Friday, 26 February 2010

10 Ways To Add Value To Virtual Environments

10 Ways To Add Value To Virtual Environments [slide show];jsessionid=KRTE4R2ONXQ2BQE1GHPCKH4ATMY32JVN?pgno=7
VMware held its annual VMware Partner Exchange earlier this month, and used the conference to talk about virtualization and cloud computing.

DataCore: Virtualization In 3-D
DataCore, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., used the conference less to talk about products and more to discuss its central theme for 2010, "Virtualization in 3-D."

Storage virtualization is the third dimension after server and desktop virtualization, according to DataCore, which also said that the fundamentals of a virtualization solution are not adequately addressed until the software tackles storage-related challenges.

Augie Gonzalez , director of product marketing at DataCore, said that, while servers and desktops deserve much attention, disks represent a constant source of upheaval in virtual environments.

He also said DataCore lets customers provision, share, reconfigure, migrate, replicate, expand, and upgrade storage without impacting production environments, and virtualizes disks across pools of tiered storage devices to overcome incompatibilities between different generations, models, and manufacturers of storage devices.

“Top 20 Storage Products from VMworld” [slide show];jsessionid=VAYV1HKMBIUH5QE1GHRSKHWATMY32JVN?pgno=7

VMware Partner Exchange 2010 closes with VMware Solution Providers heralding DataCore Software as the 3rd dimension to their virtualisation practice.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Creating DMZs in the Cloud
One of the things being heavily pitched toward anybody building a cloud computing service these days is the value of highly integrated servers. The thinking goes that the higher the level of integration, the lower the cost to maintain and run the system.

But there is another argument that speaks to the need to isolate specific sets of services inside a larger cloud computing service. For example, if you go with an integrated server, you pretty much have to move in lockstep with that vendor for all your servers, networking and storage. If there is a major advance in any one of these areas, a chief technologist running a cloud computing service on an integrated server might not be able to take advantage of it until the vendor upgrades the entire system. Given the long-term nature of cloud computing services and the level of cut-throat competition, that might not be the strategic way to go.

Instead, vendors such as DataCore Software, a provider of storage virtualization software, argue that cloud computing services should, for example, isolate services like storage using a software-only approach that makes it realtively easy to create pools of storage by mixing and matching storage hardware from multiple vendors. This approach helps creates a “demilitarized zone” between technologies that allow IT organizations to continue to leverage multile vendors to take advantage of ongoing advances in technology.

According to Augie Gonzalez, DataCore Software director of product marketing, this approach also provides the ability to leverage inexpensive cache on the server to drive performance, versus relying on limited amounts of expensive cache on the storage arrays. Gonzalez also points out that as software offering, DataCore can offer the same level of integration with cloud computing offerings such as Cisco Nexus virtual switches and VMware’s vSphere management software.

So all things being equal, the question becomes is it worth mortgaging the future to gain some short term gains in system administration that can probably be achieved anyway without locking in the hardware?

Wednesday, 17 February 2010 combines DataCore Software, VMware and Cisco to provide new cloud computing platform

Link:’s Cloud Computing – Enterprise Virtual Solutions Overview

Search Storage: combines DataCore Software, VMware and Cisco to provide new cloud computing platform

DataCore Software announced that its storage virtualization technology is helping to power a cloud computing platform by The platform also includes VMware server virtualization and Cisco Nexus virtual network technologies. With this platform, private clouds can be built on virtual servers from VMware vSphere, Cisco and DataCore storage virtualization. Each virtualization technology comes with different capabilities such as converged networking from Cisco, synchronous mirroring from DataCore and the ability to quickly grow storage from VMware.,289142,sid190_gci1379793,00.html#

“We chose VMware, DataCore and Cisco in the core design of our cloud platform because each vendor delivers the very best virtualization component in their respective areas of competence,” said Jeffrey Slapp, VP of Virtualization Services for “In three months’ time, dozens of companies have signed on as new customers because of the competitive advantages we have achieved with this combination of technologies and architecture.”

Cloud Agility through Hardware Independence

“It seems to me that any cloud computing platform needs to, at its very core, be based on portable software,” stated George Teixeira, President and CEO, DataCore Software. “Many clouds are being built from a hardware vendor-specific mindset. What is wrong with this picture? Well, the whole point of cloud computing is delivering cost-effective services to users – and that demands the highest degree of flexibility and openness, versus being boxed in to specific hardware platforms that may not adapt to changes over time. Aren’t clouds, after all, supposed to be soft and agile?”

Because the vPDC platform is comprised of software-based technologies, the company’s offering is not tied to any specific hardware. This avoids the problems associated with building clouds with a hardware provider sandwiched between virtual servers and virtual networks, enabling flexibility far beyond any cloud offering dependent on hardware vendors like IBM, EMC and NetApp. It also essentially eliminates any capital expenditure outlays from the customer.

“With or without a recession, companies are looking for cost-effective infrastructure solutions. A software-based cloud architecture helps answer that need,” said Lenny Chesal, Executive Vice President of “This makes it a direct, positive impact on the customer’s bottom line as well as overall efficiency, enabling companies to do more with less.”

Link:’s Cloud Computing – Enterprise Virtual Solutions Overview

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

VMware Solution Providers herald DataCore Software as the 3rd dimension to their virtualisation practice.

DataCore™ storage virtualisation software deemed strategic to their Server Virtualisation and Desktop Virtualisation business

As the doors closed on last weeks VMware Partner Exchange in Las Vegas, DataCore Software assessed the strategic value that its storage virtualisation software brings to VMware solution providers. Simply put, DataCore fulfills the 3rd dimension required by VMware value- added resellers (VARs), service and hosting providers to complete their virtualisation offerings. “Failing to include storage virtualisation software to address IT storage challenges results in an incomplete, two-dimensional solution,” comments Augie Gonzalez, Director of Product Marketing, DataCore Software. “Virtualisation solutions must concurrently address server, desktop and storage challenges presented by the many variations of hardware that get deployed over the course of multiple years.”

With DataCore storage virtualisation software, VMware customers gain storage hardware flexibility and improved disk space utilization. Importantly, VMware users do not have to spend a lot of time and money ripping out and replacing perfectly good disks to set up a shared storage infrastructure. DataCore Software enables solution providers to easily repurpose their customers’ existing hardware into a highly-available storage network that supports VMware features like VMotion and remote site disaster recovery (DR) – perfectly complementing their virtual servers and desktops with virtualised storage.

Testimonials from VMware VARs

The following testimonials reveal just how important DataCore is to meeting customer needs in virtual IT infrastructures and cloud initiatives.

“Virtualisation is a 3-dimensional puzzle,” states Pat Sigg, Regional Vice President of Sales at Software Information Systems (SIS), a VMware partner. “What we consistently find when engaging in virtualisation deployments is – first and foremost – the need to virtualise storage resources with the flexibility, high-availability and performance to support numerous virtual servers and desktops without single points of failure. It is this 3rd dimension to virtualisation – the storage virtualisation dimension – that DataCore brings to our virtualisation practice.”

“As a VMware partner specializing in virtualisation solutions, what we have found is that to really get the magic out of VMware, you need DataCore storage virtualisation – be that hardware independence as well as just an astonishing degree of flexibility – that combine to literally pave the way for each of our virtualisation deployments to perform as promised,” comments Chuck Renfro, CEO, ThinkingCap Technologies, LLC. “The bottom-line is that DataCore is vital in enabling our virtualisation customers to meet their business objectives – chief among which is realising high-availability.”

“Virtualisation projects are three-dimensional,” explains Andy Judge, Founder and CEO of Grove Networks, a VMware Enterprise Partner. “Server and desktop virtualisation software address two of those dimensions. DataCore storage virtualisation software is as important, financially and operationally, to a successful virtual infrastructure project as are the server and desktop virtualisation aspects.”

Virtualising Storage in the Cloud: “Priority One”

Any cloud computing platform, just like any virtualisation deployment, needs to have portable software as its building blocks – providing the highest degree of flexibility and openness. DataCore partner knows intuitively that storage virtualisation software is priority one.

“We chose DataCore in the core design of our virtual private data center (vPDC) platform alongside VMware and Cisco because it delivers the very best storage virtualisation component,” notes Jeffrey Slapp, Vice President of Virtualisation Services for “Virtualising the storage is paramount to us for two reasons. First, we required a solution that would allow us to expand storage resources rapidly and non-disruptively to meet increasing demand. Second, we needed a solution that could leverage various hardware storage platforms simultaneously in order to keep pace with technology changes. Accomplishing both allows us to provide high-end enterprise-level services while remaining agile and cost-effective.”

VMware Partner Exchange 2010 ran from February 8 -11 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

HP confirms Hyper-V LeftHand appliance in 2011; DataCore already shipping Virtual SAN Appliances

HP confirms Hyper-V LeftHand appliance in 2011; DataCore already shipping Virtual SAN Appliances
HP is going to have VSA running under Hyper-V within a year.
... DataCore already provides its SANmelody software as a Hyper-V-based software appliance. Darth Redmond will be encouraging other companies to follow suit, citing HP as evidence that the storage force really is with Hyper-V.

To download DataCore's Virtual SAN Appliance, please visit:

Stainless steel provider virtualizes with DataCore, VMware

Search Storage - Stainless steel provider virtualizes with DataCore, VMware,289142,sid5_gci1379370,00.html

DataCore Software Corp. said North American Stainless in Ghent, Ky., is deploying its SANmelody storage virtualization software along with VMware vSphere to consolidate servers and storage.

VMware vSphere and DataCore Software's Storage Virtualization Are Making Both Disaster Recovery and "Hands Free" Maintenance Possible at One of North America's Largest Stainless Steel Manufacturers

"It was clear to us that the storage sub-system had to provide extra functionality and it was also clear that any of the hardware-based, appliances were going to be well into six figures in price," added Sigg. "This was not the path that we or the customer sought to take. Instead, what we found in DataCore's portable, software-based, SANmelody SAN solution was that it offered all the functionality needed – including high availability and zero points of failure – all at reasonable cost. For the price point, what you get in functionality with DataCore convinced us and sold the customer."

DataCore Software announced its SANmelody storage virtualization solution has been deployed along with VMware vSphere at one of the world's premiere providers of stainless steel - North American Stainless in Ghent, Kentucky. The company's IT department was trying to cope with an already increasing server spiral that encompassed ten (10) servers - all of which were over five years old. "We felt VMware would give us more options than simply adding more physical servers," stated Judy Pieper-Young, Manager - Information Systems, North American Stainless. "Now with VMware combined with DataCore, we can simply add more virtual machines on-the-fly and it only costs us a new server license - instead of having to purchase a whole new physical box."

A Virtual Infrastructure That Delivers Value as Promised
The IT landscape has gone a diet, so to speak, since the advent of virtualization at North American Stainless. Today, the company relies on four (4) physical servers and 35 virtual machines (VMs). The system supports 1,400 end-users.

"The appeal for us in going virtual in terms of servers was straightforward," explained Pieper-Young. "Knowing that we were facing a situation where we were in need of adding even more servers – we chose to embrace virtualization so that we could actually reduce the number of physical servers. But we did not want to stop at servers. In order to achieve a completely virtual infrastructure, we selected DataCore along with VMware to serve as a total virtual infrastructure spanning both servers and storage."

North American Stainless manufactures stainless steel 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year. Therefore, beyond an initial desire to add more capacity by adding virtual storage to the mix was an overarching objective to have a disaster recovery plan in place. For disaster recovery, the company now has two SANmelody nodes that are mirrored so as to offer synchronous replication. "If for any reason we have a server crash, the virtual infrastructure enables us to get up and running within seconds," noted Pieper-Young.

The two, redundant SANmelody SANs that are mirrored are connected to redundant switches that are in turn connected to four VMware ESX hosts, to remove any single point of failure. Now North American Stainless has redundant, high-availability SANs that are synchronous – connected with a direct-attached fibre link. With this in place, the company can withstand a full hardware failure at a server level, at a switch level as well as a SAN level and still be up and running, in production. Other than a facility failure, North American Stainless now has 100% uptime.

The IT Landscape – Virtualization Powers Mission-Critical Applications

The virtual infrastructure powered by VMware and DataCore supports the company's Oracle ERP system servers (including payroll), several SQL servers, Blackberry® server, fax servers, print servers as well as user data. The ability to add VMs "on-the-fly" was a primary objective in going virtual. This is made possible through the combination of VMware vSphere's live migration functionality and the DataCore SAN. With VMware and DataCore run in tandem, the IT team at North American Stainless is able to do testing on applications and do so in way that the any testing procedures for new applications are segmented from the overall system. This is accomplished with DataCore SANmelody serving as a complete virtual storage infrastructure and storage management system – whereby multiple terabytes of storage can be both partitioned in units for a specific use as well as aggregated for general consumption.

Both SANmelody nodes are running on IBM 3650 servers as are the VMs on the two additional servers.