Wednesday, 27 May 2015

DataCore SANsymphony-V10 adds New Hyper-Converged Services Plus OpenStack Cloud Support

See complete article in the StorageNewsletter

Manage end-to-end I/O performance, optimize flash, integrate backups, improve space efficiency, provision virtual desktops, and automate hyperconverged and enterprise-wide SDSe deployment

DataCore Software Corporation announced the availability of a number of capabilities included within its all-embracing 'any hypervisor, any storage' SANsymphony-V10 storage services platform and its Virtual SAN release.

DATACORE_ssv-box-largeThe PSP2 update release adds support for OpenStack Cinder, enabling DataCore to deliver its comprehensive set of Software-Defined Storage services to private, hybrid and public clouds built with OpenStack. The release includes features and services to centrally control and manage end-to-end I/O performance, optimize flash, integrate backups, improve space efficiency, serve virtual desktops, and automate hyper-converged and enterprise-wide SDS deployments.

A number of services have been incorporated to enable industry-standard x86 servers to gain the essential enterprise storage functionality needed to meet today's demanding business requirements. DataCore's ability to deliver complete and unified range of hyper-converged, virtual SAN and SDS platform services has fueled a list of alliances and server vendor partnerships with companies seeking to leverage their hardware platforms with company's latest release. The PSP2 release is available and shipping.


Extends powerful enterprise-wide services: The all-embracing software-defined storage platform

Services and enhanced features include:
  • Brings SDS to cloud architectures; adds OpenStack support: Enterprises and cloud service providers can use a SDS platform to centralize the provisioning and management of new or existing storage resources via standard OpenStack Cinder commands. Previously, organizations tasked with creating a cloud infrastructure with OpenStack were challenged to utilize already available storage investments or find new cost-effective storage that was OpenStack-compatible and yet able to deliver enterprise capabilities to power their cloud environments.
  • Hyperconverged virtual desktop services: This release introduces  VDI services and deployment tools to automate the creation and management of stateful, highly-available virtual desktops. The resulting high-density VDI implementations are cost-effective and especially well-suited for organizations seeking to deploy desktops at a departmental level. The software utilizes company's caching and thin provisioning to diminish the dependency on physical storage. In comparison to other hyperconverged VDI offerings, DataCore does not require expensive flash or disk subsystems to achieve needed performance levels; it optimizes industry-standard servers and DRAM, plus uses fewer, lower-priced internal disks in place of higher-priced external storage, to lower the overall cost per virtual desktop.
  • Universal virtual disk deduplication and compression services: Virtual disks can be deduplicated, compressed and scheduled in the background to reduce the space they occupy on disk. Unlike other vendors that limit this type of functionality to their own proprietary or array-specific storage devices, DataCore's space-saving services apply universally across the infrastructure; it extends block-level deduplication and compression to any storage and any file system or hypervisor.
  • Backup integration services, added Veeam support and automation: DataCore works with third-party backup products to simplify end-to-end data protection and ensure rapid data recovery at a granular level. DataCore already supports products such as CommVault Simpana's IntelliSnap technology and Microsoft Data Protection Manager, which take advantage of DataCore online snapshots to centralize backups for a wide range of applications, hypervisors, OSs and storage devices. This update provides a similar capability to trigger Veeam backups to usecompany's highly efficient snapshots to relieve the burden of using VM snapshots on hosts. Backups can be scheduled and taken more frequently with minimal impact on applications, improving RPOs and resulting in productivity and speedier recovery.
  • Console services and centralized management for distributed groups: Organizations with virtual storage pools distributed across multiple locations can manage the different DataCore server groups from a single user interface. Separate levels of control can be assigned to different administrators across a hierarchy of server groups making it possible to centrally manage, control and delegate responsibilites over widely distributed storage infastructures with fewer people.
  • Hyperconverged and popular-use case deployment services: With this update, DataCore continues to simplify and automate how software can be installed, configured and updated to meet different use cases and deployment scenarios. This release makes it easy to set up hyper-converged environments, scalable file systems over clusters, VDI configurations, mixed file/block storage and multi-node HA deployments running the software on either physical or on virtual platforms (Vms).
Delivers centralized and powerful SDS platform
to manage overall I/O performance end-to-end 

SANsymphony-V10 works infrastructure-wide across all types of storage (flash, disk and cloud) to automate and optimize performance and resource allocation. The release offers a set of tools to profile, monitor, instrument, identify 'hot spots' and manage performance-impacting application workloads. 


New performance-enhancing additions included in PSP2 are:
  • Performance optimizations for flash: Enhancements have been introduced that impact how DataCore cache performs read operations from flash-based and solid-state storage technologies. The net result is faster application response, lower overhead and better utilization of costly flash memory.
  • Expanded instrumentation and metrics: The PSP2 release provides greater visibility to the I/O behavior of virtual and physical disks so users can accurately understand what is happening with storage resources. Updates include additional performance metrics for virtual disks, improved heat maps and performance trending analysis reports, and added support for S.M.A.R.T. alerts from physical storage to help IT administrators better isolate performance and disk problems. This capabilities improve productivity and make it easier to manage larger-scale deployments while reducing the time and expense to troubleshoot root causes of application slowdowns.
  • Production-ready Random Write Accelerator (RWA): The previous update introduced this innovation for experimental use under certain conditions; the experimental designation is removed in PSP2. This powerful capability converts high-latency random writes into storage-friendly sequential writes, yielding up to 30 times faster performance for the random-write-heavy workloads that frequently updates databases, ERP and OLTP systems. The result is SSD-like speed from lower-cost spinning disks and a reduction in the need for costly flash resources. This capability also helps optimize flash storage performance.
Closing the server to storage Gap; empowering server vendors to meet enterprise demandsThe gap between servers and storage continues to erode as servers become more powerful and more storage capable. In this new era of commoditized hardware, what matters is the software. DataCore recognized this inevitable shift and pioneered the movement to Software-Defined Storage solutions. With this release, the company advances its platform to deliver complete and proven SDS services stack. The software is comprehensive in scope, providing end-to-end data and storage services that are not limited to a single device, but work across different vendors and types of storage from flash to disk to cloud storage. The release combines a set of enterprise storage services with an enduring software architecture designed to harness the continually improving cost curves and technology advances of the underlying hardware to close the gap. Numerous partnerships signed with global server vendors attest to this new trend of server vendors seeking to benefit by providing DataCore SDS with their platforms, including Huawei, Cisco, Fujitsu and Dell.

"As the leading innovator of SDS technology for more than 17 years, DataCore has seen countless storage devices come and go that are all managed and administered differently. We created DataCore SDS solutions to break down those walls and create an enduring and flexible platform to allow any vendor's storage technology to work together seamlessly," said George Teixeira, CEO, DataCore. "We continue to evolve our SANsymphony-V and Virtual SAN solutions to enable our customers to take full advantage of their existing investments and to prepare them for the long term with a software architecture that is designed to absorb new technologies without disruption as the industry advances."

Thursday, 14 May 2015

ARNnet: DataCore appoints former Dell exec to lead APAC expansion, new VP Jamie Humphrey to be based in Australia

"The timing is right to seize the huge market opportunity around software-defined storage and hyper-converged solutions," states Jamie Humphrey, new VP APAC Sales for DataCore Software.“The movement to a software-defined storage strategy is inevitable.
Software defined storage vendor DataCore Software has appointed former Dell executive, Jamie Humphrey, as vice-president of the company’s Asia Pacific region.
Humphrey, who will be based in Australia will drive the DataCore Software brand and go-to-market sales strategy in APAC.
He will be responsible for enterprise sales, creating a skilled network of value-added resellers and driving the continued infrastructure investment and ongoing management of resources throughout the region.
The hire is part of DataCore’s plan to grow investment and increase its market footprint in the Pacific Rim.
Humphrey comes to DataCore Software from Dell, where he held the position of director and general manager of the company’s storage and data management business.
During his 10 years at Dell, Humphrey led the business through a number of restructures, including the amalgamation of the technical and sales teams to provide a highly synergised and effective business organisation, according to a company statement.
DataCore senior vice president of worldwide field operation, Carlos Carreras, said Humphrey had been instrumental in developing key enterprise customer accounts and a network of value-added channel partners to significantly increase Dell’s sales revenues.
“We are confident that he is the right point person for new customer acquisition in APAC and for aligning our resources to best meet the increasing market demand for software-defined storage throughout the region,” he said.
Humphrey said he joined DataCore because the company had the right vision.
"The timing is right to seize the huge market opportunity around software-defined storage and hyper-converged solutions," he said.“The movement to a software-defined storage strategy is inevitable.
"It enables any enterprise to overcome real-life storage management issues, improve the productivity of their existing storage investments and gain the needed flexibility to meet growth and IT demands as they arise.
"Proven strategic leadership is what is needed to capitalise on this market opportunity in the Asia Pacific region."
More than 10, 000 customer sites around the world already rely on DataCore solutions, with just under 1000 located within the APAC region.
The company intends to expand its team by 20 per cent over the next 12 months.
Carreras said that DataCore was set to invest heavily in the Australian channel with projected company growth of over 40 per cent in 2015.
Recently, DataCore and Chinese ICT solutions provider Huawei announced a partnership, which will see DataCore’s SANsymphony-V10 software and Huawei’s FusionServer integrated in a new line of certified hyper-converged solutions.
The collaboration is DataCore’s second hyper-converged deal in recent months, following an agreement with Fujitsu.
Technology and solution alliances with these vendors, and long-standing partners such as Dell and Cisco, are examples of constituents in the DataCore ecosystem on which the users in APAC can rely...

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Now Available from DataCore: The Fifth Annual State of Software-Defined Storage Survey

“Two major surprises jump out at you from the findings,” said Deni Connor, founding analyst, SSG-NOW. “The absence of near term spending on Big Data and Object Storage among the majority of respondents, and the relatively small penetration of flash across these 477 organizations. Not surprising are the rising levels of investments on Software-Defined Storage initiatitives known to offer more immediate payoff.”

DataCore’s Fifth Annual State of Software-Defined Storage (SDS) Survey Reveals Surprising Lack of Spending on Big Data, Object Storage and OpenStack
In contrast, more than half of organizations polled (52 percent) look to extend the life of existing storage assets and future-proof their IT infrastructure with SDS in 2015

DataCore has released the results of its fifth annual State of Software-Defined Storage (SDS) survey. The 2015 poll explored the impact of SDS on organizations across the globe, and distills the experiences of 477 IT professionals currently using or evaluating SDS to solve critical data storage challenges. The results yield surprising insights from a cross-section of industries over a wide range of workloads.
The survey also probed for levels of spending on much-hyped topics, including Big Data, Object Storage and OpenStack. Unexpectedly, the findings showed that very little funding is being earmarked in 2015 for these initiatives. Some of the pause may be explained by a number of disillusionments that were disclosed in the findings.
On the other hand, this year’s report reveals several major business drivers for implementing Software-Defined Storage. 52 percent of respondents expect SDS will extend the life of existing storage assets and future-proof their storage infrastructure, enabling them to easily absorb new technologies. Close to half of respondents look to SDS to avoid hardware lock-in from storage manufacturers, while lowering hardware costs by allowing them to shop among several competing suppliers. Operationally, they see SDS simplifying management of different classes of storage by automating frequent or complex operations. This is notable in comparison with earlier surveys, as these results portray a sharp increase in the recognition of the economic benefits generated by SDS (reduced CAPEX), complementing the OPEX savings referenced in prior years.

Other surprises include: while flash technology penetration expanded it is still absent in 28 percent of the cases and 16 percent reported that it did not meet application acceleration expectations. Also interesting is that 21 percent reported that highly touted hyper-converged systems did not perform as required or did not integrate well within their infrastructure. On the other hand, Software-Defined Storage and storage virtualization are deemed very urgent now, with 72 percent of organizations making important investments in these technologies throughout 2015. 81 percent also expect similar levels of spending on Software-Defined Storage technologies that will be incorporated within server SANs / virtual SANs and converged storage solutions.

Additional highlights of DataCore’s 2015 State of Software-Defined Storage survey include:
  • The ability to add storage capacity without business disruption is identified as the primary reason for choosing storage virtualization software (52 percent of respondents). Supporting synchronous mirroring and metro clusters for high availability to ensure business continuity and asynchronous data replication for remote site disaster recovery are also high on the list.
  • More than half of the respondents (53 percent) say that they currently have less than 10 percent of capacity assigned to flash storage. The number of participants who answered that flash makes up higher than 40 percent of their storage capacity is only 9 percent.
  • More than 60 percent of respondents experienced performance degradation or the inability to meet performance after virtualizing server workloads. When asked what the typical causes of performance problems are, 61 percent of participants blame slow applications, and 46 percent single out legacy storage devices as the culprit.
  • Human errors are driving the need for greater automation. It has become increasingly clear that the complexity which accompanies data growth and diversity is taking a big toll, as 61 percent of respondents indicated that human error was behind application and data center outages.
Software-Defined Storage Technology: Moving the Industry Forward
“This survey sheds new light on how IT professionals approach storage-related innovations. The data reveals that many organizations are moving away from storage functions tied to specific hardware and are deriving real CAPEX and OPEX savings and additional purchasing power by not being locked to particular hardware or being forced to go ‘all new buys’ to modernize their storage infrastructure. It also points out that heavily promoted technologies, such as Object Storage, are more often found at the fringes in pilot programs, where IT is hoping to assess their value,” said George Teixeira, president and CEO at DataCore. “Software-Defined Storage and storage virtualization software, in contrast, are providing the features that the market is demanding right now, such as continuous availability, faster performance and higher efficiency. These concrete benefits carry far more weight in 2015 spending than future promises from yet to be proven technologies and startups.”

The respondents of DataCore’s State of Software-Defined Storage survey come from a diverse set of organizations, both in size and industry, providing statistically significant insights into the similarity in needs for SDS over a wide range of IT environments. Participants were located in North America, South America, Europe and Asia, in a wide range of vertical market segments including financial services, healthcare, government, manufacturing, education, IT services and other related industries. 45 percent of respondents are from organizations with less than 500 employees, 31 percent of respondents from organizations with between 500 and 5,000 employees and 23 percent from organizations with more than 5,000 employees.

DataCore’s 2015 State of Software-Defined Storage Survey was conducted in April, 2015. To view the entire report, please visit: