Dan's Take

Data Dynamics StorageX 8.0

Finding and freeing enterprise data.

Data Dynamics' StorageX 8.0 is a tool designed to "free" enterprise data, regardless of where it was originally stored, and make it possible for it to be made available across the enterprise and into the cloud.

StorageX 8.0 makes it possible for data currently held in a variety of places to be replicated from place to place and kept up to date without requiring a gateway, file virtualization, a proprietary namespace or special agent software. The locations it can find data include:

  • Windows file shares
  • NFS file systems
  • Network attached storage (NAS)
  • Software-defined storage (SDS)
  • Converged and hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI)
  • Cloud storage

Data Dynamics says StorageX is designed to help implement enterprise disaster recovery, replication and availability, filesystem restructuring, data tiering (across the datacenter or into cloud storage), and provide a number of data management and data analysis tools. The company's mantra is "Analyze, Move, Manage, Modernize."

As I listened to Data Dynamic's presentation, I found myself thinking of similar presentations I've heard from DataCore, MapR Technologies and even portions of presentations from Microsoft and Red Hat. It's clear that many storage hardware and software suppliers have been thinking about and attacking enterprise silos for quite some time.

Examining the Field
DataCore highlights its very intelligent filesystem and storage virtualization technology as a way to address these business needs. It would point out that its software would replicate data from device to device, from storage tier to storage tier, to assure customers that their data is protected, storage performance will match the observed use, and data will remain available regardless of what type of industry-standard server needs the data. It would go on to discuss how its technology can harvest unused processor performance to accelerate storage performance.

MapR pitches its data fabric and how it can optimize data sharing and migration from Internet of Things (IoT) devices to the datacenter to the cloud. Mapr also talks about how its technology can assure that data remains available through replication. In addition, it touts technology that makes it possible for systems of many types, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, PCs and servers to take part, each being able to both access needed information and in the way these systems need to see data.

Microsoft speaks about how its software can address these issues, if (of course) all the workloads are Windows-based and the cloud server in question is on Microsoft Azure. Microsoft offers technology to back up and restore Windows data and the data generated by guest systems executing on a Windows-based host. Its technology can also replicate data from place to place in a Microsoft-centric network. It doesn't really address enterprise needs if the data lives in a non-Microsoft environment like UNIX, Linux or another OS. Microsoft would put forward its solutions as the ideal host for data generated by all industry-standard servers.

Red Hat points to its strong portfolio of open source storage and network virtualization technology, and suggests that enterprises can build the solution they need to address their own unique business requirements.

I've heard similar stories from suppliers of storage hardware and related storage virtualization technology. IBM, HDS, EMC and NetApp each offer tools for backup and DR, and promote how well matched and integrated their tools are in their own computing environments. IBM, HDS and EMC also offer storage replication technology. IBM's products address the needs of its mainframe, power UNIX, power Linux, and midrange IBM i based systems as well as the needs of industry-standard X86 Windows and Linux systems.

Dan's Take: A Worthy Contender in a Crowded Field
Data Dynamic's technology appears to be well thought out, and both the management tools and analytics reporting appears to be very useful. It's able to address many of the most common storage repositories and cloud storage solutions. It appears that common enterprise requirements are addressed using an easy-to-understand user interface. It also appears that the company's technology addresses the needs of enterprises relying on industry-standard, x86-based computing environments.

It doesn't appear that the company's technology addresses storage requirements for enterprises using mainframes or single-vendor environments, such as IBM i. Would the company's products be the right answer for your organization? Since each enterprise has a different mix of systems, it isn't clear that Data Dynamic's offering will address each and every environment equally well. What is clear is that Data Dynamics is in a highly competitive market, that the competition is coming from many different segments, and there are many answers to the same question.

About the Author

Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. He has been a business unit manager at a hardware company and head of corporate marketing and strategy at a software company.

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