Monday, 8 April 2013

Private Clouds and Storage Virtualization – Interview with Roni Putra, CTO DataCore Software


Interview Notes By: Manish Sharma, General Manager & Vice President for APAC during a recent meeting with Roni Putra, CTO DataCore Software
DataCore has nearly 10,000 customers around the world ranging across Geographies, Verticals and a wide cross section of customers including the largest Government and Enterprise Organizations to medium sized companies. Therefore being a new addition to DataCore, I was very eager to learn more about our technology and use cases and meet one of the Company’s Founders, CTO Roni Putra who was in Malaysia and crossed over the straits to visit customers and partners in Singapore earlier this year.  Below are a few of the key questions that I addressed to Roni:

Manish (MS): Roni, what is the main value that DataCore provides to our customers?Roni Putra (RP): We designed DataCore SANsymphony-V to provide powerful storage features that manage, accelerate and auto-tier the full range and diversity of storage devices ranging from Flash/SSD to SAS/SATA drives to Enterprise Storage Arrays and Cloud storage. The compelling value is that we are ‘pure’ software – the customers deploy DataCore once and they can then continue to use their existing infrastructure or refresh their hardware and storage systems without worrying about compatibility in the future. We ‘future-proof’ our customer investments. Our customers can enjoy the benefits of Auto-Tiering, Centralized-Management, Faster Performance by Caching and Asynchronous Replication etc. using their existing storage hardware investments and infrastructure.

MS: Does the new storage virtualization layer add new complexity while delivering these benefits?RP: We have always designed various versions of our software with the singular goal that the resulting architecture reduces the burden on storage administrators through greater automation and is greatly simplified after deploying DataCore. Our software automates many tasks and provides powerful wizards and tools like ‘Heat maps’ that show bottlenecks in the infrastructure. Within a datacenter, we free up management resources required to administer multiple storage systems and wherever possible we leverage the use of existing system management tools. Therefore, we have introduced plug-ins for VMware vCentre under our broader integration with vSphere and integration to Microsoft Hyper-V in addition to other systems management tools. We also have a DataCore Ready Program to allow an even greater ecosystem of partners to provide proven solutions to DataCore customers.

MS: How does DataCore fit with the software defined datacenter vision?RP: We are software. We are therefore complimentary to the Software centric Datacenter.  Our technology can be deployed in a myriad of ways providing storage services to meet the needs of applications within the Datacenter: Performance, Availability, Replication, Snapshots, CDP, Auto-provisioning, etc. Our software can be deployed either as traditional SAN storage or within the applications hosts, alongside the base operating system or as a Virtual Storage Appliance. The flexibility of the solution allows for deploying hierarchical storage services architecture. Enabling appropriate storage services at the various levels; caching for performance closest to the application, replication at the SAN storage endpoint. We can run DataCore on a VM or on a server.

MS: Roni, we designed DataCore to run with and on Microsoft Windows, what were the considerations at that point when we first designed DataCore?RP: Let me start by saying that today we run on top of Microsoft Windows Servers and that we use Microsoft as a compatibility layer to the outside world, however when we run as a storage server we optimize and serve storage resources to all the name brand operating systems including Linux, UNIX, Microsoft, Netware, VMware and Apple systems. In effect anything that recognizes a SCSI LUN. Windows is usually the first platform to support innovations and technological advancements in hardware and peripherals.  Thereby assuring that our software will leverage the same alongside Windows. Our background in systems architecture and operating systems (Unix, Real-Time and massively parallel architecture) provided the team ample experience to choose a platform that could evolve and meet diverse needs as well as balance the difficult compatibility and performance demands of storage. Knowing the pedigree of the windows kernel architecture team was also a key.

MS: In Addition to delivering performance to Business Critical Applications – what are other sweet spots where our customers get biggest value?RP: In addition to Application performance, customers are deploying Virtual Desktops and DataCore caching along with Solid State Drives to serve Virtual Desktops from Servers at response times that make VDI viable. Continuous Availability is another key benefit that DataCore delivers to our customers.

We bring the needed Storage Agility to Data Centers that allows them to achieve the vision and benefits they expect from a dynamic and service oriented Private cloud.

RP: Manish, I have a question for you – when will I get some lunch – you promised me some good Italian food.MS: Right away Roni, Right away – lets go and eat J


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