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.

For a Blogger's view of SANmelody 3.0 PSP3, check out the SANmelody Tune's site.

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

"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:

Tuesday, 15 December 2009


Network Computing Feature
From Network Computing Vol 18

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


"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/