Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Happy Holidays from DataCore Software, Check out the latest PSP3 release for SANmelody 3.0 and SANsymphony 7.0

SANsymphony 7.0 PSP3 & SANmelody 3.0 PSP3 are released.
For more info, please check the DataCore support site.
http://datacore.com/support/support_home.asp

For a Blogger's view of SANmelody 3.0 PSP3, check out the SANmelody Tune's site.
http://sanmelody.blogspot.com/2009/12/psp3-for-sanmelody-30-release.html

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Host.net a BroadbandOne Company offers Cloud Computing Solution - VMware, DataCore and Cisco - vServers, vStorage and vNetworks

Check out the new solution offering from Host.net. Virtual Servers & Virtual Storage [powered by DataCore] for Enterprise Scalability: http://www.host.net/Uploads/HostnetCloudInsertV10.pdf

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Deploying DataCore Storage Virtualization Software And Microsoft Hyper-V

http://www.datastorageconnection.com/article.mvc/The-Sweet-Smell-Of-Server-And-Storage-0001
"What we have found with the DataCore and Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 + Hyper-V combination is a virtual infrastructure that is redundant, reliable, flexible and expandable," stated Mary Toupin, Office Manager, Northwest Wholesale Florists. "Moreover, the redundant storage with DataCore complements the redundancy built into the VM system. We are very pleased with the way the system has performed."

The original desire to upgrade its IT infrastructure was driven by the fact that NWF was moving to a new warehouse – and needed to do that while running operations from the existing warehouse. NWF looked to its partner to design a new IT infrastructure system and provide a smooth transition. In this case, there were a number of benefits in deploying Hyper-V, even before the release of Windows Server 2008 R2. However, after the R2 release of Windows Server 2008, Hyper-V has been infused with live migration functionality – which was not in Hyper-V prior to R2. "As a reseller, the combination of DataCore with Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V gives our firm and this customer a lot of flexibility," commented Scott Gorcester, President, Moose Logic, a solutions provider and DataCore partner in the Pacific Northwest. "Using DataCore storage virtualization combined with Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 and Hyper-V in joint configurations is already proving to be a great combination for both resellers and users alike."

Re-purposing Existing Hardware and Deploying Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V

Knowing that there were two sound pieces of hardware that could be re-purposed, Moose Logic recommended a solution based on Windows Server 2008 R2 running Hyper-V. The firm built the customer two Hyper-V servers with System Center Virtual Machine Manager, running in a failover cluster. Coupled with the clustered pair of Hyper-V servers is a pair of DataCore SANmelody servers – one on an existing HP DL 380 G5 that was repurposed after adding new disk drives and more memory and the other on a new HP DL 380 G5 server to match the existing one. These G5 servers became the SAN nodes. This system went live at the customer's new location on October 1, 2009. Thirty-plus (30+) users benefit from the system daily.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

DataCore performance testing with Sun 'Thumper' server

Recently had the chance to configure a SUN x4500 "Thumper" server with SANmelody 3.0.2 for connection to an VMware Vsphere4 environment. I was able to put together some basic benchmark numbers for this very interesting configuration which highlights the flexibility that DataCore software brings in designing storage solution to fit specific budget and storage requirements.
See the complete post and results at SANmelody Tunes:
http://sanmelody.blogspot.com/2009_12_01_archive.html

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Network Computing Feature: WHY A STORAGE BACKBONE BENEFITS FROM HARDWARE INDEPENDENCE WHEN BUILDING A STORAGE VIRTUALISATION STRATEGY.

Network Computing Feature
http://networkcomputing.co.uk/articles/reviews.asp?a_id=253
From Network Computing Vol 18
DATACORE EXPLAINS WHY A STORAGE BACKBONE BENEFITS FROM HARDWARE INDEPENDENCE WHEN BUILDING A STORAGE VIRTUALISATION STRATEGY.

Over the past 12 months as the credit crunch has deepened, organisations have sought alternatives from purchasing costly storage hardware. In turn, many have explored the adoption of software virtualisation to enable and optimise their storage. They have understood that software based Storage Area Networks (SAN) offer immediate advantages to the bottom line, invariably meaning that the IT Department can enable the project to progress, rather than be stopped at sign off. The Finance Manager has also seen that software based SANs enable the IT Manager to repurpose existing hardware, or to elect to buy lower cost hardware, as opposed to always chasing newer, high cost hardware, to get the required functionality.

The inherent beauty of storage virtualisation software is that it can bring high performance and high functionality along with hardware independence at lower investment and with lower operational costs. This approach can also be highly complementary to an IT Department's preferred hardware, giving an extra lease of life, or adding that extra functionality normally only available on highend disk arrays. So storage virtualisation, like server virtualisation, implies the use of software to overcome inherent hardware limitations, without regard to the make or model of the underlying storage devices; those who limit use of this powerful technology to a given hardware configuration, are doing the industry a disservice, setting users up for avoidable obsolescence. The central point of the debate lies not in hardware versus software, but in the hardware choices offered to run the storage virtualisation code, this year, next year, and the year after that.

Pick an appliance and your fate is sealed. The moment that appliance runs out of steam, be it processing power, I/O bandwidth or expansion slots, determines its end of life. The rate of change in the computer industry suggests that could be as short lived as 6 months. What would you say to anyone who told you that your server virtualisation license can only run on your current server? And that you have to buy a new license to move it to a bigger or faster server? Worse yet, that you have to buy them together from the same supplier, who only offers two models! And it only supports their "special" disks. Pretty ridiculous, but that is exactly what storage virtualisation appliance vendors promote under the header of being 'factory integrated'.

Does it matter whether you use Fibre Channel or iSCSI for a software based SAN? Both provide solutions for different needs today. Fibre Channel is very fast and easily outperforms iSCSI at the moment. It was designed and optimised for a SAN, and many companies have taken the jump and invested in Fibre Channel switches, Host Bus Adapters and storage, but it is costly compared to IP SANs where iSCSI uses NICs and switches that are commodity items, available at commodity prices. Often an enterprise that has already invested in Fibre Channel or needs the performance of Fibre Channel for its hightransaction and high workload applications also uses iSCSI for lower performance applications.

Using the existing skills in an organisation of IP Networks rather than the 'dark magic' of Fibre Channel, means that human resources are more readily available and their costs are invariably lower. But as technology moves forward and iSCSI speeds increase from 10Gbit to 100Gbit and eventually to 1Tbit, the cost differences will be minor, let alone looking at FCoE, and other network technologies of the future.

Once again, only a truly independent software virtualisation solution can work with all these technologies today and future proof the options for tomorrow. Those who have adopted a hardware appliance have done so at their own peril, playing the future-guess game and possibly limiting their business.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Barren County Schools Deploys DataCore Storage Virtualization to Support VMware and Provide a Complete Virtual Environment

http://www.snseurope.com/snslink/news/news-full.php?id=13668&result=datacore

"This is not one of those products where we were sold more than we bought," concluded Gumm. "With DataCore SANmelody, we bought more than we were sold. We are getting far more out of it than I thought we would, which is a wonderful thing."

"The biggest benefit for us was realizing a virtualized data infrastructure," stated Steve Gumm, IT director, Barren County Schools. "Because we adopted storage virtualization, we now have a front-end piece whereby we can deploy any hardware behind it that we want. We can bring in an additional SAN if we want – whatever vendor we choose – and still use the DataCore product. We can just fold those SANs into our infrastructure and it would be seamless to the end user. Beyond this – with DataCore we were able to repurpose old equipment."

"For all intents and purposes, we are 100% virtual," commented Gumm. Barren County Schools has two data centers – one primary and one secondary. VMware vSphere is currently running on two, new PowerEdge servers. The Xiotech storage arrays are in both data center locations – the primary one and the "offsite," or secondary, data center. The two locations contain a similar, mirrored, environment which includes two DELL vSphere servers and a Xiotech array which are attached to the SANmelody SAN server. To get to this, Barren County Schools migrated everything it had on an existing EMC SAN to the DataCore and Xiotech based SAN in a live environment using SANmelody to do so. The IT team mapped LUNs from the old SAN to the new SAN and while in production migrated all of the data to the new location.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Did DataCore Software Invent Thin Provisioning SAN Software?

The original post on the subject on DrunkenData: http://www.drunkendata.com/?p=1162
More recently:

Check out DataCore Software, the company that invented thin provisioning. Yes, ‘invented’, the first company to ship the network-wide thin provisioning capability, ala a SNIA defined Sparse Volume, back in 2002, well before 3Par, the company credited with the term “thin provisioning”. DataCore and 3Par were several years ahead of and have several years more experience in, thin provisioning, than the competition.

DataCore also provides space reclamation for any host O.S. type and does what 3Par, Compellent, NetApp, HDS and all the other hardware centric storage providers DON’T do, DataCore allows the end user to choose who’s disk and what type of disk technology they want to use, freeing them from the shackles of the storage silo model of having to fill all those expansion trays and drive slots from the given company, where the first time buyer sweetheart deal is long gone.

Test Drive it now!Try thin provisioning with your disks or storage array, a 30 day trial download is available at: http://www.datacore.com/products/prod_SANmel_trynow_form.asp

Plus, given the fact it’s openly running on industry standard commodity hardware, it’s always at least a generation ahead of all the ’specialized’ array controller heads, that are also running on commodity hardware in reality. Add to that the flexibility that type of solution provides when it comes to adding interfaces (iSCSI, FC), increasing interface density, speed (the first 8Gb FC target on the market), cache size, etc., you can’t find a better overall value.

Dave Brown: http://www.cinetica.it/2009/10/14/start-thin-stay-thin-think-thin/

Monday, 30 November 2009

Eweek: Live Migration Coming into Play in System Refreshes

http://blogs.eweek.com/storage_station/content/general/live_migration_coming_into_play_in_system_refreshes.html Storage virtualization provider DataCore Software is now deploying its SANmelody system in conjunction with the second release of Microsoft Windows Server 2008, working in clustered Hyper-V systems.

The news here is that a Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V cluster now has the ability to "live-migrate" the virtual machines, meaning two cluster nodes have read/write access to the disk at the same time. This wasn't possible in the first release.

The time and money savings of this feature are potentially significant. Live migration elicited a lot of interest recently when DataCore showcased its storage virtualization software at Microsoft's TechEd Europe show in Berlin.

"What this DataCore-Hyper-V setup does is to minimize or even eliminate downtime, when we need to make system changes," said Jack Weisberg, IT director of an early adopter, the New York law firm of McNamee, Lochner, Titus & Williams. "So far this system is working very nicely. Plus, everything is redundant. We have redundant storage with DataCore. And we have redundancy built into the VM system."

When making the purchasing decision to replace some legacy hardware and software, Weisberg said it boiled down to DataCore's SANmelody versus an HP/LeftHand Networks system.
"In comparing both systems, we found both to be strong in terms of their capability of avoiding single points of failure," Weisberg said. "But I really like not being tied to specific hardware -- something DataCore enables. It was very important for us not to get locked into older platforms, when there is newer hardware available on the market that we could use with SANmelody."Using DataCore, the storage solution provider, P&J Computers, was able to use its preferred hardware of choice -- in this case, enterprise-class 6GB SAS drives. DataCore enabled administrators to add a couple of 10GB NICs (network interface cards) in these servers at a very low cost.

So, there's some real-world decision making at work. Is that something you're looking at for 2010?

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

DataCore Storage Virtualization Software Proves to Be a Great Fit for Microsoft Hyper-V and Cluster Deployments

Case in Point - Law Firm McNamee, Lochner, Titus & Williams
http://vmblog.com/archive/2009/11/16/datacore-storage-virtualization-software-proves-to-be-a-great-fit-for-microsoft-hyper-v-and-cluster-deployments.aspx

DataCore Storage Virtualization Software Proves to Be a Great Fit for Microsoft Hyper-V and Cluster Deployments; Case in Point - Law Firm McNamee, Lochner, Titus & Williams
Microsoft Hyper-V and DataCore Software's Storage Virtualization Are Winning New Customers Together by Successfully Powering Virtual Infrastructures


DataCore Software announced its SANmelody storage virtualization solution has been deployed along with Microsoft® Windows Server® 2008 Hyper-V™ at the law firm McNamee, Lochner, Titus & Williams. "McNamee/Lochner" is one of the largest law firms in Albany, New York. "The combination of DataCore with Microsoft Windows Server 2008 for Hyper-V allowed us a lot of flexibility to deploy the best solution possible at McNamee/Lochner with the available hardware," stated Kelly M. Knowles, Network Engineer, P&J Computers, Inc.

Hardware Independence - Optimized by Virtualization

McNamee/Lochner had reached a point where the firm needed to increase its storage capacity. "Our storage was growing at a much faster rate than it had in the past," noted Jack Weisberg, IT director, McNamee, Lochner, Titus and Williams. "Moreover, the hardware that we were running on was out of warranty - so we were looking to get something new." Since 2004, the firm had been using a clustered SAN - an HP MSA 1000. Initially, a key requirement in a new system was something that had a solid approach to redundancy, as well as one that offered ease of expansion.
Whereas LeftHand Networks was an early front-runner, since it seemed a logical replacement to the MSA SAN, P&J Computers presented DataCore SANmelody to the firm as well. "In comparing both systems, we found both to be strong in terms of their capability of avoiding single points of failure," noted Weisberg. "But I really like not being tied to specific hardware - something DataCore enables. It was very important for us not to get locked into older platforms, when there is newer hardware available on the market that we could use with DataCore SANmelody."


With DataCore, P&J was able to their preferred hardware of choice - in this case enterprise-class disks 6 GB SAS drives. Knowles praised the ability of DataCore to enable administrators to add a couple of 10 GB NICs in these servers for a very low cost as "tremendous."

P&J Computers - Trusted Solution Providers
DataCore partner P&J Computers, Inc., a data storage and IT service provider, sees the DataCore and Microsoft Hyper-V combination to be not only a good fit - but a great opportunity for both resellers and users alike. It also showcases P&J Computers' ability to be one of the first to implement the latest Windows Server 2008 R2 technology, which was released to the manufacturer (RTM) in July and was just released publicly in October 2009.

P&J Computers is engaged in several accounts where they are deploying DataCore storage virtualization, Windows Server 2008 and Hyper-V in joint configurations. What the partner saw in the new R2 release of Windows Server 2008 release was an opportunity for McNamee/Lochner to take some of the complexity out of its existing environment. What was imperative to making this possible was the release of Windows Server 2008 R2 and the live migration functionality - which was not in Hyper-V prior to R2.

A Virtual Infrastructure - Combining Servers and Storage to Support Mission-Critical Applications

DataCore SANmelody is now deployed in conjunction with a clustered Hyper-V system. Moreover, with a Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V cluster McNamee/Lochner now has the ability to "live migrate" the virtual machines (VMs). Both cluster nodes have read/write access to the disk, at the same time. Running on this infrastructure, there are four (4) VMs that can "live migrate" between the two hosts. Currently, the second node at McNamee/Lochner is located onsite, albeit in a separate rack. "What this DataCore-Hyper-V set-up does is to minimize or even eliminate downtime, when we need to make system changes," noted Weisberg. "So far this system is working very nicely. Plus, everything is redundant. We have redundant storage with DataCore. And we have redundancy built into the VM system."

The multi-Terabyte data pool at McNamee/Lochner and the system is currently supporting 130 users. A third node - running Microsoft Data Protection Manager - is deployed for back-up. The applications McNamee/Lochner uses run on HP DL 380 G6s (dual processor, quad core with Nahalim). The 24 GB of memory can be expanded to 144 GB, if need be. "All the bread and butter applications for running McNamee/Lochner's business will run on this by year-end," noted Knowles.

The next phase of the migration will entail moving what was clustered on Windows 2003 on the old SAN into the virtual environment as well. Space is allocated and P&J Computers just needs to schedule a date to do the cut-over.

Value Protection That Meets Business Objectives
In embracing a virtualized approach, McNamee/Lochner is looking three or four years down the road. Therefore DataCore's "Carry Forward Value Protection Program" - which translates to "Buy - Upgrade - And only pay the difference" - is for McNamee/Lochner a real insurance policy, whereby they might look at new hardware and still keep the same software. "I love this policy that DataCore offers," commented Weisberg. "I am entitled to upgrade the hardware I use with DataCore storage virtualization software. Rather than be forced to scrap my MSA 1000 SAN when it is at its end-of-life, with DataCore I can just buy new hardware and I can continue to use the software - on any new environment I choose. I really think this is awesome."

"We were looking for something redundant, reliable, flexible and expandable," summarized Weisberg. "The DataCore-Hyper-V combination really fit our needs. I certainly like the virtual environment. I also really like having redundant storage. And having seamless failover was key for us as well."

About McNamee, Lochner, Titus & Williams
Based in Albany, New York, McNamee, Lochner, Titus & Williams is one of the Capital Region's oldest and largest law firms with multiple practice areas ranging from civil litigation to business transactions, reflecting a diverse clientele. For more, visit www.mltw.com.

About P&J Computers, Inc
For connectivity, network and data center solutions, P&J Computers has served as a complete source for IT solutions since 1984. www.pjcomp.com.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

DataCore Virtual SAN Appliance Software Lets Customers Experience New Migration and Clustering Features in Microsoft Hyper-V without Buying a New SAN

http://www.snseurope.com/snslink/news/news-full.php?id=13508&result=datacore

DataCore Software says that customers who don't have a SAN can now experience new features in Microsoft Hyper-V including live migration, dynamic load balancing and high-availability, simply by downloading DataCore's pre-configured Virtual SAN Appliance (VSA).VSA makes it possible for two physical servers to share disks and that is something of great significance to Hyper-V users – since many Hyper-V capabilities require just that. The DataCore VSA comes in a standard VHD format for Microsoft® Windows Server® 2008 Hyper-V™ and Microsoft Hyper-V.The VSA can be downloaded at http://www.datacore.com/msvsappliance/ .
Fully operational in just a few minutes With DataCore's Virtual SAN Appliance Microsoft Hyper-V users can quickly:

  • Utilize Microsoft virtualization environments with an iSCSI SAN created from their server's internal disks. No need for new hardware!

  • Pool up to 1 Terabyte of disk space "Thin Provision" storage to the virtual machines. See how much capacity it saves!

  • Leverage DataCore's "mega cache" capability – this speeds up performance for Exchange, SQL and others applications using surplus server memory to cache I/Os from the virtual SAN

  • Use Snapshots for Instant Volume Cloning and Fast Disk-to-Disk Backups Create a SAN from their server's internal disks

DataCore™ Virtualizes Storage for Microsoft Hyper-V Users "Why wait until you can roll in a SAN?" said Augie Gonzalez, Director of Product Marketing at DataCore Software. "When DataCore can virtualize the physical storage from internal or direct-attached disks to make it behave as a shared storage pool."

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Microsoft and DataCore Software Combine to Address ‘Real-World' Site Recovery

http://www.snseurope.com/snslink/news/news-full.php?id=13495&result=datacore
Market Forces: New Virtualization Drivers; Comprehensive Solutions

Despite the tough economic times, Microsoft has noted recent studies which have reported that over 30% of businesses surveyed this year indicated DR will be their main driver for virtualization. These reports show a continued shift, as IT professionals look at addressing new challenges beyond test/dev and basic server consolidation scenarios in deploying virtualization technologies.Microsoft has clearly recognized the importance of site recovery solutions in terms of addressing real-world user scenarios and the benefit of partnering to provide end-to-end solutions that together overcome the limitations of single-vendor, specific site recovery solutions such as VMware's SRM.

Microsoft and DataCore Software Combine to Address ‘Real-World' Site Recovery
Taking machines from one site and replicating them to another site before a calamity unfolds is not new. But buyer beware. Many other disaster recovery products are limiting in that they assume recovery, from one environment to an identical or very similar environment or they support only a subset of the infrastructure. Often physical servers are not supported or require a separate solution from applications and virtual servers. DataCore ASR enables users to execute site recovery operations in a way that is fundamentally different from existing solutions in the marketplace today by bringing the data center together into a single solution.

"The industry is conditioned to think of DR as a one-to-one proposition. This places unreasonable demands on a single recovery site that mirrors the main site," argues Augie Gonzalez, product marketing director at DataCore Software."But most organizations aren't structured that way. They look more like a hub and spoke, with smaller branches emanating from the central data center. For this reason, DataCore's Advanced Site Recovery distributes the disaster recovery workloads among these smaller entities, allowing each of them to accept a more manageable role in keeping the business going."

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

DataCore Software: Create a virtual SAN for Hyper-V

Create a virtual SAN for Hyper-V
http://searchservervirtualization.techtarget.com/news/article/0,289142,sid94_gci1374013,00.html#
DataCore released a version of its Virtual SAN Appliance (VSA) this week for Microsoft Hyper-V environments. The product allows customers to access Hyper-V features such as live migration, dynamic load balancing and high availability without having to purchase an external storage area network (SAN) storage.Using locally attached internal disk drives, the DataCore VSA creates a virtual iSCSI SAN that can pool up to 1 TB of capacity.

VSA includes the ability to "thin provision" VM storage to save capacity, create snapshots for instant volume cloning and speed up application performance by leveraging surplus server memory.DataCore VSA comes as a virtual appliance in Microsoft-standard Virtual Hard Disk format, and can be downloaded from the DataCore website for a free 30-day trial.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Microsoft Tech-Ed Virtualization Pavilion Showcases DataCore’s Advanced Site Recovery Software; New Capabilites for Microsoft Hyper-V

Microsoft Virtualization Pavilion Showcases DataCore’s Advanced Site Recovery Software; Extends Disaster Recovery and Clustering Benefits of Microsoft Hyper-V
http://www.it-director.com/technology/storage/news_release.php?rel=14301

DataCore Software was featured last week within the Microsoft Tech-Ed Virtualization pavilion. DataCore showcased its ground-breaking Advanced Site Recovery (ASR) solution for virtual and physical IT infrastructures. Unlike other site recovery approaches that are limited to a specific vendor's virtual machine recovery, DataCore ASR enables both physical and virtual servers to be protected across multiple sites. The combination of DataCore ASR and Microsoft Hyper-V™/ Microsoft® Windows Server® 2008 R2 Failover and Clustering features enables businesses to embrace "real-world" Distributed Disaster Recovery (D-DR) – allowing organizations to cost-effectively spread disaster recovery (DR) responsibilities across several smaller sites.

Microsoft and DataCore Software Combine to Address ‘Real-World' Site Recovery
Taking machines from one site and replicating them to another site before a calamity unfolds is not new. But buyer beware. Many other disaster recovery products are limiting in that they assume recovery, from one environment to an identical or very similar environment or they support only a subset of the infrastructure. Often physical servers are not supported or require a separate solution from applications and virtual servers. DataCore ASR enables users to execute site recovery operations in a way that is fundamentally different from existing solutions in the marketplace today by bringing the data center together into a single solution.

"The industry is conditioned to think of DR as a one-to-one proposition. This places unreasonable demands on a single recovery site that mirrors the main site," argues Augie Gonzalez, product marketing director at DataCore Software."But most organizations aren't structured that way. They look more like a hub and spoke, with smaller branches emanating from the central data center. For this reason, DataCore's Advanced Site Recovery distributes the disaster recovery workloads among these smaller entities, allowing each of them to accept a more manageable role in keeping the business going."

Monday, 9 November 2009

DataCore Software Updates Storage Virtualization Free Trial Software; Performance Acceleration, Migration Tools + iSCSI, Fibre Channel, FCoE Support

http://vmblog.com/archive/2009/11/03/datacore-software-updates-storage-virtualization-free-trial-software-includes-performance-acceleration-migration-tools-and-support-for-iscsi-fibre-channel-and-fcoe.aspx
DataCore Software announced that it has updated its Free Trial software, which is architected to optimize and manage users’ storage. This free trial of SANmelody™ iSCSI, Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), and Fibre Channel SAN evaluation software, comes with performance acceleration, content migration, snapshot and thin provisioning – all included. The evaluation software enables data centers and IT departments to consolidate and maximize their disk capacity utilization. SANmelody simplifies management and leverages existing storage hardware and networking to efficiently serve the storage needs for Windows, Netware, MacOS, UNIX, and Linux systems as well as Microsoft, VMware and Citrix virtual servers and desktops.

The Free Trial software http://www.datacore.com/products/prod_SANmel_trynow_form.asp supports group snapshot and cloning, simple content migration and iSCSI and Fibre Channel as well as FCoE.

FCoE Connectivity - Access Fibre Channel storage pool via the LAN switching infrastructure. Application servers and other storage consumers can now access SANmelody nodes equipped with Fibre Channel SAN connections using their Ethernet Network Interface Cards (NICs). This capability takes advantage of the new Fibre Channel over Ethernet protocol and FCoE-compliant switches.

Group Snapshot and Clone Command - Synchronize online snapshots across inter-dependent volumes. This capability coordinates multiple snapshots to occur at the same time across a group of related volumes. It ensures point-time synchronization of file systems and application data that reside on different disks. Fast and efficient disk-to-disk backups across volumes are greatly simplified – plus it ensures that clones created on new equipment are an exact replica of their predecessor.

Content Migration - Relocate active drives into the virtual storage pool. This feature enables existing drives formatted with NTFS file systems to be incorporated easily into the SANmelody storage pool. These physical drives are first un-mounted from the application servers where they were once active, and then reconnected behind a SANmelody node. The SANmelody node acts as an intermediary between the application server and these drives. To take full advantage of SANmelody advanced virtualization features, their contents may be copied to virtual disks using snapshots. The relocated drives can then be wiped clean and included in the physical storage pool as additional capacity, or they may be decommissioned.

See the following announcement on recent DataCore SANmelody enhancements – link: http://www.datacore.com/pressroom/pr_live.asp?date=10/14/2009

SANmelody Free Trial Software with iSCSI + FCoE + FC SAN Support: Try It Now!

DataCore SANmelody software converts standard Intel/AMD servers, blades or virtual machines (VMs) into fully capable SAN-wide storage servers that virtualize disks and serve them over existing networks to application servers. For a FREE 30-day trial go to: http://www.datacore.com/products/prod_SANmel_trynow_form.asp.

With the SANmelody evaluation software, users can:

· Pool up to 1 Terabyte of disk space.
· Support a mix of iSCSI/Ethernet, FCoE and Fibre Channel connectivity.
· Speed up application performance with “Mega-Caching” – using surplus server memory to cache I/Os from the virtual SAN.
· "Thin Provision" storage.
· Use Snapshots for Instant Volume Cloning and Fast Disk-to-Disk Backups
· Create a SAN from your server's internal disks. No need for new hardware!

Special Offer: Go Beyond the Evaluation “Free Trial” Package with a Feature-Packed, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery SAN Software

For users who need to go beyond the “starter” Free Trial version because their requirements are more demanding, DataCore is offering special promotions on “Feature-Packed SAN Software,” which provide additional, more advanced features such as auto-failover, high-availability mirroring and asynchronous IP Mirroring.

To learn more, please visit: http://www.datacore.com/products/prod_SANmelody_buy.asp

For info on Customer Promotions: http://www.datacore.com/customerprograms/ or contact DataCore directly at: info@datacore.com

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Storage Technology News: DataCore SAN Management - School district maintains uptime

http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/news/article/0,289142,sid5_gci1373639,00.html

The Barren County, Ky., school district discovered it could make good use of management features such as thin provisioning and remote mirroring even if they're not included natively with its storage arrays. As part of a virtualization project, the district installed an Emprise 5000 storage system from Xiotech Corp. and DataCore Software Corp.'s SANmelody software to increase uptime and decrease the impact of maintenance on its users.

Barren County school district includes around 4,600 students and 700 faculty. IT Director Steve Gumm and his team handle a high school, middle school, seven elementary schools, the board office, a day care location and four other buildings...

Gumm revamped his storage setup over the summer after the district virtualized all 30 of its servers with VMware. Gumm thought it would be a good time to modernize his storage network, which consisted of a four-year-old EMC iSCSI SAN. The district first went to its server vendor Dell and took a look at an EqualLogic iSCSI SAN. But Gumm wasn't comfortable with the idea of failing over between EqualLogic controllers in different sites during frequent network upgrades.

...Barren installed two 16 TB Fibre Channel systems in separate buildings and Gumm uses SANmelody to manage them with the uptime he wants.

"With SANmelody, we can thin provision those SANs," he said. "We're not utilizing all the space, and thin provisioning lets us use just what is needed at the time. We also use it for data mirroring between both locations. If we need to do maintenance or I need to re-boot my SAN for whatever reason, we drop the SAN here, failover, do our maintenance, failback, and we're up and going."...

"We can manage whatever maintenance needs to be done, whenever we need it," Gumm says of his new setup. "The biggest benefit coming down the road is we're not going to have to do forklift upgrades. When it comes time to add storage, we won't have to rip out the unit. We can add to the unit and allow DataCore to manage where we move data to."

Monday, 2 November 2009

DataCore Releases SANmelody 3.0 - Non-disruptive disk, array, or vendor substitution - Raw Disk Mirroring

DataCore Releases SANmelody 3.0
Latest update version of vendor’s data storage and disk space management platform targets small and midsized businesses
http://www.information-management.com/news/san_storage_area_network_virtualization-10016293-1.html

Non-disruptive disk, array, or vendor substitution - Raw Disk Mirroring
http://sanmelody.blogspot.com/2009/10/raw-disk-mirroring-non-disruptive-disk.html With the release of SANmelody 3.0 PSP2 comes the addition of "raw disk mirroring" which I have touched on in the previous post.
I really don't think this new capability has been given enough coverage when you look at the flexibility it provides. The ability to replace "backend" raw disks without interfering with Virtual Volumes, NMV Volumes or the NMV Pool itself, all while I/O operations continue as normal is an incredible capability.Let look at a scenario: Client maintains a large VMware environment serving ~10TB of data across ~40 thin provisioned virtual volumes server from a SANmelody HA environment with "Vendor A" storage at the backend consisting of many 2Gb FC 146GB 7.5K drives... They are replicating this data to a DR site consisting of SANmelody with "vendor C" disk.Customer has decided to de-comission "vendor A" storage, in place of "vendor B" which contains new 4Gb 300GB 15K rpm drives.Solution: Utilising raw disk mirroring we are able to serve up new capacity from "vendor B" and mirror the raw disks with "vendor A" without touching any of our provisioned volumes. Once mirrors are established we can disconnect "vendor A" and continue as normal without any interuption to the business or to our DR replication solution. But I don't run SANmelody or SANsymphony?.. The 2nd piece of this puzzle is "Proxy volumes support". If you have existing vendor storage and would like the type of flexibility discussed above to migrate data, it can be done. DataCore can "pass through" all of your existing served volumes (with file systems) and mirror the data while it is serving I/O..........

Computer Technology Review:
SNW Fall 2009: DataCore enhances SANmelody storage virtualization solution

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Computer Technology Review: Homecare Homebase deploys DataCore storage virtualization solutions

Homecare Homebase [HCHB] deploys DataCore storage virtualization solutions
...HCHB empowers the homecare and hospice industry to be more effective in providing healthcare to patients. Currently 4,375 office workers and over 11,000 field agents rely on applications running on HCHB’s IT systems infrastructure. Everything HCHB customers do is mobile and all of the applications HCHB offers these agents in the homecare industry are both mobile and real-time.

“The combination of the VMware platform along with the DataCore SAN has really given us a lot of flexibility to more rapidly deploy consistent images of systems – especially in the Citrix farm,” explained Chris Kane, director of technical operations, Homecare Homebase. “In addition, the VMware-DataCore combination has given us much improved VMotion capability – where the SAN enables us to do maintenance on the host in the middle of the day, if we have to.”

...“We quickly outgrew the storage we had – both in terms of the amount of space presented by those units as well as the performance of those units,” noted Kane.
HCHB has a big Microsoft SQL Server shop and tended to back-up its customer information using these snap units at each site to replicate for disaster recovery purposes. According to Kane, the units were just not able to keep up with the back-up planning and also the synchronization of the data. “The storage we had before DataCore became troublesome,” commented Kane. “We were in desperate need, not only of space, but also of reliable storage.”

...On its own, HCHB looked at EqualLogic from Dell, LeftHand from HP, as well as EMC and NetApp.
Noted Kane, “The DataCore SAN solution suits our IT administrative style better than the other solutions we saw. The more we looked at traditional SAN solutions – encompassing hardware, software and professional services – for us, these weren’t the type of solutions that we have typically dealt with. We have a lot of skilled technology people in house and we like to be able to get our hands on every piece of technology we bring in. The fact that DataCore is Windows-based gives us a little more control – particularly being able to manage the hardware ourselves. Moreover, DataCore gave us a full, high availability solution. Not to mention that DataCore is very competitive price-wise – so all of this made DataCore the best choice for us.”

...Virtualizing the Citrix environment with VMware and DataCore running in tandem has provided a real, tangible benefit in terms of system maintenance and administration. Before – with the physical, Citrix environment, the IT team at HCHB was very limited in terms of what they could do with those systems during the working day.
“Just the patch management aspect of keeping up with all the physical boxes has been greatly improved in the virtual environment because we can deploy patch templates versus having to constantly update from Microsoft or other vendors,” added Kane.
With the SAN in place, the virtual environment at HCHB has delivered real benefits to customers and system administrators alike. These benefits are a direct result of the improvements made possible through these new virtualization capabilities. For instance, HCHB as a whole is able to roll out new services more rapidly and consistently. The current databases and applications that HCHB uses internally to run its business, such as file servers (documentation that support internal needs) or Microsoft Office Sharepoint (that supports customers), have benefited, either directly or indirectly, from the VMware virtual infrastructure and the DataCore storage virtualization SAN.

...“It has been very rapid growth for us recently,” summarized Kane. “And I am very, very happy with the performance we are getting both out of VMware and the DataCore SAN at this point. The SAN has made a world of difference to us. There were many choices for a SAN – from a variety of SAN vendors. For us, DataCore was the right fit. DataCore gives us the ability to select and maintain the hardware of our own choice. It gives us the ability to have a fully redundant, highly available SAN – not just at the controller-level, but at the storage-level itself. That, combined with the price point DataCore’s portable SAN software offers – even when having to purchase hardware and licensing – is still much more effective than anything else we found on the market.”

Saturday, 24 October 2009

New Capabilities for DataCore SANmelody

New Capabilities for DataCore SANmelody
http://www.storagenewsletter.com/news/software/datacore-sanmelody-30
Aimed at SMBs eager to upgrade their disk subsystems and storage network infrastructure

Friday, 23 October 2009

DataCore Video - 6 years old - content applies

DataCore Video - 6 years old - content applies
Take a look at the following video from DataCore Software created over 6 years ago, the content in this clip is more relevant today that ever. It demonstrates how far ahead DataCore Software was at that time and shows that their core ...DataCore SANmelody tunes - http://sanmelody.blogspot.com/

DataCore Piles on Resources for VARs

DataCore Piles on Resources for VARs
http://www.channelprosmb.com/article/14641/DataCore-Piles-on-Resources-for-VARs/;jsessionid=BF7AD2B261245AC04F57A62E1A43EC16
In the last several months, storage virtualization and recovery innovator DataCore Software has initiated new services and support as well as new products to help SMBs optimize storage solutions.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Powerful new capabilities in latest virtualization release from DataCore Software.

http://www.it-director.com/sme/news_release.php?rel=13724

...The new features are aimed at small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) that are eager to upgrade their disk subsystems and storage network infrastructure, but fear the broad business disruptions that such changes typically bring.
The new features, now shipping, in SANmelody 3.0 enable:

Non-disruptive Substitution - Replace storage arrays in the background.
Copies the contents of a designated storage array (or individual drive) to the unit that will replace it while applications continue to use the logical volumes. The new array (or drive) transparently takes over once it matches the contents of the original drives so that the older drives can be taken offline without impacting users.

Redundant Pathing - Configure network paths between storage virtualization nodes.
These paths may be diversely routed to ensure that if one primary network connection is broken or taken offline, synchronous mirroring between nodes will continue uninterrupted over the alternate connection.

Prioritized Recovery - Prioritize resynchronization of mirrored disks.
Ensures that the most critical, volumes are resynchronized first when a node or its storage is taken off-line during an upgrade or unplanned outage.

Group Snapshot and Clone Command - Synchronize online snapshots across inter-dependent volumes.
Coordinates multiple snapshots to occur at the same time across a group of related volumes. This ensures point-time synchronization of file systems and application data that reside on different disks. It ensures that clones created on new equipment are an exact replica of their predecessor.

Content Migration - Relocate Active Drives into Virtual Storage Pool.
Enables existing drives formatted with NTFS, Unix, Linux and other file systems to be incorporated into the SANmelody storage pool. These physical drives are first un-mounted from the application servers where they were once active, and reconnected behind a SANmelody node. The SANmelody node will then act as an intermediary between the application server and these drives. To take full advantage of SANmelody advanced virtualisation features, their contents may be copied to virtual disks using snapshots or synchronous mirroring. The relocated drives can then be wiped clean and included in the physical storage pool as additional capacity, or they may be decommissioned.

FCoE Connectivity - Access Fibre Channel storage pool via the LAN switching infrastructure.
Application servers and other storage consumers can access SANmelody nodes equipped with Fibre Channel SAN connections using their Ethernet Network Interface Cards (NICs). This capability takes advantage of the new Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) protocol and FCoE-compliant switches.

New Features: SANmelody 3.0 PSP 2 Released

New Features: SANmelody 3.0 PSP 2 Released

Good Screenshots and Overview Highlights: http://sanmelody.blogspot.com/2009/10/sanmelody-30-psp-2-released.html

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

VMware, Hyper-V virtualization leave others in the dust

Interesting post:
The data derives from TechTarget's "Virtualization Decisions 2009 Purchasing Intentions Survey" of 666 IT professionals that have deployed or are evaluating virtualization. Data was collected between June and September 2009.

To no one's surprise, survey respondents reported using VMware Inc. over other virtualization software by a wide margin: 72.4% identified some VMware edition as their primary virtualization platform (ESX 2.x to 4.x or VMware Server), compared with 14.8% that cited a Microsoft offering (Hyper-V or Virtual Server).Blowing away the competition But despite a fair amount of buzz, Citrix XenServer, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, Virtual Iron Software Inc. and open source Xen variants barely registered. Each came in at about 1% market share. OS-level and partitioning-based virtualization platforms (HP VSE, IBM mainframe partitions, Solaris Containers, and Parallels Virtuozzo) fared even worse, failing to garner a mention by even 1% of respondents.VMware is the 800-pound gorilla, and everyone wants to vote for the winner...
Read more: http://searchservervirtualization.techtarget.com/news/article/0,289142,sid94_gci1369150,00.html#

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Virtualization and “the new availability” -John Abbot -The 451 Report

Interesting post:
http://datacenterjournal.com/content/view/3254/40/
Long established techniques addressing application resilience, data availability and disaster recovery are being challenged by server virtualization technologies from companies such as VMware, Citrix and Microsoft. Where do we go from here? ...

Who’s selling what? So who are the market players? The virtualization infrastructure vendors – VMware, Microsoft and Citrix Systems in particular – continue to build functionality to increase availability into their core products, threatening in some cases to squeeze out competition from third-party vendors. A core part of what they offer is the live migration of virtual machines, which can move workloads to a different server while they are running. This has the potential to eliminate the need for planned downtime altogether.

But there is still plenty of room for other vendors to operate. They range from storage array vendors with their own hardware-specific tools (such as EMC, Hewlett-Packard and NetApp) to software-based replication vendors (such as Double-Take Software and NeverFail).
The storage vendors typically provide the best performance, but require an investment in expensive networked storage resources. Modular, iSCSI-based storage systems such as HP's LeftHand and Dell's EqualLogic are capitalizing on the new demand for availability, attracting customers that have previously been frightened away from shared storage by the complexities and expense of classic fiber channel-based storage networks. A related approach is that of the storage virtualizers, such as DataCore Software...

Monday, 12 October 2009

New SANmelody 3.0 Product Review in Network Computing

New Product Review of SANmelody 3.0 in Network Computing.

FCoE Is Ready, Is It Time to Care?

http://www.enterprisestorageforum.com/ipstorage/features/article.php/3841266
Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) has been a much-hyped technology, but adoption rates haven't yet lived up to the propaganda.According to Seamus Crehan, an analyst at Dell'Oro Group, only about 10,000 FCoE ports shipped in 2008. While that number is predicted to reach 1 million in 2011, it will still be outgunned by Fibre Channel by a factor of 10 to one. That said, FCoE isn't a technology to ignore...

However, Alexander Nier, product manager for DataCore Software, cautions that an understanding of the underlying technology is a must or implementation headaches will crop up."Don't confuse FCoE with a freshly paved road where everything goes better just because it's new," said Nier. "FCoE is a complementary technology rather than a replacement for existing products. The main prep work is to understand if somebody may or may not benefit from using FCoE."

To his mind, if you are a happy camper today, there is probably no need to switch gear. As FCoE is still in the early stages of adoption, he wouldn't encourage anyone to switch if the technology they have in place is satisfactory. FCoE's primary intention, after all, is to consolidate back-end cabling by using the same physical media (Ethernet cable) for multiple transportation streams in parallel."If the back-end cabling of your server racks looks like a mess, and each server has a bunch of fiber optic and network cables connected to it, you're probably a good candidate," said Nier.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

ComputerWorld Test Center: SANs tuned for virtualization pack nice surprises

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9138935/Test_Center_SANs_tuned_for_virtualization_pack_nice_surprises?taxonomyId=0&pageNumber=1
Virtualization is moving further into the datacenter all the time, with even critical large-scale applications like Exchange and databases now being virtualized. Whether you're using virtualization to make large applications more manageable or to consolidate many small applications, a server with lots of RAM, lots of processor cores, and lots of I/O is a good thing.

And so is a SAN packed with features that ease the management of storage for virtual machines.From a storage viewpoint, each virtual machine uses a file to simulate a physical hard disk. This file, a VMDK (Virtual Machine Disk Format) under VMware or VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) under Microsoft, can be located on a server's internal drive or on a SAN. There are several advantages to putting the file on a SAN: The file can be duplicated using the storage's snapshot function, the file can be moved easily from one hardware server to another for scalability or fault tolerance, and the storage itself can be more easily made fault tolerant.

I tested five midrange SAN systems that deliver the goods for virtual environments: the Compellent Storage Center 4.0, the Dell EqualLogic PS4000, the HP StorageWorks 2000sa G2 Modular Smart Array, the Pillar Axiom 600 from Pillar Data Systems, and a build-it-yourself pairing of the Promise vTrak E610f hardware and DataCore's SANmelody 3.0 storage software...

The prices (as tested) of these systems range widely, from less than $10,000 for the Promise Technologies and DataCore combination to $130,000 for the Pillar Data system. All the manufacturers have models ranging from inexpensive starters to very high-performance datacenter-ready systems. As you can tell from the range in price, the models I tested don't necessarily compete with each other.
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9138935/Test_Center_SANs_tuned_for_virtualization_pack_nice_surprises?taxonomyId=0&pageNumber=6

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Storage virtualization in Universities and Education around the world

DataCore Software announced new SAN software packages and promotions for academic institutes that deliver price savings of up to 50% and highlighted a host of educational institutions around the world that have already deployed storage virtualisation using its SANmelody and SANsymphony solutions.
“Most educational enterprises want enterprise-class storage networking functionality but have to settle for a lot less, since they do not have the budgets to implement these solutions due to the high costs and complexity that is involved – especially for fault-tolerant, auto recovery storage systems needed to protect and support virtual server environments,” stated George Teixeira, president and CEO, DataCore Software.

Monday, 21 September 2009

VMware vSphere "HCL" listings for DataCore SANmelody / SANsymphony

Both SANmelody and SANsymphony have been "VMware ready Certified" for some time now with detailed support information available. Now, both SANmelody 3.0 and SANsymphony 7.0 are listed on the VMware "HCL" for both iSCSI and Fibre Channel on VMware ESX 4.0. Simply search the HCL for "DataCore" under the SAN/Storage section to view results. http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php .

Thursday, 3 September 2009

DataCore Software Leverages ROBOs to Cut Business Continuity Costs for VMware vSphere Customers

http://vmblog.com/archive/2009/08/31/datacore-software-leverages-robos-to-cut-business-continuity-costs-for-vmware-vsphere-customers.aspx
DataCore Software, a leading provider of storage virtualization, business continuity and disaster recovery software solutions, used VMworld 2009 to introduce VMware customers to its new Advanced Site Recovery (ASR) solution. The company has developed a distributed and cost-effective way to have IT assets at remote office and branch offices (ROBOs) take over for the main datacenter when the central machines are unable to meet processing obligations. Whether that is during planned facility outage or an unexpected disaster makes no difference.

“We recognize that economic pressures preclude all but the most affluent organizations from dedicating another site to back up their main data center. So we've chosen to tap the horsepower available at the ROBOs during emergencies,” explains Augie Gonzalez, product marketing director at DataCore. “Given a choice, customers will opt to run their business on systems in a remote office or branch office machine versus not doing business at all.”

For VMware vSphere™ customers, remote servers whose primary duty is branch office computing, are given a second “dormant” personality to be awakened as needed. When the main site can’t get the job done, each branch office takes on a piece of the back-up role in line with their processing capacity.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

DataCore Software at VMworld 2009

DataCore at Vmworld 2009, for additional information, please visit:http://www.datacore.com/vmworld2009/

Monday, 31 August 2009

DataCore Software Announces Support for Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE)

DataCore Software Announces Support for Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE)

DataCore Software, a leading provider of storage virtualization, business continuity and disaster recovery software solutions, today announced support for native Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) connectivity for its SANmelody™ and SANsymphony™ storage virtualization solutions. The company has added the Emulex and Brocade FCoE converged network adapters (CNAs) and Cisco Nexus 5000 Series switches to its FCoE-qualified support list. Additional FCoE CNAs will be announced over the next year. FCoE software drivers are currently available for Microsoft® Windows® and VMware® ESX / vSphere®.

“With the addition of FCoE to our SAN connectivity options, DataCore continues to demonstrate the ease with which our storage virtualization software adapts to new technology and extends the life of existing investments,” stated Augie Gonzalez, director of product marketing, DataCore Software. “Our customers can immediately take advantage of FCoE in their highly scalable, non-stop storage pools without having to replace or modify their existing back-end storage, which may well include DAS, iSCSI and Fibre Channel interfaces.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Serious About High Availability?; Virtual Storage Infrastructure – Can Software Take Center Stage?

Virtual Storage Infrastructure – Can Software Take Center Stage?
We’ve been conditioned to think of infrastructure as hardware. Is it time to rethink?...

Serious About High Availability?
Solutions like DataCore enable non-stop data access using commodity-priced storage devices from vendors of your choosing. Each side of the mirror can use different types of storage; they need not be from the same supplier. In fact, some of the solutions can reconfigure the equipment that you already have to eliminate storage downtime…

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Virtualise storage through SANs, says IDC

Industry Analyst Articles/Reports on DataCore
http://www.datacore.com/pressroom/pr_industry_analysts_reports.asp

Virtualise storage through SANs, says IDC
Analyst recommends firms create SANs with storage virtualisation software rather than shelling out for new equipment
http://www.techcentral.ie/article.aspx?id=13895

The best way to virtualise your storage is through a storage area network (SAN), according to IDC.

In a new report entitled "Removing storage-related barriers to server and desktop virtualisation," the analyst firm claimed there is no need for high-end expensive systems to reap the benefits of virtualisation - just create a SAN with storage virtualisation software.
Carla Arend, analyst for European storage software and services at IDC, said in the report: "This hardware-independent approach complements server and desktop virtualisation without compromising availability, speed, or project schedules."

"Properly implemented, value-added functions like replication and snapshots can be used in a heterogeneous storage environment across storage model and manufacturer boundaries. Just as importantly, it can significantly lower capital and operational expenditure for physical and virtual environments alike."

The report said moving to a virtual environment will simplify management, improve disaster recovery and cut costs, but warned there were pitfalls too. These included initial investment and overlooking needs like shared storage.

Most importantly, IDC said any virtualisation software your firm purchases should not be tied to any one set of hardware. As well, make sure the storage virtualisation software you pick properly addresses your physical servers.

"Otherwise, you may end up fragmenting the IT environment that you are eager to consolidate," said Arend.

Create SAN with storage virtualisation software: IDC
http://www.ciol.com/Technology/Networking/News-Reports/Create-SAN-with-storage-virtualisation-s/w-IDC/21809123918/0/

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Virtual Storage Infrastructure - Can Software Take Center Stage?

http://www.datacore.com/downloads/SoftwareCentricStorageInfrastructure-Handout.pdf

...Comprehensive storage virtualization software offerings like those from DataCore Software, a pioneer in the storage virtualization space, offer a superset of the advanced feature/functionality found on high-end storage systems, yet can be utilized across disparate disk resources and centrally managed. The same rich set of functions cover direct-attached and SAN-connected storage arrays, regardless of model or manufacturer. This software typically runs on standard x86/x64 servers and is fully portable between hardware generations so that customers are not faced with the usual obsolescence of proprietary storage appliances.

This capability provides data center managers with a number of distinct advantages.

Firstly, whenever a storage asset needs to be retired or upgraded, the migration process is non-disruptive and greatly simplified. The new array is presented to the storage virtualization engine and the data that was contained on the old array is transparently moved to the new array. No scheduled downtime is necessary.

Secondly, since command and control of the storage environment is in the hands of the overarching storage virtualization software, the backend storage can be purchased “bare bones”, without all the costly embedded firmware licenses. This has the effect of commoditizing storage and empowering the IT buyer to negotiate very aggressive discounts from multiple storage vendors.

Another interesting advantage of software-based storage virtualization kicks in when the software leverages “Moore’s Law” through the use of increasingly faster CPUs to speed up I/O processing. In effect, the storage virtualization server puts its internal processors and memory to use as high-speed caches for accelerating disk I/Os from anywhere in the virtual storage pool. Furthermore, this extra processing capacity helps offload advanced functions from the application hosts and the disk subsystems to ensure better quality of service across the board. This insulates the business from needing to incur costly proprietary disk controller storage upgrades and helps greatly extend the usable life of all storage assets on the data center floor.

What’s more, certain storage virtualization software can run as a virtual machine (VM) instance, alongside application VMs helping customers to further improve server resource utilization and truly maximize efficiencies throughout the data center...

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Is the Sky falling on VMware?; Citrix XenServer a Suprise Hit; DataCore Teams with Citrix

Interesting articles from last week:

Citrix XenServer Virtualization a Surprise Hit with Fortune 500 Companies
http://vmblog.com/archive/2009/08/12/citrix-xenserver-virtualization-a-surprise-hit-with-fortune-500-companies.aspx

Citrix Systems, Inc. announced that more than 10 percent of Global Fortune 500 companies have downloaded and activated its Citrix® XenServer™ virtualization platform for production use in the last four months, with activations among large enterprises spiking significantly after the release of XenServer 5.5 in June. Since making XenServer available for free unlimited production deployment earlier this year, more than 150,000 users have downloaded the product...A big reason for the recent surge among large enterprise organizations has been the release of XenServer 5.5 in June, adding a wide range of new enterprise-class capabilities. The Burton Group, in fact, recently certified Citrix XenServer 5.5 and its Citrix Essentials™ 5.5 management add-on as one of only two hypervisor platforms in the industry to meet 100 percent of the analyst firm’s required features for enterprise production.

Is the sky falling on VMware?
Good overview of the Microsoft and VMware Battle: http://searchservervirtualization.techtarget.com/news/article/0,289142,sid94_gci1364388,00.html#

..."Microsoft is clearly gunning for the virtualization space, and they have a pretty good track record of making a dent in a space that they want to be in," he said. Another real problem for VMware is that Hyper-V R2's management tools now manage VMware's ESX hypervisor, while VMware's tools won't manage Hyper-V R2. That's big for users who want to use both hypervisors, because only Hyper-V R2 will be able to manage the entire environment, Cappuccio said. "I would hope [VMware is] paying attention," he added. "My fear is that 'good enough' always wins out in the long run, and if it's good enough and pervasive, VMware may lose out."VMware most stands to lose with companies that are not yet using any virtualization and are shopping for the right vendor, Wolf said. Those customers will likely look at VMware, Microsoft and Citrix Systems Inc.'s XenServer to decide on the right choices. "Microsoft and Citrix both, I think, are going to get a reasonable part of the market," said Chris Wolf, Burton Group...

DataCore, Citrix Make Virtualization Easy for XenServer and Microsoft Hyper-V
http://www.bsminfo.com/index.php?option=com_content%26task=view%26id=1508%26Itemid=170
The DataCore Virtual SAN Appliance and StorageLink Adapter can be downloaded at: http://www.datacore.com/virtualSANappliance.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Citrix and DataCore team up to help Customers and Cut Storage Costs

DataCore, Citrix Team Up To Cut Storage Costs and help Customers
http://www.tek-tools.com/wordpress/index.php/948/san-management/datacore-citrix-team-up-to-cut-storage-costs
In the same vein as networks like Small Business Web, two IT companies have joined forces in an effort to actually help customers.

DataCore Software and Citrix Systems - both located down there in balmy Florida - are now working together to cut storage costs.Companies that use Citrix's virtual server tools can now try out DataCore's virtual storage software, the DataCore Virtual SAN appliance: http://www.datacore.com/virtualSANappliance/, for free.

Basically, instead of losing stored data in a horrible virtual server crash, the customer can safely store data elsewhere by means of DataCore software. And it's free!

DataCore CEO and president George Teixeira said a big hurdle for Citrix customers was the cost to store that data."A company that wants to go to virtualization might get excited, they might see a cost savings," Teixeira said. "But when they go to buy the storage, they find the cost is actually high."He said storage hardware equipment costs, on average, $100,000.

This is a brilliant business move by Citrix and DataCore. Not that they need it, Ctirix especially.Last month, the company reported that second-quarter revenue was nearly flat, at $393 million, but profit grew 22% to $43 million.

A move like this means Citrix will only get bigger - and DataCore is happily going along on the ride.

Monday, 10 August 2009

DataCore Offers Virtual SAN Appliance plus New Citrix StorageLink Adapter for Microsoft Hyper-V and XenServer

DataCore Offers StorageLink Adapter for XenServer and Hyper-Vposted in XenServer
- Server Virtualization by Simon Crosby
Download the Virtual SAN Appliance now: http://www.datacore.com/virtualSANappliance/
To find out more information about Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V, please visit: http://www.citrix.com/English/ps2/products/subfeature.asp?contentID=1855667

....We're pleased to announce availability of the first 3rd party developed adapter for Citrix StorageLink™ adapter, offered by DataCore™. This takes the form of a fully featured tiral SANMelody virtual appliance that is fully integrated in Citrix StorageLink v1.0.5 and above. The free trial license extends for 30 days.The DataCore™ SANMelody virtual appliance (download here: ) allows the user to perform storage management tasks directly out of the Citrix StorageLink user interface. It unifies management of virtual machines and DataCore virtual storage into one single console, whether you're using XenServer or Hyper-V. It offers both FC SAN and iSCSI support. The cool thing about the virtual appliance is that it lets you experience a full blown SAN without having to roll in expensive new SAN disk arrays, since it acts as a network-based appliance that provides rich storage management features for a wide range of storage systems... Simon Crosby Blog:http://community.citrix.com/blogs/citrite/simoncr

Download it now: http://www.datacore.com/virtualSANappliance/
To find out more information about Citrix Essentials, please visit: http://www.citrix.com/English/ps2/products/subfeature.asp?contentID=1855667.

Citrix Community BLog:http://community.citrix.com/blogs/citrite/simoncr/2009/08/03/DataCore+Offers+StorageLink+Adapter+for+XenServer+and+Hyper-V

Brian Madden: DataCore Offers StorageLink Adapter for XenServer and Hyper-V
http://www.brianmadden.com/blogs/the_official_citrix_blog/archive/2009/08/03/datacore-offers-storagelink-adapter-for-xenserver-and-hyper-v.aspx
Citrix StorageLink is a powerful set of technologies that completely automates the storage related functions for virtual infrastructure, including SAN management, and leveraging array or storage-appliance features for pooling, snapshots, and fast clones ...

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

DataCore Advanced Site Recovery (ASR) Solution Delivers a More Flexible and Powerful Approach to DR for VMware vSphere 4

DataCore Software highlighted recently the power of its new ASR solution for VMware environments. DataCore ASR allows organizations to leverage readily available IT assets between different sites, to minimize or eliminate business disruptions and data loss attributed to planned and unforeseen site outages. ASR builds on DataCore's universal storage virtualization software to move IT operations from a central site to one or more distributed contingency locations - and back again.

For a recorded podcast on DataCore ASR from SearchDisasterRecovery.com featuring commentary from SearchStorage.com's Beth Pariseau and IDC's Rick Villars, click here:http://searchdisasterrecovery.techtarget.com/news/article/0,289142,sid190_gci1361899,00.html

"Unlike some other site recovery approaches that are limited to just virtual machines, DataCore ASR enables both physical and virtual servers to be protected across multiple sites," stated George Crump, president, Storage Switzerland. "This advanced approach to DR - one that encompasses distributed disaster recovery, is an important milestone and I am happy to see companies like DataCore reaching it."

Designed for both virtual and physical IT infrastructuresA new addition to DataCore's comprehensive business continuity portfolio - DataCore ASR enables businesses to embrace Distributed Disaster Recovery (D-DR). The solution allows organizations to cost-effectively spread disaster recovery (DR) responsibilities across several smaller sites. Additionally, the solution makes no distinction between physical and virtual servers, unifying their DR operations in a common, automated process.

Monday, 3 August 2009

New Data Sheet on Advanced Site Recovery [ASR] from DataCore

Advanced Site Recovery (ASR): Advanced Site Recovery software enables businesses to embrace Distributed Disaster Recovery (D-DR) that allows organizations to cost-effectively spread disaster recovery (DR) responsibilities across several smaller sites. ASR makes it practical to move IT operations from a central site to one or more distributed contingency locations - and back again. Additionally, the solution makes no distinction between physical and virtual servers, unifying DR operations in a common, automated process.

See Advanced Site Recovery DataSheet

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Disaster Recovery News: Rick Villars from IDC and Beth Pariseau of SearchStorage discuss DataCore's Advanced Site Recovery

DataCore Software debuts Advanced Site Recovery for physical and virtual disaster recovery http://searchdisasterrecovery.techtarget.com/news/article/0,289142,sid190_gci1361899,00.html
DataCore Software Corp. recently introduced a new product, Advanced Site Recovery (ASR), that allows organizations without a secondary data center devoted to disaster recovery (DR) to fail over physical and virtual servers to multiple remote or branch offices (ROBOs) in a disaster.

Beth Pariseau, senior news writer for SearchStorage.com
Rick Villars, vice president of storage systems and executive strategies at IDC

They will answer questions about Advanced Site Recovery such as:

What are the main features of Advanced Site Recovery, and what do users need to set it up?

This product is meant for organizations without a secondary data center devoted to disaster recovery, so is DataCore going after the SMB market?

Do you think SMBs that may not currently have a DR plan in place need this level of protection?

What are the drawbacks of this setup?

What are the differences between Advanced Site Recovery's functionality and what VMware is working on?

Play the Interview

Storage Virtualization in Local Governments Worldwide Booms. Cities and Towns Around the Globe Optimize Storage with DataCore

http://www.it-director.com/enterprise/public_sector/news_release.php?rel=12421
As governments around the globe feel the economic pinch, many are realizing the benefits of storage virtualisation - risk avoidance, productivity increases, cost containment, investment protection, and more.

DataCore Software announced that the City of Atascadero in California and the Town of South Windsor in Connecticut have become two of the latest cities to embrace the benefits delivered by DataCore's storage virtualisation solutions.

Countries in the Asia-Pacific region are also increasingly turning to storage virtualization just as they have embraced server virtualization. Local governments are no exception. Notable cities that are using DataCore as the foundation of a virtual infrastructure span Australia - City of Greater Dandenong, Kingston City Council, Upper Hunter Shire Council; Korea - Paju City, DaeGu City, Damyang Provincial Government, Gangjin Provincial Government, Kwangyang City, Suncheon City, Youngju City; and Taiwan - Taipei City Government, Information Management Center.

The list of local governments continues to expand (see below addtional worldwide listings).

The City of Atascadero investigated other vendors and, according to Systems Administrator Ken Phillips, DataCore gave the IT department the best combination of the features that he needed with a price point that the city could afford. The city is now using DataCore's SANmelody™ storage virtualisation solution to serve as its storage area network (SAN).
"DataCore SANmelody has been 100% reliable," noted Phillips. "The biggest benefit we have seen is the fact that we can add storage without bringing anything down. Now we are not paying for any storage that we are not using. We were also looking for a product that would give us the ability to facilitate DR and thin provisioning. Both of these requirements were met with the DataCore SANmelody product."
See full release on The City of Atascadero: Click here or visit http://www.datacore.com/pressroom/pr_live.asp?date=07/22/2009

Town of South Windsor in Connecticut has also realized tremendous benefits after deploying DataCore's SANmelody storage virtualisation software as its SAN. Prior to DataCore, the Town of South Windsor was grappling with an older, converted Novell network that the IT Department had migrated to Microsoft. In the words of the current network administrator for the town, this was literally riddled with "single points of failure" everywhere. After being sold on VMware to address the IT Department's server-sprawl, it knew a SAN was needed to support the virtual machines.
"However, the hardware SAN approach was just not going to happen," said Scott Roberts, IT director, Town of South Windsor. "Traditional SAN vendors were asking upwards of $250,000 just for the storage piece of the infrastructure puzzle. Our entire budget was $125,000 - for virtual servers, storage, new equipment, everything. The fact that DataCore allowed us to repurpose servers we already had on hand was a tremendous advantage as well."
See full release on Town of South Windsor: Click here or visit http://www.datacore.com/pressroom/pr_live.asp?date=07/08/2009

Other local governments and government entities using DataCore SAN solutions in the US include: Alabama Department of Public Health (AL), Alameda County Medical Center (CA), Brockport Central Schools (NY), California School Employees Assn. (CA), Charter Township of Canton (OH), City & County Of Honolulu (HI), City of Carmel (IN), City of Elk Grove (CA), City of Elk Grove Police Department (CA), City of Hampton (VA), City Of Inverness (FL), City of Marysville (OH), City of Newport News (VA), City of Norfolk (VA), County of Butte (CA), Dinwiddie County Government (VA), Douglas County Circuit Courts (OR), Jefferson County Library Cooperative (AL), Los Angeles County Office of Education (CA), Los Rios Community College District (CA), Meridian Board of Education (CT), Mississippi Department of Health (MS), New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJ), Oolagah-Talala Schools (OK), Orange County Data Center (CA), Oswego County School District (NY), Owasso Public Schools (OK), Peoria Unified School District (AZ), Rankin County (MS), Rocklin Unified School District (CA), Sacramento County District Attorney's Office (CA), San Diego Housing Commission (CA), San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office (CA), Seminole County Sheriff's Office (FL), Stanislaus Union School District (CA), State of South Dakota (SD), The City of Newport Beach Fire Department (CA), Thurston Regional Planning Council (WA), Town of Branford (CT), Town of Clinton (CT), Town of Jackson (WY), Town of South Windsor (CT), Town of Westford (MA), and Wayne County Government (IN), among others.

City and local governments worldwide benefit from the benefits of storage virtualisation powered by DataCore
Central Europe: In Central Europe, Germany is leading the pack in terms of adoption at the city and local government level. German cities and states that have deployed DataCore include: Aalen, Ahaus, Ahrweiler, Altoetting, Aurich, Bad Hersfeld, Bad Kreuznach, Baden-Baden, Barsinghausen, Belm, Bramsche, Bremen, Cuxhaven, Deggendorf, Dresden, Emsdetten, Erlangen, Erlangen-Hoechstadt, Frankfurt a.M., Geesthacht, Georgsmarienhuette, Greven, Guetersloh, Heidelberg, Hermsdorf, Hof/Saale, Ingolstadt, Kaufbeuren, Kleinmachnow, Koblenz, Kronberg im Taunus, Lambrecht, Langenau, Langenfeld (Rhld.), Lippstadt, Mannheim, Merzig, Muenchen, Neustadt a.d. Weinstrasse, Nordhorn, Oldenburg, Osnabrueck, Osterholz Scharmbeck, Peine, Ploen, Rheine, Rhein-Lahn Kreis, Ruegen, Ruesselsheim, Siegburg, Speyer, Steinburg, Sulzbach-Rosenberg, Sylt, Traunstein, Troisdorf, as well as Witten, among others.
Other cities in Central Europe include the Dutch city of Oost-Groningen and Bern in Switzerland.
Northern Europe: DataCore's products are equally well-represented in Northern Europe, particularly the UK. Local governments in Britain using DataCore storage virtualization software include Ashfield District Council, Borough of Poole, Bournemouth Borough Council, Mole Valley District Council, Shepway District Council, Waverley Borough Council, and West Dorset District Council, among others.

Southern Europe: Towns and cities across France are equally prolific in their adoption of DataCore. Representative cities and towns include: Mairie d'Asnieres Sur Seine, Communauté du Pays Voironnais, Conseil General de la Martinique, Communaute Agglomeration de Douai, La communauté d'agglomération de La Rochelle, Mairie de Maisons Laffitte, and Mairie de Chelles, among others. Other cities in Southern Europe include the Italian cities of Cervia, Lugo di Romagna Rivoli, and Sala Bolognese.

Friday, 10 July 2009

DataCore Advanced Site Recovery (ASR) Software

Article: DataCore Advanced Site Recovery (ASR) SoftwareSome approaches to high availability and disaster recovery require that an organization maintain a separate datacenter, DataCore’s approach is to utilize excess capacity in current datacenters. This approach is likely to be appealing to small to medium sized organizations that don’t have the luxury of maintaining a separate datacenter for disaster recovery...
http://blogs.zdnet.com/virtualization/?p=1028

For more information on ASR, see:http://www.datacore.com/pressroom/pr_live.asp?date=05/11/2009

Monday, 6 July 2009

FUJIFILM Focuses on DataCore's SANmelody for Storage Virtualization Cost Savings and Disaster Recovery

“Consolidation was becoming increasingly necessary to stem the pressure on the team having to backup, manage and ultimately move redundant servers,” stated Manish Amriwala, network and desktop support team manager, FUJIFILM UK. “We needed a dedicated SAN and virtualized servers that would accommodate our growth and transition us from the restrictions of disk space provided by direct-attached storage.”

Rollout commenced in March 2008 and within two months all major applications were transferred onto the 12 virtual servers. The network carries 3.4 TB or 1.7 TB mirrored of data – with a further 50% expansion remaining available. Installation was a seamless and relatively painless process noted Manish. “Within just 2-3 hours we had an operational business continuity and disaster recovery solution up and running,” he said. “Now maintenance and allocating storage is much easier. Using SANmelody in a mirrored configuration, patches and new applications and servers can be easily uploaded; as one SANmelody box can be taken down without any interruption to business applications as the other SANmelody takes over.”

In addition, there have been notable financial benefits in terms of cost savings managing the new virtualized data center environment. The team has equated the reduction of costs for the entire virtualization campaign to be roughly GBP 50,000 - GBP 80,000 per annum – in terms of reduction of man days for management and maintenance.

http://vmblog.com/archive/2009/07/01/fujifilm-uk-focuses-on-datacore-s-sanmelody-for-storage-virtualization-cost-savings-and-disaster-recovery.aspx

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Oxford University Computing Services uses DataCore's SANmelody™ solution to provide storage for automated 'VM4 rent' virtual infrastructure.

http://www.it-director.com/technology/data_mgmt/news_release.php?rel=11646

Oxford University Computing Services (OUCS) is implementing DataCore's SANmelody™ as the storage platform to sit behind their VM4 Rent service.

OUCS Network Systems Management Service (NSMS) provides high quality and cost effective IT services for all members of Oxford University by centrally operating, developing and supporting the University's primary computing infrastructure and services on a charge back basis across 25 colleges and 15 departments across many campuses throughout Oxford. As a department, NSMS' time is frequently spent supporting smaller departments with very limited IT resources.

To this end, NSMS is moving towards adoption of a totally self automated, self provisioning, web based virtualised model known internally as "VM4rent" by, in effect, renting Virtual Machines to their customers (Previously NSMS' data centre would provide storage services out across Fibre Channel SANs served by IBM/EMC direct attached storage). The infrastructure behind the VM4rent model includes two centralised VMware ESX 3.5 servers and virtualised storage through DataCore's SANmelody™, supporting VMware applications and seamlessly provisioning storage on demand. This virtualised computing on demand service is extremely useful for those departments who require a temporary service - such as a research project that has been granted funding for a year.

...Jon Hutchings, Senior Systems Engineer, OUCS Network Systems Management Service, notes of SANmelody, "The principles behind our VM4rent scheme are perfectly echoed and served by SANmelody; allowing us to plug in storage and support virtual servers as and when we need, ultimately providing a cost-effective storage solution that we are happy to recommend"

Friday, 12 June 2009

Delivering Storage Virtualization into Private Clouds

http://www.oncloudcomputing.com/en/2009/06/datacore-software-announces-external-it-to-deliver-storage-virtualization-into-private-clouds/
"I was first exposed to DataCore at a Brian Madden conference," said Joseph Stedler, senior engineer and Dallas data center manager, External IT.

Stedler summarizes the value of a storage virtualization approach as follows, "I have worked with traditional SANs for eight years and have had firsthand experience with every major hardware SAN under the sun - EMC, HP, NetApp, etc." he said. "There are various, major drawbacks to hardware SANs. One is the fact that there is a single point of failure at the disk level. This is particularly the case when doing, for example, firmware upgrades - on the controllers, on the disks, on the shelves - whereby you have to take the SAN down to perform that task. The second most irksome characteristic of hardware SANs is their cost. These EMC SANs, these HP EVAs are inherently expensive, particularly during upgrade time."

The Value of DataCore: Uptime, Performance and Much More

"There are capabilities that DataCore brings to the table that I absolutely love," commented Stedler. "The concept of having two SANs as your one SAN environment is just elegantly simple. You have an 'A' side and a 'B' side." The beauty of this is that if you need to do hardware maintenance or firmware upgrades, an administrator can actually take down half of the SAN and still have the other half serving production traffic - completely uninterrupted. The second, major benefit of DataCore for External IT has to do with performance. "With DataCore, you will experience enormous performance gains," noted Stedler. "The performance that DataCore delivers is nothing short of awesome."

Friday, 5 June 2009

DataCore Announces Updated Partner Program; Targets Virtualization and Microsoft Hyper-V Partners

To learn more about the DataCore SANvantage Partner Program and find out how you can 'Knock Down Storage-Related Sales Barriers to Virtualization' please visit: www.datacore.com/stepuptodatacore.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

DataCore Unveils Advanced Site Recovery Solution for Virtual and Physical IT Infrastructures

ASR builds on DataCore's universal storage virtualization software to switch IT operations from a central site to one or more distributed contingency locations and back

http://www.echannelline.com/usa/brief.cfm?item=16552

"The industry is conditioned to think of DR as a one-to-one proposition. They place unreasonable demands on a single recovery site, asking them to suddenly take over much larger workloads under very stressful conditions," said James Price, vice president channel and product marketing, DataCore Software.

"But most organizations aren't structured that way. They look more like a hub and spoke, with smaller branches emanating from the central data center. For this reason, DataCore's Advanced Site Recovery distributes the disaster recovery workloads among these smaller entities, allowing each of them to accept a more manageable role in keeping the business going."

DataCore's unique one-to-many approach fits well within the networking, computational and storage capacity constraints found in branch locations. And it also factors in staff and real estate limitations.

ASR works whether the servers are purely physical, or have been virtualized with Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware or other popular hypervisors. Moreover, it supports the use of dissimilar storage devices between the data center and its branches. In contrast, lack of such heterogeneous features in competing, and much pricier, disk array-based replication products makes them unsuitable for many customers.