Monday 12 November 2012

Network Computing Review: DataCore's Storage Hypervisor - An Overview & Customer Use Cases –New Release Features

Network Computing: DataCore's Storage Hypervisor - An Overview –Part 1: New Release Features

By David Hill, David Hill is an IT Author and Chief Analyst and Principal of Mesabi Group LLC. DataCore Software is not a client of David Hill and the Mesabi Group.

A storage hypervisor is an emerging term used by some vendors to describe their approach to storage virtualization. Several companies offer storage hypervisors, including IBM, Virsto and DataCore. I've already written about IBM and Virsto in previous blogs.

Now it's DataCore's turn. DataCore is an independent software vendor (ISV), so it has no financial interest in selling the underlying storage hardware. It supports both virtualized servers and traditional physical hosts and legacy storage with the same feature stack and automation. DataCore's storage hypervisor is a software product called the SANsymphony-V. This blog will examine some enhanced and new features of the version 9 release.

Auto-tiering Auto-tiering is a "hot" topic (pun intended!) with not only tier-0 solid state devices, but also performance (SAS or FC) hard disk drives, capacity (SATA), and archived storage that can even be rented from public cloud providers at a distance. This feature also includes automatic tuning that creates heat maps to reveal heavy disk activity, so that the hottest data gets the most attention (in order to meet performance service level requirements). It also automates load balancing across the available disk resources.

Network Computing: DataCore's Storage Hypervisor - An Overview –Part 2: Two Customer Use Cases is a service provider that offers VM and enterprise storage platforms in multiple virtual private data centers (i.e., hosts customer compute and storage resources at its data centers) that are all connected to a Cisco-based10Gbps multinational backbone. Among the many services the company offers are virtual enterprise servers, storage, backup/restore, disaster recovery and colocation.

DataCore is at the heart of's enterprise SAN storage platform. believes DataCore offers the necessary performance and data integrity (every byte of data is written twice within a synchronous mirror) at a competitive price. Among the things likes about DataCore are hardware independence (for example, in a SAN hardware refresh it can add and migrate data on the fly with no downtime), operating system independence and robust I/O performance, as DataCore's use of hundreds of gigabytes of high-speed cache essentially turns a traditional SAN into a high-speed hybrid solid-state SAN at a fraction of the cost.

X-IO (formerly Xiotech) builds hardware with its Hyper ISE (Intelligent Storage Elements) storage system. With a great deal of engineering experience and innovation, the goal is to deliver high performance to accelerate enterprise applications at good price/performance level. However, X-IO has decided to shed itself of the storage and data management software (such as snapshot and replication software) that typically characterizes enterprise-class storage.

But customers still need storage and data management software. DataCore comes provides those capabilities in X-IO products. As a result, X-IO can take a hardware-intensive focus and improve price/performance while DataCore picks up the slack.

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