Tuesday, 16 June 2009

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


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

"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


"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.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

DataCore and StorageLink - storage management for the Citrix and Microsoft Hypre-V virtual infrastructure worlds

"StorageLink provides a rich integration point between DataCore's Storage Virtualization Software and Citrix Essentials," stated James Price, vice president of product and channel marketing, DataCore Software.

Citrix StorageLink is a component of the new Citrix Essentials for XenServer and Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V products - enabling simpler, integrated deployment of virtualization and storage solutions.

"Most virtual environments encompass diverse storage devices with disparate or non-existent management tools," continued Price. "DataCore consolidates the configuration, control and monitoring of these dissimilar disk subsystems under one unified management interface. This reduces complexity and costs by allowing administrators to satisfy the varied capacity, availability and performance needs of XenServer and Hyper-V virtual machines through coordinated and consistent requests, irrespective of the underlying storage hardware."

DataCore makes high availability SANs practical - offering non-stop storage and high performance for Citrix and Microsoft Hyper-V environments

"Many customers are stunned by the high costs and major overhaul generally proposed to put a new shared storage configuration in place," cautions Price. "And there's no getting past the sticker shock after hearing that 90% of their virtualization budget will be chewed up just to roll in a new SAN."
"Instead, DataCore storage virtualization software recasts all of their storage and any extra servers they may have into a fully virtualized, highly available, shared storage pool at a fraction of the cost, without compromising performance, functionality or peace of mind."

Monday, 1 June 2009

TechTarget: Retail Giant Co-op Jersey opts for low-cost DataCore Software SAN

UK Retail giant Co-Op opts for DataCore Software

Co-Op Jersey has implemented DataCore Software's SANmelody software-based storage-area network (SAN) as shared storage to support a VMware-based server virtualisation project. The resulting iSCSI SAN -- which replaced existing direct-attached storage (DAS) -- runs on two IBM servers in which all disk writes are replicated instantly across the wide-area network to provide total redundancy.

"Downtime for maintenance and provisioning new servers isn't acceptable," said Don Le Clercq, IT manager at Co-Op Jersey. "To enable this, we have used a combination of two IBM servers along with DataCore's SANmelody to provide a synchronously mirrored high-availability architecture."