Saturday, 28 February 2009

SearchStorage report: DataCore announces powerful new releases

DataCore has been previewing the next major release of its SANmelody and SANsymphony storage virtualization software at VMworld Europe 2009 this week. SANmelody 3.0 and SANsymphony 7.0 will ship next month with 64-bit software architectures and new features for virtual server users.

SearchStorage has done a good write up hitting some of the highlights and also included comments from
Jack Fegreus, CEO at Southborough, Mass.-based openBench Labs.

He is in agreement with most of the other analysts who tout storage virtualization as the area of focus in 2009 as he says that
DataCore's combining these features into a server-centric approach looks like the wave of the future for networked storage as integration increases between SANs and servers.

Product highlights include:
  • x64 versions which support up to 1TB cache
  • Transporter feature allowing for offline conversion of any to any physical or flavors of virtual servers.
  • Space reclamation capability for DataCore's Thin Provisioning feature

Read the entire article here.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Citrix XenServer for Free; What does server virtualization for free mean for storage virtualization?

Opinion, more server virtualisation projects will feed storage virtualisation deployments.
Is this a trend? Is server virtualisation becoming a commodity?

The battle at the virtual server market is heating up and these are the questions being asked. So what just happened? Citrix is now making XenServer free since it has had a hard time making inroads against the giant VMware and Microsoft’s Hyper-V initiatives and pricing (see articles below). A benefit of the industry cost battle is that it helps fuel more virtualisation projects…which obviously stresses the need for shared storage SANs but the high cost of the SAN (often the largest cost item - typically costing well over $75k) then becomes the major hurdle to virtualisation deployments.

This virtualisation and consolidation of servers results in 2 major pain points - it concentrates I/O performance (slows it down) and since all the applications are running on fewer servers it magnifies the impact of interruptions on business continuity -the 'All the eggs in one basket' impact: InformationWeek - Virtualization Driving SMB/SME Storage . This battle at the virtual server level bodes well for DataCore high-availability SAN software solutions… since DataCore overcomes these critical pain points. Citrix XensServer is now Free (XenCenter, XenMotion, Resource Pools, etc. ). Check out this overview:

Friday, 20 February 2009

Gartner Report: Virtualisation Sector in 2009; ZDE Report Validates Storage Healthiest Sector in IT

Is your business focused on the right sector in this challenging economy? Virtualisation + storage are clearly highlights and represent an opportunity for savvy resellers!

Check out the following reports:

Gartner Report: Virtualization Sector to Grow 43 Percent in 2009
Despite the recession, global revenue from the sector will surpass $2.7 billion by the end of the year. The biggest market driver? Enterprises' need to reduce the total cost of ownership of its IT systems; green IT is a welcome byproduct.

ZDE Report Validates Storage Sector as Healthiest in IT
Eighty-nine percent of storage survey respondents report that they will either maintain or increase their storage purchasing in 2009. There is reason for most of the storage business to remain confident looking ahead to next year -- despite the free-falls in other sectors of the economy.
Ziff Davis Enterprise, publisher of eWEEK, reported survey results indicating that the data storage sector of IT generally remains unblemished by the economic downturn that is zapping most of the U.S. and world economy. View the results of the survey here.

Statewide Title Chooses DataCore To Make Their Citrix XenServer Virtual IT Environment Highly-Available

SANmelody software has been selected and deployed at Statewide Title Company, Inc.

"The selection of DataCore was designed to pave the way for the Citrix XenServer implementation that we are now in the process of deploying," explained George Overstreet, systems administrator, Statewide Title, Company, Inc. "For purposes of ease of management, efficiencies and centralizing storage, we went with SANmelody."

"Our objective was simple. Update the hardware and maximize what we have - so that we did not just plunk down a lot of money for new hardware," explained Overstreet. "Statewide's parent company had just gone through a major server virtualization project so we knew just what could be achieved as far as consolidation and maximizing hardware resources. The key for us was achieving this virtualization project within an environment that is highly available to minimize downtime and outages - all of those goals led us to the need for a SAN."

DataCore SANmelody was also selected to enable Statewide Title to do reliable disk-to-disk backups, since its NAS device had been giving the firm inconsistent results. "We knew we needed something more reliable than the NAS device that was in place," continued Overstreet. "What we found was that DataCore was pivotal in enabling us to more easily do back-ups and for automating the routine, cumbersome and labor-intensive tasks associated with storage management."

For system administrator George Overstreet, the choice was clear. "With DataCore, you just have greater flexibility," he said. "It allows you to upgrade a whole lot easier. You are not constrained by the hardware - in fact you can grow your system however you want. And on top of this, with DataCore we can also meet all of our disaster recovery (DR) requirements as well - as far as off-site replication or even just fault-tolerance at a local level."

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

DataCore Running in Parallel with Parallels

Recent article:
The recent Parallels Summit 2009 in Las Vegas appeared to be a successful event that was well received by industry attendees, independent software development managers and, perhaps quite crucially, the partners who decided to attend in this time of economic uncertainty.
Big names such as Microsoft and Intel shared floor space...Here's a snapshot of what some of the more vocal partners had to say.
Storage virtualization, business continuity and disaster recovery company DataCore Software joined the event. "Parallels Virtuozzo Containers already minimizes users' storage requirements by intelligently reusing common application and operating system modules," said Bryan Goode, vice president of business development, Parallels. "By working with DataCore, we are able to further enhance the storage benefits our approach gives our customers by eliminating storage-related downtime, automating disk space management and achieving business continuity without a heavy hardware investment."

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Monday, 2 February 2009

Customer Migration Story - VMware Storage VMotion & DataCore HA - Failsafe Migrations

Recent update from the DataCore UK Blog

While recently on site at a large National Health System [NHS] Customer in the North of England, I gave some serious thought to the process of migrations from physical to virtual storage from an existing physical environment and the ramifications in the case of physical disk failure.

It occured to me that if you utilized VMWare's Storage VMotion and DataCore's High-Avaliability [HA] offering, it was possible to do a seamless, on the fly data migration from physical storage into a DataCore virtual volume, while remaining protected from physical disk failure at the destination.

It is often said that the most common time for a disk drive to fail is within 2 hours of being booted for the first time, and while 99% of us perform rigorous soak testing beforehand, there is still a chance that a disk will fail mid-migration and severely delay a project at the very least. At the very worst, it can potentially corrupt the data being transferred leading to a full recovery scenario.

If physical failure of the destination occured in this DataCore scenario, then the destination volume would merely switch over to it's highly available partner and the migration would continue seamlessly. A large reassurance in the case of this customer, while migrating mission critical, real time data in a 24-Hour environment.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Infostor Lab Review: SANmelody = storage virtualization panacea

The crew at Infostor recently put SANmelody through its paces in their lab and have just published a comprehensive review of their test methodology and findings. The Article can be viewed here (p.29) and downloaded here.

In brief, their conclusions/key findings were:

Full virtualization of direct-attached and SAN-connected storage

Simplified SAN infrastructure management through automation of storage administration tasks using the Windows MMC

SANmelody caching boosted I/O throughput by 33% running IOmeter

Round-robin LUN distribution of server I/O traffic benchmarked at 50,000 IOPS using 8KB reads with no I/O bottlenecks

No single point of failure with support for snapshots, synchronous mirroring, and synchronous replication