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Western Digital Recognized as a Challenger in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant

The growth of unstructured data requires new solutions that can scale with ease. In the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Distributed File Systems and Object Storage, Gartner has now positioned Western Digital as a “Challenger”.  Erik Ottem shares three reasons why.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Distributed File Systems and Object Storage
Download the report here: http://wdc.li/GartnerMQ2018

You’re most likely familiar with Gartner the IT analyst organization and the Magic Quadrant reports. In a few words, we feel that Gartner’s Magic Quadrant is a key synopses of a market’s top businesses and a visualization of how they compare against each other in Gartner’s market view.

If you care about large-scale storage for unstructured data, the 2018 Magic Quadrant for Distributed File Systems and Object Storage report should definitely be of interest. The amount of data that customers want to store continues to grow exponentially.

According to the report, “Gartner end users have been reporting unstructured data growth as exceeding 50% year over year, I&O leaders are looking for extensible on-premises storage products that can address an increasing number of digital business use cases with lower acquisition, operational and management costs.” Traditional options may fall short, and new storage options are required.

A Steep Adoption in the Enterprise

According to the report, “by 2022, more than 80% of enterprise data will be stored in scale-out storage systems in enterprise and cloud data centers, up from 40% in 2018.”

We feel Gartner names two key technologies for delivering agile, scalable and cost-effective storage platforms for the ever-increasing amounts of unstructured data: distributed file systems and object storage.

Distributed File Systems

Distributed File (sometimes referred to as scale-out file) refers to the same network attached storage (NAS) that has served many organizations and departments faithfully for years.  Some of today’s architectures cluster multiple storage nodes together to present a single namespace and provide a solution for big data needs.

However, with the influx of a lot of new unstructured data, these systems can get congested which negatively impacts performance.

This was the reason a new technology was created, called object storage that was specifically designed to handle massive amounts of data without breaking data or the bank.

Object Storage

Object storage is designed to handle massive amounts of data without breaking data or the bank.

The public cloud we all know and love is built on object storage to address the problems that come from peta-scale data storage. For large amounts of data you want the scalability, but it also has to be low cost in order to keep up with data growth and retention rates. Because much of this data is for archives and repositories, it needs to have high data durability so the data is there when needed and not corrupted.

Furthermore, its ability to serve clients data via RESTful APIs and use of metadata alongside objects, opened new possibilities for harnessing unstructured data. As such, object storage adoption is rapidly expanding as companies look to not only preserve and protect data but increasingly derive greater strategic value from it through analytics and machine learning.

Shared Nothing Architecture

Another term that pops up in the report is a “shared nothing architecture”.  We feel the concept is important because the traditional architectures will share disk and/or memory and as they grow their performance deteriorates.

Object storage is designed as a “shared nothing architecture”. For large amounts of unstructured data like video, emails, social media, log files, sensor data, audio files and the like- a different kind of storage is called for.  Solving these problems is why Western Digital’s ActiveScale™ system was designed.

Western Digital’s ActiveScale System

In the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Distributed File and Object Storage report, Gartner has positioned Western Digital as a “Challenger.“ We believe this is significant. It shows that ActiveScale has shown improved ability to execute and completeness of vision over the previous year’s report.

The ActiveScale object storage systems have proven to deliver outstanding scalability, performance and resiliency at unmatched TCO value in some of the largest and most challenging on-premises deployments in the industry.  We see how our customers use data to transform their business, our cities and lives.

Here are three reason why we think we were recognized in this report:

  1. The value of vertical innovation

    Western Digital is in the position of being the only vendor that manufactures nearly all of the components throughout the entire storage technology stack.  This enables us with unique expertise and efficiencies in manufacturing and supply, and delivers our customers with unmatched TCO value.

  2. Tackling massive data with simplicity

    ActiveScale was built for peta-scale needs. The system can scale to 63PB (raw)[1] in a single namespace to help organizations tackle massive data with simplicity and ease of management.

  3. It’s all about analytics

    Whether it’s features to enable hybrid cloud analytics, our contributions to Apache Hadoop® S3A, or delivering a great platform for Splunk, ActiveScale was built from the ground up to help organizations gain insights and harness value from their data.

If you are dealing with large amounts of unstructured data, and you want a scalable, economic and highly durable system with good performance, take a moment to check out ActiveScale and what our customers can do with their unstructured data.

To understand where the market is and how ActiveScale compares, check out Gartner’s report for yourself: http://wdc.li/GartnerMQ2018

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Distributed File Systems and Object Storage

Published: 18 October 2018 ID: G00338327

Analyst(s): Julia Palmer, Raj Bala, John McArthur

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

[1]One megabyte (MB) is equal to one million bytes, one gigabyte (GB) is equal to one billion bytes, one terabyte (TB) equals 1,000GB (one trillion bytes) and one petabyte (PB) equals 1,000TB when referring to storage capacity. Usable capacity will vary from the raw capacity due to object storage methodologies and other factors.

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Erik Ottem
Erik has over twenty-five years of experience in high tech storage sales and marketing for systems, semiconductors, devices and software. His experience includes large companies like IBM, Seagate, Agilent and Western Digital as well as smaller companies such as Gadzoox Networks and Violin Memory. At Western Digital, Erik is responsible for go to market execution, collateral development, positioning, messaging, sales and channel training as well as press and analyst briefings.Erik earned his B.S. in Plant Science from the University of California, Davis and his Master of Business Administration at Washington University in St. Louis.