Wednesday 21 January 2009

InformationWeek - Virtualisation Driving SME Storage

By George Crump, check out the full article at:

As server virtualization begins to work its way down the data center food chain, it is making small to medium-sized enterprises (SME) change their plans for storage selection...
...First, shared storage is a must to get important capabilities like virtual server migration. Second, storage I/O performance quickly becomes a consideration for even the smallest enterprises and all of this I/O is totally random, it is hard to predict what server is going to make which I/O request and when. This results in the need for good overall random I/O performance out of your storage platform. Finally/ the storage must be highly available -- all your eggs are in one basket, so to speak; a failure in storage now affects many virtual servers, so downtime isn't an option.

...DataCore, for example, has recently announced new pricing on a full-featured Highly Available SAN solution at prices starting at about $10,000.

When looking for SME storage to complement your virtual server rollout strategy look for a solution that can:

Upgrade as your business grows
Deliver excellent random I/O performance
Deliver rock-solid SAN data protection
And, of course, is priced right to meet the realities of your budget

Shared Storage that allows the SME to take full advantage of its server virtualization investment is now readily available. By implementing shared storage, the SME can leverage virtualization to further reduce server costs and even storage costs in its environment. There has never been a better time for SME's to implement a shared storage solution.

Tuesday 20 January 2009

DataCore makes finalist status in the 2009 Network Computing Awards as Software Product of the Year

DataCore’s SANmelody makes final 8 in the Software Product of the Year Category, Network Computing Awards:

Nominated by the readers of Network Computing Magazine, the finalists for this years’ 2009 Awards have just been announced and SANmelody has once again made the grade reaching the final 8. The ultimate winner is decided by voting, so with every vote counting, please log on to to cast your vote for SANmelody.

The winners will be announced on 19th March at the Network Computing Awards Dinner in London.

Infostor Lab Review: SANmelody = storage virtualisation panacea

The crew at Infostor recently put SANmelody through its paces in their lab and have just published a comprehensive review of their test methodology and findings. The Article can be viewed here (p.29) and downloaded here.

In brief, their conclusions/key findings were:

· Full virtualisation of direct-attached and SAN-connected storage
· Simplified SAN infrastructure management through automation of storage administration tasks using the Windows MMC
· SANmelody caching boosted I/O throughput by 33% running IOmeter
· Round-robin LUN distribution of server I/O traffic benchmarked at 50,000 IOPS using 8KB reads with no I/O bottlenecks
· No single point of failure with support for snapshots, synchronous mirroring, and synchronous replication

Monday 19 January 2009

DataCore & Riverbed Combination assists remote sites by dramatically increasing throughput and data transfer


Running Remote Sites? Lines chugging with data flow? Don’t need the overhead of a high speed, high cost leased line?

Then storage virtualisation with DataCore Software and WAN Optimisation with Riverbed could hold the answer: Our testing at a UK salvage company in the North of England helped realise up to 20x improvement in throughput and 14x improvement in data transfer rates between their remote site.

DataCore’s new Disaster Recovery white paper reveals how organisations can reduce bandwidth and achieve more stringent Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) without incurring the expense of higher speed inter-site lines.

Working hand-in-hand with accredited partner Waterstons, DataCore and Riverbed have explored and demonstrated how the bottleneck of line capacity to remote and Disaster Recovery (DR) sites can be overcome without deploying high-speed, high-cost lines.

The Problem: Growth in virtual volume traffic from the Disaster Recovery site causes line capacity overload:

Growth in virtual volume traffic from the Disaster Recovery site causes line capacity overload Waterston's noticed that as more organisations consolidated from physical to virtual servers, the inter-site traffic between the primary and DR site was growing so fast that the volume of updates from virtual machines exceeded the line's transmission capabilities. This lag unacceptably exposed remote DR sites to data loss. An obvious solution was to upgrade to higher speed, higher capacity lines but this entails significant infrastructure overhaul and cost in recurring leased line rentals.

Alternative solution – remote replication within DataCore's SANmelody + compressing, caching and optimisation by Riverbed Steelhead network appliances

The IT consultants at Waterstons and DataCore devised an alternative solution through a combination of storage virtualisation and WAN optimisation. They employed the built-in remote replication function in DataCore SANmelody™ software to relay changes in virtual disk blocks from the primary site to the DR site over an existing 2MBps IP WAN. These inter-site transmissions were compressed, cached and optimized inline by inserting Riverbed Steelhead network appliances on either side of the link. The solution succeeded in meeting the firm's disaster recovery objectives and proved much more cost-effective than upgrading to higher bandwidth service.

The White Paper

Access a full copy of the white paper to find out more, including:

· How it works – remote replication via DataCore storage virtualisation software

· How WAN optimisation from Riverbed Steelhead network appliances eliminates up to 98% of application roundtrips

· Real-life scenario – a leading syndicate of salvage companies in the North of England verifies the Waterston solution

· Test results & explanations

Customer Test Conclusions & ROI

Through the live test analysis, Waterstons revealed that the combined solution can drop the time to remotely replicate three newly created VMs from 42 hours down to 3 hours, and reduce the ongoing replication window to four minutes – substantially improving the customers' achievable Recovery Time Objective. The salvage company can now recover more than two day's worth of data that may have been lost in their un-optimized configuration.

Furthermore, DataCore's remote replication software allows customers to map snapshots of the remotely replicated volumes to the ESX hosts at the DR site to dramatically simplify and speed up recovery without painful back-ups andrestores.

Equally compelling is the cost savings afforded by these technologies. Compare the alternative average 2Mbps increased bandwidth combined rental and initial configuration of £22,000 – to upgrade the line by a factor of 2x – versus the total cost of the combined and DataCore/Riverbed solution of £16,800 – with an annual cost of £2,800 that improves the performance tenfold (10x).

Thursday 15 January 2009

New High-Availability SME SAN software Feature Packs

DataCore adds new entry level SME High-Availability Feature Packs that support auto-failover and failback. The software licenses for 2 sytems/sites includes HA sync mirroring, Disaster Recovery IP mirrors, thin provisioning, snapshots, SANmotion and more...
For more information: Feature Packed HA/DR SAN Starter

Monday 12 January 2009

Space Reclamation + Search Storage UK: How to get the most from thin provisioning your storage

'Free Space' reclamation tool for Thin Provisioning: User Forum Posts on DataCore Space Reclamation
"We've long shied away from putting agents on servers -- people don't like them, they're messy. People were happier with administrators doing the reclamation. Now people are happier with thin provisioning though, so we're releasing an automated version."

SearchStorage UK: How to get the most from thin provisioning your storage (by Bryan Betts)
...Volkswagen Financial Services (UK) used DataCore's SANmelody software, running on a redundant pair of storage servers, to implement a virtualised and thin-provisioned SAN. "We are certainly more efficient," says senior network specialist Mike Duxbury. "We were wasting terabytes before." He estimates that thin provisioning has probably saved his company 20% to 30% of its storage.

A big financial advantage with thin provisioning, adds Duxbury, is the ability to over-allocate, allocating the servers more total disk capacity than you physically own. So if you think your servers will need 10 TB each in three years time, you can give them all logical 10 TB volumes without needing to buy that much disk space right now. Extra physical capacity can be added to the SAN over time, as they actually consume it.

Sunday 11 January 2009

DataCore: Do More With Less - Cost Savings & ROI

Check out the new presentation detailing cost savings and ROI for DataCore Storage Virtualization and High-Availability SAN solutions.DataCore Software: Do More with Less

DataCore Lowers Barrier to SAN Entry

SME SAN Software by DataCore
Unmatched enterprise-class capabilities pricedto fit the SME budget:The high cost and complexity of traditional SAN storage required to support virtual servers and desktops puts it out of the reach for many small and mid-size businesses.
"Two critical elements necessary for safe and effective virtualisation have remained out of reach for SMBs: SANs to consolidate and manage storage, and business continuity solutions to assure that consolidation works for you and not against you," said George Teixeira, president and CEO, DataCore Software Corporation. "SMEs needed a solution that does both and does it at the right price."

DataCore Lowers Barrier to SAN Entry
The company took the idea of a low-cost, entry-level SAN to new extremes this week with the introduction of a line of “starter packages”
....Available features include thin provisioning, data migration, storage caching and even snapshot and remote replication. The systems can be designed for iSCSI, Fibre Channel or both, with high-availability and automated failover/failback and fault tolerance...

Friday 9 January 2009

New 8TB Entry Package for SANsymphony

A new 8TB Feature Packed Bundle makes it even easier for users to get started with SANsymphony and Traveller CDP. SANsymphony and Traveller CDP Software

DataCore expands SAN software starter package line for SMEs

...DataCore has said that its new packages reset the industry's starting price point for business continuity solutions that provide true auto failover/failback availability and fault tolerance.

These new packages are reported to provide a new level of automated storage protection to ensure business uptime, while also lowering the cost and complexity barriers of storage area network (SAN) storage for Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix, Virtual Iron, Parallels, VMware and other server and desktop virtualization environments.The new software packages include thin provisioning, data migration technology, storage performance caching software, snapshots for fast disk backups, remote site disaster recovery replication and DataCore's high-availability data protection.

George Teixeira, president and CEO of DataCore Software, said: "Two critical elements necessary for safe and effective virtualization have remained out of reach for small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs) - SANs to consolidate and manage storage, and business continuity solutions to assure that consolidation works for you and not against you. SMBs needed a solution that does both and does it at the right price."

Thursday 8 January 2009

Citrix and DataCore

A 2 minute joint overview by Citrix and DataCore Personnel.
Or visit the DataCore Video Home to see more.

Wednesday 7 January 2009

High-Availability - The DataCore advantage!

DataCore Storage Virtualization Enhances Server Virtualization

DataCore's application transparent high-availabilty and auto failover and failback capabilities slash downtime while protecting your critical business data.

DataCore's storage virtualization software insulates your virtual server environments from the adds, moves and changes in the physical disk configuration.

DataCore's ability to boost the performance of the disk subsystems helps overcome the sluggishness of concentrated I/O workloads.

DataCore helps overcome I/O bottlenecks...accelerates Storage I/O…
Fast Caching and Load Balancing

DataCore does high-availability better…Simple Fail-safe SAN data protection
Insulate Failures Transparent to Applications
Unique Automatic Failover and Failback
Priced right for Small and Mid-size Business
Full-featured HA SAN software [New SAN Starter Packages]
No-penalty upgradability and “future proofed” growth path

Monday 5 January 2009

SANmelody - Experiences from a UK Manufacturing Installation

Truck-Lite, the worlds largest commercial vehicle lighting company, 12 months ago illuminated it’s storage with virtualisation to provide higher utilisation of existing resources, thin-provisioning and disaster recovery for its European operations.

We go back to see if a year on, the cost–effective, reliable and robust storage utilisation has truly been gained using DataCore and Virtual Iron.

Truck-Lite Europe is part of the largest commercial vehicle lighting company in the world with a customer base that includes Volvo, Daimler Chrysler, Scania, Ford, GM and JCB.

Problem 1: Watertight Disaster Recovery Required:

Mark Aylwin, IT Support Team Leader, Truck-Lite Europe noted, “Like so many other manufacturers in the UK, we were forced to catapult Disaster Recovery to the top of the priority list in the wake of the Buncefield Oil inferno in 2006, forcing us to fully explore ‘what-if worse-case’ scenarios.” Although not an obvious terrorist, flooding or hazard risk, Buncefield acutely demonstrated that external forces outside of an organisations’ control can dramatically affect business, forcing IT Departments to commence watertight Disaster Recovery planning procedures.

Problem 2: Growing Data Difficult to Control and Manage:

In addition Truck-Lite were experiencing growing inflexibility and management headaches provided by the existing Direct Attached Storage that only allowed access to a finite amount of pre-allocated disk. Frustratingly, the IT Department could see that some servers had plenty of free disk (anything up to 25% of free disk space was residing idle on other servers) but they were unable to apportion this to needy servers – and so it became apparent that the automated management of capacity provisioning and the auto-recovery/auto-failover data protection offered by an intelligent virtualised Storage Area Network could hold the answer to both problems.

The Solution:

New Datum proposed a combination of Virtual Iron as the virtual server platform with two DataCore SANmelody 2.0 Dell Windows 2003 servers providing synchronous mirroring and auto failover as the DR solution; the IT Department were immediately impressed with the low price tag and the potential cost savings they could make over the alternative proposals. But most importantly, they were compelled with the flexibility of being truly agnostic; both for past and future investments. The DataCore SANmelody option has meant that Truck-Lite are not bound to a particular hardware provider for servers, disk, licences or upgrades.

They have enjoyed the flexibility of choice for their current mixed environment now and in the future.

The Result a Year on:

Truck-Lite Europe have dramatically improved their data protection service level agreements and continue to set the stage for further hardware savings and virtualisation across the organisation.

Friday 2 January 2009

Computer Business Review: Paper Manufacturer Felix Schoeller Group Implements High-Performance Storage for VMware Using DataCore SAN Software

Paper Manufacturer Felix Schoeller Group Implements High-Performance Storage for VMware Using DataCore SAN Software

Michael Mohlmann, director of IT department at the Felix Schoeller Group, said: "To migrate the consolidated VMware server workloads into the production environment, we needed a high-performance, failsafe SAN. The DataCore solution fulfills our requirements in terms of performance and high availability and, in addition, we have a very flexible and reliable SAN platform that gives us hardware independence and long-term costs savings."
For full article:

SNS AWARD WINNER: Volkswagen Financial Services supplied by DataCore

DataCore Wins SNS Award: Achievements in Technology Awards
Volkswagen Financial Services (UK) Ltd (VWFS) is one of the largest financial services companies in the UK; offering financial services products to around 800 automotive outlets of the Volkswagen Group including Volkswagen Audi Bentley SEAT Skoda and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and employs over 450 staff. VWFS selected a DataCore solution to provide a dedicated virtualised SAN with central management and auto failover & recovery to protect its business critical data that’s growing 300% year on year. It was selected to virtualise the existing network storage because of its auto recovery features and its ability to centrally provide capacity on demand reducing administrative efforts and improving utilisation of existing capacity. Within the first three months of operation VWFS noted that storage is easier to manage with optimal utilisation of available disk. And there are tangible cost benefits that already outweigh the initial cost of the solution.

Keith Joseph from Data Core accepts from Neil Evans of HDS and Nick Moglia of Zycko

Thursday 1 January 2009

"Why Partners Build their Practice Around DataCore"

Here is an interesting article stating the DataCore case for partners taken from the VMblog. ( We couldn't agree more!

DataCore Makes High-Availability SANs Practical for a Slew of New Storage Virtualization Customers and here are a couple of choice quotes if you don't have time to link through right now:

**"With DataCore, the client can pick their favorite hardware vendor and even mix and match them,” Rettig said. “When the requirements encroach on the system’s limits, we can non-disruptively upgrade what they have with faster, newer technology, possibly from a different supplier who offers better price/performance at the time."

**“DataCore enables us to put together solutions for our clients that fit within their budgets,” explained Rettig. “What is more, we feel strongly that our clients are getting robust, enterprise-level SANs at SMB prices.”

**“A real differentiator for DataCore is their elegant approach to dual-node redundancy, coupled with auto-failover and auto-failback, as well as physical separation of disk arrays to eliminate storage-related disruptions,” commented Rettig. He also admits that a big advantage of DataCore is that it is an open platform, which enables his team to tailor the hardware components to each customer’s manufacturer preferences."