Respondents to a recent ESG survey indicated that increasing the use of virtualization was their number one IT priority over the last two years and will continue to be the top priority for the next 12-18 months. While server virtualization penetration continues to gain momentum, IT organizations still have numerous hurdles to overcome in order to deploy it more widely and move closer to a 100% virtualized data center. ESG found that 59% have yet to employ virtualization where it will provide the most benefit: their mission-critical tier-1 applications. These tier-1 application workloads include Microsoft Exchange 2010, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2, and SharePoint 2010. For IT organizations supporting large numbers of users, hesitation to implement virtualization stems from the perception that it adds performance overhead and unpredictable scalability and availability to the tier-1, multi-user, business-critical applications relied upon by the majority of their users.
DataCore STAR HA Solution Adds Resiliency and Performance to Microsoft Hyper-V Environments
The DataCore STAR HA (high availability) solution is primarily aimed at the large installed base of Microsoft servers running lines of business applications as well as Exchange, SQL Server and SharePoint, eager for better data protection and performance.
Many of these IT organisations realise they must move their data from internal server disks to shared storage area network (SAN) to meet growth needs, improve uptime, and enhance productivity. However, some have concluded that this migration could add more risk, disruption, and cost than they can currently afford. Thus, they seek a solution that minimizes these obstacles. They need a simple way to enhance the performance and resiliency of their application servers, while providing easy access and a transition path to the compelling advantages of shared SAN.
The DataCore STAR HA solution is tailored for these IT organisations seeking the benefits of a SAN, while allowing their data to remain safely stored on their servers.
The new business continuity solution enhances the resiliency and performance of Windows server farms enabling those systems to stay up longer, their applications to run faster, and shorten the time to recover from unexpected situations. It is most appealing for customers wishing to keep their data distributed across their server disk drives, while at the same time gaining many of the centralised and advanced services made possible by a SAN.
STAR Topology Leverages Central Server for Faster Recovery from Failures
Rather than migrate server data to an external SAN, the DataCore STAR HA software automatically mirrors the data drives on each Windows server to a central DataCore STAR server for safekeeping. In addition, the Window’s host-resident software speeds up applications by caching repeated disk requests locally from high-speed server memory.
If an application server in the farm goes down, another server can resume its operations by retrieving a current copy of its data drive from the central DataCore STAR server. The DataCore STAR server also offloads replication requests across the farm. It can take centralised snapshots of the data drives and remotely replicate all critical data to a remote disaster recovery site. The solution has the added benefit of automatically redirecting requests to the central DataCore STAR server when a local server data drive is inaccessible.