ML capabilities streamlines data preparation for various initiatives, providing significant empowerment for data scientists and developers. The extensible ecosystem enables customization and expansion through open APIs and a thriving application catalog.

While Storage Discover excels, enhancing its security features with advanced anomaly detection and ransomware protection could further strengthen the platform. Implementation complexity is another consideration, as a full-fledged deployment may require dedicated resources and expertise for both initial setup and ongoing management.

Purchase Considerations
Organizations should assess their current and projected data volume to ensure Storage Discover scales efficiently to meet their data needs. Evaluating the importance of AI-powered insights, automated data management, and robust data governance features is crucial. Compatibility with existing and planned storage infrastructure, especially in a hybrid cloud strategy, should be determined. Considering internal expertise and potential needs for professional services and support during implementation and ongoing use is essential for a seamless experience.

The solution caters to a diverse range of use cases. In the healthcare sector, it excels in securely managing medical images, extracting insights from patient data, and optimizing clinical workflows. For financial services, the solution helps to streamline regulatory compliance, analyze financial data for fraud detection, and enhance customer experiences through personalized interactions. In media and entertainment, it efficiently manages large media libraries, optimizes video workflows, and provides valuable insights derived from audience data. Within the manufacturing domain, the solution demonstrates its efficacy by predicting equipment failures, optimizing production processes, and improving quality control through the analysis of sensor data. And in the field of life sciences, it excels in analyzing massive genomic datasets, personalizing treatments, and facilitating the development of new drugs through AI-powered analytics.

Radar Chart Overview
Storage Discover is a core component of the company’s broader data management strategy, showcasing its status as a Leader in the Maturity/Platform Play quadrant. It offers extensive functionality to streamline cataloging, governance, and analysis of vast unstructured data stores. Recent AI enhancements through integration with Watson Knowledge Catalog and a commitment to hybrid cloud flexibility earn it the Fast Mover classification. While complexity warrants careful implementation planning, IBM’s robust technology foundation continues to make it a key consideration for enterprise-level unstructured data management needs.

Komprise, Komprise Intelligent Data Management

Solution Overview
Komprise continues its rapid growth, solidifying its position as a leader in the data management space. Through strategic partnerships and continuous innovation, it delivers a comprehensive platform addressing the pain points of organizations struggling with unstructured data sprawl and limited visibility.

It has evolved beyond a data management platform, transforming into a data mobilization engine that empowers organizations to harness the true potential of their unstructured data. Gone are the days of siloed storage and limited insights; Komprise unlocks hidden value across data lakes, NAS, object stores, and the cloud, empowering smarter decisions and accelerated workflows.

This unified platform incorporates a suite of solutions, including Komprise Analysis, which conducts deep analytics and maintains a global file indexing across storage silos, enhanced with content based index and tagging through both third-party and built-in functions to facilitate data discovery and insights. Komprise Elastic Data Migration ensures high-performance, data-aware migration with minimal disruption, complemented by comprehensive premigration analysis. Its Transparent Move Technology (TMT) tiers cold data off primary storage without user intervention, optimizing storage costs and performance. Smart data workflows enable the creation and automation of custom data pipelines for various use cases such as AI and compliance, eliminating the need for scripting. Additionally, the platform leverages deep analytics, utilizing AI-powered insights and data tagging to enhance governance and provide actionable intelligence.

The company has been innovating this year with the introduction of AI-powered smart data workflows, which allow users to construct intricate data pipelines without the need for scripting. Through an intuitive UI, users can select, analyze, tag, operate on data, enabling automated AI-driven insights. This innovation enables the direct feeding of relevant files to cloud AI services from any storage system, all orchestrated by Komprise.

Performance is enhanced with the implementation of hypertransfer technology, revolutionizing data migration and achieving speeds 25x faster than traditional tools, even across WANs, and efficiently handles small files. Users can experience seamless cloud tiering and data movement without disrupting user access. Another notable feature is the unification of storage insights, providing a holistic view of data usage and storage consumption across various vendors and clouds in a Window File Explorer-like view. This centralized data control plane eliminates the need for managing multiple console dashboards, offering unparalleled cost visibility and optimization opportunities.

Komprise delivers superior value, exceeding expectations in functionality, performance, and ease of use. It provides a comprehensive suite of data management capabilities, eliminating the need for multiple point solutions. Its TMT stands out, offering secure data tiering without disruption or vendor lock-in, a notable contrast to traditional storage vendor solutions. The firm provides a single search and data management namespace across the customer’s entire data estate. This enables customers to analyze, search, and act on data across data silos and vendor estates as if they were all one. Leveraging AI-powered automation, the vendor streamlines data workflows, allowing organizations to extract actionable insights with minimal manual effort. Its commitment to rapid innovation ensures continuous feature updates and performance improvements, helping organizations stay ahead of the curve.

While the company excels, it currently relies on third-party tools for content-based indexing, presenting an opportunity for enhancement in comprehensive data classification.

Purchase Considerations
Organizations benefit from flexible deployment options, with on-premises, cloud, and hybrid deployments available to ensure a fit for any infrastructure. With subscription-based licensing, Komprise offers simple and predictable pricing, making it cost-effective for organizations of all sizes. Additionally, it provides comprehensive support with a range of options, including self-service resources, training, and dedicated account management.

It serves a diverse array of industries and use cases, addressing key challenges in various domains, such as cloud migration, where it facilitates the rapid and secure movement of data to the cloud with minimal disruption and helpful cost optimization. It empowers organizations to unlock hidden insights from massive unstructured datasets, facilitating advancements in AI, ML, and business intelligence. The platform also provides a secure framework for managing sensitive data, ensuring compliance with regulations across diverse storage environments. It plays a pivotal role in reducing storage costs and enhancing performance by efficiently tiering cold data to more economical cloud storage solutions. In addition, the solution enables efficient data management and access across multivendor data lakes, offering centralized control and visibility to streamline operations in this complex landscape.

Radar Chart Overview
Firm’s data management platform demonstrates both maturity and agility, and it’s positioned as a Leader in the Maturity/Platform Play quadrant. The company has improved its content indexing, and its core strengths in analytics, AI automation, and seamless hybrid data handling, paired with its Hypertransfer technology, position it as an Outperformer. A customer-centric focus drives a clear advantage for Komprise, simplifying deployment and delivering clear cost savings as data is optimized across heterogeneous storage environments.

Nasuni, Nasuni File Data Platform

Solution Overview
Nasuni, founded in 2009, has established itself as a prominent provider of hybrid cloud storage solutions. It primarily focuses on enabling organizations to consolidate and manage unstructured data across on-premises and cloud environments.

Its File Data Platform serves as the core offering, complemented by various add-on services for expanded capabilities. It’s a single, integrated platform, not a collection of standalone products. It operates by consolidating file data into cloud object storage, leveraging edge devices for local caching and performance, and providing a global file system for unified access and management. Nasuni’s emphasis on hybrid cloud architecture and edge-based intelligence differentiates it from competitors primarily focused on cloud-native or on-premises solutions.

The firm stands out with its hybrid cloud approach, connecting on-premises infrastructure with cloud scalability to meet the demands of organizations embracing hybrid IT. Offering comprehensive data protection, it safeguards against ransomware with real-time detection, automated mitigation, and granular recovery options, coupled with robust disaster recovery capabilities, ensuring continuous business operations and data security. The platform delivers outstanding performance and scalability, providing users with LAN-like file access speeds and global file sharing for large datasets through intelligent caching and edge devices. Nasuni’s open and flexible design enables integration with existing infrastructure and various cloud providers, offering adaptability and choice. The modular platform further enables adaptability with its add-on services such as Ransomware Protection, Access Anywhere, and MultiSite Collaboration, providing tailored functionality to users.

Despite its capabilities, the vendor has to compete vs. more established vendors like Microsoft and NetApp to build brand recognition and market presence. It could work to strengthen its partner channels, fostering relationships with system integrators to significantly expand its reach and visibility.

Purchase Considerations
It offers flexible deployment options, including on-premises, cloud-based, and hybrid models, catering to diverse organizational needs and enabling seamless integration with existing infrastructures. The platform’s cost-effective scaling, structured through subscription-based licensing tiers, allows customers to align storage solutions with their evolving requirements, fostering financial predictability. Leveraging professional services for deployment, configuration, and integration, especially in complex infrastructure scenarios, enhances the platform’s effectiveness and maximizes return on investment. Investing in user training is crucial for empowering users to navigate Nasuni’s features and workflows, ensuring successful adoption. Additionally, company’s proactive support services play a vital role in maintaining optimal performance, addressing technical issues promptly, and minimizing downtime for uninterrupted business operations.

The solution proves highly adept in a variety of use cases. It excels by unifying disparate file servers and storage silos, creating a cohesive and streamlined environment. It provides cost-effective and scalable hybrid cloud storage for unstructured data across on-premises and cloud platforms. It facilitates secure and efficient collaboration among geographically dispersed teams, enhancing communication and workflow efficiency. In addition, the solution is instrumental in safeguarding against ransomware attacks, accidental data loss, and natural disasters. It is a versatile, industry-agnostic platform, catering to a broad spectrum of sectors, including healthcare, manufacturing, M&E, and financial services.

Radar Chart Overview
Nasuni’s designation as a Feature Play vendor underscores its exceptional focus on core strengths like hybrid cloud storage and robust ransomware protection. Continuous innovation in these areas, along with data intelligence advancements, keeps the company moving forward. In a market of established giants, firm’s scores position it in the Entrant ring, demonstrating competitive solutions but with opportunities for increased market presence. Its Fast Mover status reflects rapid developments, particularly within its ransomware protection offerings and strengthened cloud integrations. Improvements like S3 edge protocol integration and advanced monitoring tools reinforce this positive trajectory.

NetApp, BlueXP

Solution Overview
NetApp, a recognized leader in storage solutions, has steadily evolved to encompass broader data management capabilities, solidifying its presence in the UDM landscape. Its BlueXP solution is designed to simplify the management of data estates, enabling organizations to build, safeguard, and govern heterogeneous environments using a single control plane. BlueXP Classification, previously known as Cloud Data Sense, represents a key component of firm’s UDM vision, integrating with the broader BlueXP platform for efficient data control and service delivery.

BlueXP Classification is a data governance service that scans data sources to map and classify data. It empowers organizations to navigate the complexities of their unstructured data through data discovery, classification, compliance, and security functionalities. BlueXP Classification transcends basic data cataloging by leveraging AI/ML to identify sensitive data and extract deep contextual insights, fostering better data governance and optimizing its management across hybrid and multicloud environments. It is not a standalone product but rather integrates with other BlueXP capabilities, like tiering, caching, and data protection.

BlueXP’s comprehensive feature set goes beyond basic data cataloging. Its AI-powered analysis delves into data, generating actionable insights and offering features like PII identification, compliance reporting, automated policy enforcement, and security anomaly detection. Its extensive capability set caters to diverse organizational needs, effectively addressing critical data governance challenges. The platform offers excellent hybrid multicloud support, allowing it to scan and analyze data across on-premises and cloud repositories, providing a unified solution for organizations managing dispersed data estates. Seamless integration within the BlueXP ecosystem enhances usability and streamlines data management tasks within the broader NetApp ecosystem. BlueXP AI-powered data intelligence stands out, offering advanced capabilities in contextual analysis and automated data categorization, ensuring valuable insights are available to enable intelligent data management decisions.

The potential for vendor lock-in should be a consideration for organizations heavily invested in non-NetApp storage solutions. While the tight integration with the BlueXP platform brings benefits, organizations with diverse storage infrastructures may find this challenging. In addition, BlueXP’s focus on business-oriented features may be a drawback for organizations seeking a purely application-centric UDM solution, as its strengths lie in business-oriented data governance and compliance functionalities.

Purchase Considerations
BlueXP is excellent for organizations with established data management practices and a need for deep data insights. In hybrid and multicloud environments, the platform’s support enables organizations to manage data across diverse cloud and on-premises locations, providing centralized control and unified insights. For companies heavily invested in the NetApp ecosystem, the seamless integration and workflow benefits are advantageous.

Organizations invested in the NetApp ecosystem and seeking robust data governance in a hybrid and multicloud environment may find BlueXP a compelling choice. However, considerations of potential vendor lock-in and a focus on business-oriented features are crucial for a well-informed decision. Thorough evaluation of its strengths and alignment with specific needs will help organizations determine its suitability within their data management landscape.

BlueXP is a robust tool for data governance and compliance. It helps organizations to adhere to stringent regulations like HIPAA and GDPR with PII identification, automated reporting, and policy-based management capabilities. Its ability to identify sensitive data at risk, detect anomalous access patterns, and implement data protection measures, collectively enhance overall data security postures. Additionally, the solution helps to enable storage optimization by identifying duplicate data, inactive data, and data at risk, facilitating informed decision-making regarding data movement, tiering, and deletion that reduces storage costs. Moreover, BlueXP optimizes data migration by mapping and classifying data beforehand, ensuring only relevant data is moved and securely placed within the cloud environment.

Radar Chart Overview
NetApp is positioned in the Maturity/Platform Play quadrant, boasting a comprehensive set of functionalities that extend beyond basic data cataloging to address diverse data governance needs. Its commitment to AI and ML integration reflects a forward-thinking approach, empowering users with AI-powered data analysis and automation. It’s a Leader and an Outperformer, with the company’s continuous innovation evident in recent advancements, including enhanced AI capabilities and expanded data source support.

Panzura, Panzura Data Services

Solution Overview
Founded in 2009, Panzura specializes in hybrid cloud data management solutions. Panzura Data Services was launched in 2020, expanding its portfolio beyond file management and enabling deeper data governance capabilities.

Data Services enable organizations to gain comprehensive control over and insights into their unstructured data across diverse storage repositories, whether on-premises or in the cloud. This SaaS-based suite, compatible with both Panzura CloudFS and any NFS or SMB-compliant file system (including NetApp and Dell PowerScale/Isilon), delivers a unified view of storage infrastructure, encompassing resource utilization, file auditing, and global search capabilities. By analyzing data trends and generating detailed reports, Data Services helps organizations optimize storage costs, mitigate security risks, and ensure compliance with data regulations.

Data Services operates in 2 key phases:

  • Continuous data capture: Every 60s, the solution takes a snapshot of all data, building a metadata catalog containing information about files, owners, access frequency, and data growth.
  • Data visualization and analytics: A user-friendly interface with free-text search and filter options enables efficient data exploration. Users can identify hot, warm, and cold data based on age, size, storage distribution, file type, and size, gaining insights into data distribution and growth patterns. Additionally, monitoring capabilities track latency issues and CPU usage spikes.

Data Services offers a comprehensive feature set, particularly excelling in the visibility and control of unstructured data across hybrid environments. This enables organizations to optimize storage resource allocation, identify data access trends, and proactively address potential issues. The platform’s simplified data management is impressive; with an intuitive interface and powerful search capabilities, it streamlines tasks like legal holds and file recovery, thereby enhancing IT efficiency. Security and compliance are enhanced via granular audit logs that track user activity on CloudFS data, facilitating compliance with data sovereignty regulations and bolstering security measures. Notably, Data Services leverages anomaly detection mechanisms to identify and halt ransomware attacks, safeguarding valuable data.

Data Services has minimal big data analytics capabilities, potentially limiting its appeal for organizations with extensive big data analysis needs. Additionally, its lack of metadata tagging (as of 2024) restricts the depth of data classification and organization available, indicating an opportunity for feature enrichment.

Purchase Considerations
Organizations considering Data Services should evaluate their deployment needs, ensuring compatibility with existing storage infrastructure and choosing between SaaS or on-premises deployment. Scalability should also be thoroughly assessed to confirm the solution can accommodate future data growth and evolving management needs. Furthermore, the solution’s integration capabilities should be considered, assessing potential integrations with existing security tools, analytics platforms, and data governance solutions.

Data Services addresses a diverse spectrum of organizations grappling with UDM challenges across various industries. In the field of M&E, the platform excels in providing insights into video, audio, and image data distribution while optimizing storage resources to enhance creative workflows. For financial services, Panzura ensures data security and compliance for transaction databases and financial records, meeting the industry’s stringent regulatory requirements. In healthcare, the platform simplifies legal holds and compliance procedures for patient data, simultaneously monitoring and optimizing storage resources. Lastly, in manufacturing, vendor’s capably tracks sensor data, identifying trends and facilitating predictive maintenance and process optimization to streamline operations.

Radar Chart Overview
Data Services is positioned in the Innovation/Platform Play quadrant due to its comprehensive visibility, control features, intuitive interface, and SaaS delivery model. In the UDM landscape, Panzura’s scores position it in the Entrant ring; it offers strong capabilities but faces competition from vendors with more advanced big data analytics offerings. However, its focus on security and ease of use makes it a compelling choice for organizations seeking a unified and efficient way to manage their unstructured data across diverse environments.

Pure, Pure Storage

Solution Overview
Founded in 2009, Pure has become a major player in the storage space and is known for its high-performance all-flash arrays and innovative approach to data management. In 2023, it acquired Portworx, solidifying its position in the container data management market.

It offers a portfolio of flash-based data storage solutions designed for performance, efficiency, and reliability. Its flagship offering, FlashArray, delivers exceptional performance for mission-critical applications and databases, while FlashBlade provides a unified platform for unstructured data management that includes file, object, and cloud storage. Pure’s solutions integrate with cloud platforms and on-premises infrastructure, empowering organizations to manage their data across hybrid environments. With features like de-dupe, compression, and automated tiering, the company helps organizations optimize storage costs and extract maximum value from their data.

FlashArray stands out for its exceptional performance and is consistently recognized for industry-leading capabilities in handling demanding workloads with low latency and high throughput with its //E family of products, including FlashBlade//E and FlashArray//E. This translates into faster application response times, an improved user experience, and increased operational efficiency. Leveraging all-flash capabilities, Pure’s solutions deliver significant storage efficiency through advanced data reduction techniques like deduplication and compression. This not only reduces the storage footprint but also minimizes hardware requirements, thereby lowering overall storage costs.

The focus on data mobility and flexibility is evident in the company’s support for various deployment models, including on-premises, cloud, and hybrid environments. In addition, Pure’s Evergreen program adds future-proof flexibility by enabling seamless storage upgrades without data migration or downtime. Pure goes beyond raw storage to offer integrated data services like replication, archiving, and disaster recovery, which simplifies data management tasks.

Pricing is a consideration for Pure’s solutions, which some perceive as more expensive, especially for smaller organizations. Moreover, though the subscription-based Evergreen program provides benefits, it may not be ideal for budget-constrained environments. And though it has expanding cloud offerings, Pure’s cloud-native focus might not fully meet the needs of organizations requiring more mature cloud integration capabilities for complex multicloud environments.

Purchase Considerations
Workload requirements should be carefully assessed to determine if Pure’s high-performance offerings align with specific performance and capacity needs. Consideration of existing infrastructure and cloud strategies is crucial for optimal deployment. Potential buyers should factor potential savings from operational efficiency, performance gains, and data reduction capabilities into the total cost of ownership, which may balance the initial cost of Pure’s solutions. Scalability and future needs should also be considered to ensure chosen solutions can scale without hardware upgrades or vendor lock-in, aligning with long-term data growth expectations.

Pure’s array of solutions can meet the needs of diverse data-intensive use cases spanning multiple industries. For HPC, the platform provides the low latency and high throughput needed for rigorous scientific simulations and data analysis workloads. For virtualization and cloud-native applications, Pure offers robust support for mission-critical VMs and containerized applications, characterized by exceptional performance and scalability. In financial services, the platform ensures reliable and secure storage solutions for trading platforms, transaction databases, and risk-management applications, meeting the stringent requirements of the industry. And in media and entertainment, Pure’s solutions efficiently manage large volumes of video, audio, and image data, providing swift access and enhancing creative workflows within this dynamic sector.

Radar Chart Overview
Pure sits comfortably as a Leader in the Innovation/Platform Play quadrant. Its exceptional performance, innovative data management features, and Evergreen program make it a compelling choice for organizations seeking high-performance and efficient storage solutions. While the vendor excels in specific areas, expanding its portfolio breadth and strengthening cloud integration could potentially move it even closer to the center of the Radar chart in the future.

Quantum, ActiveScale

Solution Overview
Founded in 1980, Quantum has long been a leader in storage solutions. In recent years, with the launch of ActiveScale, it has begun to place a strong emphasis on unstructured data management. Through strategic acquisitions and partnerships, it is rapidly expanding its capabilities and reach in the UDM landscape.

ActiveScale platform integrates object storage, data protection, archive, and enrichment capabilities, offering organizations a centralized hub for managing its ever-growing volume of video, file, and machine-generated data. ActiveScale is flexible and scalable, integrating with on-premises, hybrid, and multicloud environments. Beyond storage, it empowers users with AI-driven data tagging, cataloging, and indexing, unlocking valuable insights through advanced search and analytics capabilities.

The ActiveScale suite consists of several components:

  • Storage engine, which provides scalable object storage designed for performance and efficiency, supporting on-premises and cloud deployments.
  • Data protection and archive, for enterprise-grade backup, replication, and archive solutions for secure long-term data retention.
  • Data enrichment, for AI-powered data tagging, cataloging, and indexing for improved searchability and analysis using Quantum CatDV Asset Management and third-party tools.
  • Analytics and insights, which includes prebuilt dashboards and advanced search capabilities for extracting valuable insights from unstructured data using Quantum CatDV Asset Management and third-party tools.

Unlike traditional storage vendors, Quantum focuses on active data management. ActiveScale with Quantum CatDV goes beyond storing data; it proactively organizes and enriches the data, empowering users to extract actionable insights. Its AI-driven approach significantly simplifies data discovery and utilization, making unstructured data a valuable asset.

ActiveScale’s scalability and flexibility are excellent, allowing it to adapt to data growth to diverse deployment models, including hybrid and multicloud environments. AI-powered data enrichment and insights capabilities of Quantum CataDV bring significant value by unlocking hidden insights within unstructured data. This enables better decision-making and fosters business innovation. Robust data protection and security features ensure data integrity and compliance with regulatory requirements. ActiveScale readily integrates with existing storage infrastructure and workflows, fostering vendor neutrality and ease of deployment. Moreover, firm’s focus on customer experience is evident from its responsive support and professional services, ensuring a smooth implementation and ongoing success with ActiveScale.

Though ActiveScale is technologically impressive, the company is a relative newcomer in the UDM space and may lack the brand recognition and track record of some competitors. Moreover, Quantum’s UDM community and ecosystem are still under development, resulting in a smaller pool of available specialists and third-party integrations, which could be a consideration for some buyers. And because ActiveScale caters primarily to large enterprises, smaller organizations might find the solution less scalable or cost-effective.

Purchase Considerations
Prospective buyers should consider their existing infrastructure and cloud adoption plans to ensure compatibility and optimal benefits, and should evaluate whether they need the AI-driven data enrichment and the level of analytics capabilities offered by Quantum and its partners. The total cost of ownership should also be a consideration, with potential savings from data reduction, improved storage efficiency, and increased data value factored in, potentially ameliorating a higher initial investment.

ActiveScale serves a diverse range of use cases across a spectrum of industries. In M&E, the platform efficiently manages enormous volumes of video, audio, and image data, facilitating seamless editing, archiving, and content delivery processes. Within the healthcare sector, ActiveScale plays a crucial role in securely storing and analyzing patient data, supporting research endeavors, disease diagnostics, and the advancement of personalized medicine. For manufacturing, the platform is instrumental in the analysis of sensor data, enabling predictive maintenance, optimizing processes, and ensuring quality control. In financial services, ActiveScale reliably archives financial records, ensuring compliance with regulations and extracting valuable insights from transaction data, serving the sector’s data management and analytics needs.

Radar Chart Overview
Quantum is positioned in the Maturity/Platform Play quadrant; its functionality extends beyond storage, encompassing data protection, enrichment, and analytics within an integrated suite. Positioned as a Challenger, ActiveScale offers compelling features but competes against industry heavyweights while it has less well established dominance in the broader UDM space. The vendor’s emphasis on AI-powered data enrichment helps it surpass traditional storage-focused solutions. Characterized as a Fast Mover, Quantum showcases agility through strategic acquisitions and partnerships, signaling potential for continued rapid advancement. This year’s updates highlight Quantum’s progress, with enhanced cloud integrations, expanded analytics capabilities, and potential ecosystem growth, solidifying its value proposition in the evolving UDM landscape.

Qumulo, Qumulo

Solution Overview
Founded in 2009, Qumulo pioneered scale-out file systems for enterprises. Today, its software platform aims to simplify the management of massive unstructured data sets. Recent strategic partnerships and continued product innovation solidify the company’s position as a prominent player in the UDM landscape.

Firm’s software platform eliminates the complexities of managing enormous amounts of unstructured data at scale. Built for hybrid IT environments, it spans on-premises, edge, and cloud storage environments. When combined with Qumulo’s Global Namespace product, the company provides a single namespace for accessing and managing data across diverse locations. With the company, organizations can consolidate data silos, simplify workflows, and gain deeper insights into their data landscape, regardless of size or location. The platform delivers high performance, scalability, and security, empowering organizations to leverage their data for transformative outcomes.

Firm’s comprehensive platform addresses a range of diverse storage challenges with several key components. The unified file system establishes a single namespace, eradicating data silos and enhancing workflow efficiency by enabling centralized access across varied storage resources. The scale-out architecture ensures horizontal scalability to exabytes without compromising performance, adapting to the growing demands of data expansion. The platform excels in delivering high performance and efficiency, optimizing file access and data transfer speeds while minimizing latency and maximizing storage use. Robust security features, including comprehensive encryption, role-based access controls, and audit trails, safeguard data integrity and ensure compliance. Additionally, Qumulo’s platform offers analytics and insights through real-time performance monitoring and data usage analytics, providing valuable information for optimizing storage costs and enhancing overall workflow efficiency.

Qumulo combines simplicity with scalability. Its software platform has an intuitive interface and streamlined data management capabilities, making it useful for IT teams of all sizes. This user-centric approach, together with robust performance and security features, should appeal to organizations seeking a comprehensive yet straightforward solution for managing their ever-growing data stores.

The vendor stands out with exabyte-scale simplicity, showcasing unparalleled scalability in managing massive unstructured data sets. The platform eliminates the complexity associated with traditional scale-out solutions, offering ease of management for large datasets. Consolidation and unification are key strengths of this solution, which breaks down data silos to provide a single, unified view across on-premises, edge, and cloud environments. This streamlines workflows and enhances data accessibility. Qumulo adapts to diverse deployment models, allowing organizations to leverage existing infrastructure while embracing flexible cloud adoption strategies. The platform excels in performance and efficiency, delivering exceptional file access speeds and optimizing storage utilization to ensure efficient data management. The intuitive UI further enhances its appeal, making data management tasks accessible to IT teams regardless of their expertise.

Though Qumulo has grown significantly, its ecosystem and marketplace of third-party integrations and partner solutions are still developing. This may limit options for specialized data management needs compared to more established vendors.

Purchase Considerations
Assessing data volume and growth is crucial to determine whether Qumulo’s exabyte-scale capabilities align with current and projected needs. Determining whether Qumulo is compatible with existing strategy and infrastructure is essential. Carefully analyze vendor’s cost and pricing model to ensure alignment with your budget and data management requirements.

The company proves versatile across a spectrum of industries, addressing diverse use cases with its robust solutions. In M&E, the platform efficiently manages extensive video libraries, image assets, and production files, delivering high performance and efficiency. Within life sciences, it securely stores and analyzes critical research data, genomic sequencing data, and medical imaging files. In manufacturing, the platform plays a pivotal role in analyzing sensor data for predictive maintenance, optimizing industrial processes, and efficiently managing large engineering datasets. In financial services, Qumulo archives financial records, ensuring regulatory compliance and extracting valuable insights from transaction data at scale, which contributes to meeting data management and analytics needs.

Radar Chart Overview
Qumulo is positioned as Leader in the Innovation/Feature Play quadrant. Its strengths lie in its unparalleled scalability, exabyte-scale simplicity, and intuitive user interface. Its hybrid IT flexibility and performance efficiency further solidify their value proposition. However, compared to established vendors, it has a limited ecosystem and is focused on HPC environments. It is a Fast Mover in the space, continuously expanding its feature set and building its partner ecosystem. Nevertheless, its commitment to user-friendliness and exabyte-scale capabilities make it a compelling choice for organizations seeking a powerful and straightforward solution for managing massive unstructured data volumes.

Scality, RING

Solution Overview
Founded in 2009, Scality has garnered recognition for its SDS solutions. In recent years, it has expanded its focus to unstructured data management with the RING platform, gaining momentum with its hybrid cloud approach and robust data protection capabilities.

The RING software platform delivers a unified data fabric for managing unstructured data across on-premises, edge, and cloud environments. Built for scale and flexibility, it integrates with diverse storage systems, offering a single view and control point for data regardless of location. With features like file and object storage, data protection, security, and advanced analytics, Scality empowers organizations to optimize storage resources, enhance data compliance, and unlock valuable insights from their unstructured data.

The RING solution is composed of several components. Its unified data fabric creates a single system for file and object storage across diverse environments, eliminating data silos and simplifying overall management. The platform offers independent scalability, allowing capacity and performance to scale independently, ensuring a solution tailored to specific needs. RING accommodates standard protocols such as NFS, SMB, and S3, ensuring compatibility with existing applications and workflows. Robust data protection and security features, including erasure coding, replication, and ransomware detection and prevention, safeguard the integrity of stored data. Additionally, the platform incorporates advanced analytics, which provides valuable insights into data usage, access patterns, and storage efficiency, empowering users to optimize resource allocation and control costs effectively.

Scality focuses on simplicity and flexibility. RING has a user-friendly interface and straightforward management tools, making it accessible for organizations of all sizes. Its software-defined approach and multiprotocol support enable easy integration with existing infrastructure and workflows, minimizing disruption and accelerating adoption.

RING manages vast unstructured data sets with ease. Its ability to integrate with on-premises, edge, and cloud storage is excellent, allowing it to offer adaptable data management solutions for diverse environments. Cost optimization and efficiency are addressed through independent scalability and resource optimization features, allowing organizations to minimize storage costs and maximize its use.

The platform provides robust data protection and security, including erasure coding, replication, and ransomware protection, ensuring data integrity and compliance with regulations. Simplicity and ease of use characterize RING, with a user-friendly interface and straightforward management tools accessible to users of all skill levels. Additionally, RING emphasizes openness and interoperability, promoting vendor neutrality through compatibility with standard protocols and diverse storage systems.

As a relative newcomer in the UDM space, Scality may contend with a developing presence, lacking the brand recognition and track record of established competitors. RING’s current focus on the enterprise market may mean smaller organizations might find the solution less scalable or cost-effective for their needs.

Purchase Considerations
Consider certain critical factors before purchasing RING. Anticipate your unstructured data growth and ensure RING’s scalability aligns with projections to avoid future migration hassles. If using cloud storage, confirm seamless integration with your chosen provider(s) for uninterrupted data movement. Assess RING’s analytics capabilities; if advanced insights are needed, check on integration with specialized tools. Evaluate the total cost, considering potential storage efficiency gains, data reduction features, and the value of accessing hidden insights. Although RING may have a higher initial cost, these savings can offset the investment compared to simpler alternatives in the long run.

RING is a versatile solution adept at addressing a multitude of use cases across diverse industries. In media and entertainment, it excels in efficiently managing massive volumes of video, audio, and image data, facilitating seamless editing, archiving, and content delivery processes. Within healthcare, RING plays a pivotal role in securely storing and analyzing patient data, supporting research endeavors, diagnosing diseases, and advancing personalized medicine. For manufacturing, the platform is adept in analyzing sensor data for predictive maintenance, optimizing industrial processes, and ensuring quality control. And in financial services, RING capably archives financial records, ensuring regulatory compliance and extracting valuable insights from transaction data, meeting the sector’s data management and analytics requirements with precision.

Radar Chart Overview
Scality is positioned in the InnovationFeature Play quadrant. Its software-defined approach, hybrid cloud agility, and focus on simplicity hold immense potential. While the vendor is still building brand recognition and addressing big data analytics needs, its strong technology, commitment to user experience, and openness make it a compelling choice for some organizations.

Varonis, Data Security Platform

Solution Overview
Varonis, founded in 2005, specializes in data security and governance. Its flagship Data Security Platform (DSP) caters to organizations grappling with unstructured data sprawl and compliance.

DSP is a unified platform, comprising modules for data classification, permissions analysis, alerting, reporting, and auditing, working in concert to protect sensitive data and enforce compliance.

Varonis stands out with an unwavering commitment to security, providing unparalleled protection against insider threats, data breaches, and ransomware. Leveraging advanced ML, it offers granular data classification, surpassing conventional rule-based approaches. Its compliance capabilities simplify adherence to regulations like PCI, GDPR, and HIPAA. The platform excels in delivering actionable insights through user activity analysis, risk scoring, and automated remediation recommendations. With a rich ecosystem, Varonis integrates with various systems to ensure efficient data collection and analysis.

While the company offers robust functionality, its platform-based licensing model may be more complex and costly than some other solutions. The comprehensive nature of the platform and rapid innovation might present a steep learning curve for new users, although Varonis provides robust resources for training and ongoing support.

Purchase Considerations
Organizations considering the vendor should leverage included services to assist with deployment, configuration, and optimal utilization. Prioritize comprehensive user training and robust support services to ensure successful adoption. Evaluate customization options and API integrations to determine whether or not Varonis meets the organization’s particular requirements. The company offers a variety of deployment models, including on-premises, cloud-based, or hybrid configurations. Carefully assess licensing options, considering individual modules or platform bundles based on specific needs.

This solution can serve a diverse range of use cases, showcasing its versatility in enhancing data management and security across various domains. The solution excels in identifying sensitive data, mapping data flows, and enforcing robust data governance practices. It’s effective in mitigating insider threats, preventing data breaches, and ensuring overall compliance with security protocols, and it facilitates the monitoring of user access, identification of abnormal activities, and optimization of permissions for heightened security. The solution also streamlines compliance audits, simplifies responses to DSARs, and generates comprehensive reports to ensure adherence to regulatory standards. Additionally, the solution proactively addresses ransomware and attack mitigation by detecting potential attacks, isolating affected data, and enabling swift recovery measures to safeguard against malicious threats.

Radar Chart Overview
Varonis stands out in the UDM landscape with its exceptional focus on data security and governance, and it’s positioned as a Leader in the Innovation/Feature Play quadrant. The vendor leverages its long-established presence, proven track record, and refined solutions, instilling confidence in buyers regarding reliability and support. Varonis is setting standards for security-centric UDM with advanced capabilities and a focus on risk mitigation. Ongoing innovations, particularly in ML-powered analytics and compliance, garner Varonis its classification as an Outperformer. The recent upgrades in threat detection, cloud support, and compliance modules highlight firm’s commitment to improvement, reinforcing customer value and solidifying its market position.

6. Analyst’s Outlook
The relentless surge of unstructured data presents a double-edged sword for organizations, and for IT administrators in particular. It can be a treasure trove of valuable insights, but it also strains storage resources, complicates security, and overwhelms data management processes. Navigating this frontier requires a strategic approach, one that considers not just tools and techniques but also the underlying infrastructure that serves as the foundation for successful data governance.

The UDM landscape is undergoing swift evolution, propelled by the convergence of key trends shaping the industry. One such influential factor is the escalating concern for data sovereignty, prompting organizations to gravitate toward solutions that provide enhanced flexibility and control over their data and fostering a preference for hybrid cloud options and on-premises deployments. Simultaneously, the imperative for robust security measures has intensified, driven by the proliferation of sophisticated cyber threats and the imposition of stringent data privacy regulations. As a result, UDM solutions are increasingly incorporating advanced security features and automated data classification capabilities as foundational elements. Moreover, the landscape is witnessing a transformative shift with the widespread integration of AI/ML into UDM solutions. This integration empowers these solutions to automate tasks, optimize data placement, and unearth hidden insights within the realm of unstructured data, marking a significant leap forward in the capabilities of modern UDM systems.

To succeed in this dynamic environment, IT decision-makers should keep the following in mind as they evaluate solutions:

  • Prioritize infrastructure agility: Choose solutions with strong hybrid cloud capabilities, multicloud support, and flexible deployment options that can adapt to your evolving storage needs.
  • Secure the data fortress: Invest in UDM solutions with robust anomaly detection, automated data classification, and streamlined DSAR workflows to mitigate security risks and comply with regulations.
  • Optimize data placement: Explore solutions that offer automated tiering, intelligent data insights, and data lifecycle management capabilities to reduce storage costs, improve data access times, and unlock the value of your unstructured data.
  • Embrace automation and AI: Look for UDM platforms that leverage AI/ML to automate data tasks, optimize resource utilization, and provide actionable insights, reducing manual effort and boosting efficiency.
  • Integrate for seamless data flow: Don’t go it alone. Seek UDM vendors who actively collaborate with security specialists, storage providers, and cloud platforms to ensure seamless data movement and a unified data management experience.

The UDM market is converging towards an exciting future: prospective customers should expect to see further integration of UDM with security, storage, and protection tools, leading to unified platforms that offer holistic data lifecycle management. Additionally, as AI/ML becomes more deeply embedded in UDM solutions, the ability to automatically extract hidden insights and automate complex tasks will become a key differentiator. Lastly, UDM solutions will increasingly integrate with existing infrastructure tools, automate storage provisioning, and optimize data placement across different tiers of storage, optimizing performance and use of resources.

By prioritizing infrastructure agility, security, and intelligent data management, IT teams can harness the power of their unstructured data while navigating the challenges of this rapidly evolving landscape. Remember, choosing the right UDM solution is a strategic investment in the future of your data architecture.