GigaOm identifies unstructured data management leaders

GigaOm has six suppliers competing for the leadership position in its 2024 unstructured data management (UDM) report

Analyst Walt Whitman writes: “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.” UDM offerings, covering both file and object data management, include metadata management, user-defined tags, and rapid retrieval from embedded search engines.

Previous UDM Radar reports separated infrastructure and business use cases, he says. “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.” 

The latest UDM report has a crowded Radar diagram, with nine leaders, 12 challengers, and three entrants. They are combined into three groups: Mature platform players, innovative platform players, and innovative feature players. The analyst evaluates and scores each supplier in three tables, looking at key features, emerging features, and business criteria. Each of these three looks at several individually rated characteristics.

GigaOm Radar stats

The suppliers are then located in one of four quadrants of the radar diagram – see bootnote below – to provide a fuller picture:

GigaOm Radar

Note that NetApp has recently deprecated (removed) features in its BlueXP classification offering, such as third-party storage suppprt amd the ability to move, copy, and delete source files. BlueXP Classification was the NetApp product focus for GigaOM’s analyst, and the deprecated feature set is not reflected in the GigaOm report.

For comparison with the 2024 GoigaOm report, here is the 2023 infrastructure version of this chart:

GigaOm Radar

The 12 infrastructure vendors assessed in 2023 have become a larger group of 24 in 2024. We can also see that Panzura’s positioning has abruptly changed from being a slightly innovative feature new entrant in 2023 to a balanced innovative platform challenger in 2024. Datadobi, Druva, and Komprise have gone backward, with the latter also changing from a moderately innovative platform player to a quite mature platform player in 2024.

The dozen new suppliers assessed in 2024, compared to the 2023 infrastructure report, are Aparavi, BigID, Google with Elastifile, Hammerspace, HPE, IBM, Nasuni, Pure Storage, Quantum, Qumulo, Scality, and Varonis.

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The GigaOm Radar diagram locates vendors across three concentric rings, with those set closer to the center judged to be of higher overall value. The new entrants are in the outside ring, challengers in the next inner ring, and leaders in the one closer to the center after that. The central bullseye area is kept clear and positioned as a theoretical target that is always out of reach.

The chart characterizes each vendor on two axes – balancing Maturity versus Innovation and Feature Play versus Platform Play – while providing an arrow that projects each solution’s rate evolution over the coming 12 to 18 months: Forward mover, fast mover, and outperformer.

GigaOm says mature players have an emphasis on stability and continuity and may be slower to innovate. Innovative suppliers are flexible and responsive to market needs. Feature players provide specific functionality and use case support while perhaps lacking broad capabilities. Platform players have the broad capability and use case support with, possibly, more complexity as a result.