Tuesday 16 June 2009

Oxford University Computing Services uses DataCore's SANmelody™ solution to provide storage for automated 'VM4 rent' virtual infrastructure.

Oxford University Computing Services (OUCS) is implementing DataCore's SANmelody™ as the storage platform to sit behind their VM4 Rent service.

OUCS Network Systems Management Service (NSMS) provides high quality and cost effective IT services for all members of Oxford University by centrally operating, developing and supporting the University's primary computing infrastructure and services on a charge back basis across 25 colleges and 15 departments across many campuses throughout Oxford. As a department, NSMS' time is frequently spent supporting smaller departments with very limited IT resources.

To this end, NSMS is moving towards adoption of a totally self automated, self provisioning, web based virtualised model known internally as "VM4rent" by, in effect, renting Virtual Machines to their customers (Previously NSMS' data centre would provide storage services out across Fibre Channel SANs served by IBM/EMC direct attached storage). The infrastructure behind the VM4rent model includes two centralised VMware ESX 3.5 servers and virtualised storage through DataCore's SANmelody™, supporting VMware applications and seamlessly provisioning storage on demand. This virtualised computing on demand service is extremely useful for those departments who require a temporary service - such as a research project that has been granted funding for a year.

...Jon Hutchings, Senior Systems Engineer, OUCS Network Systems Management Service, notes of SANmelody, "The principles behind our VM4rent scheme are perfectly echoed and served by SANmelody; allowing us to plug in storage and support virtual servers as and when we need, ultimately providing a cost-effective storage solution that we are happy to recommend"

Monday 15 June 2009

Delivering Storage Virtualization into Private Clouds
"I was first exposed to DataCore at a Brian Madden conference," said Joseph Stedler, senior engineer and Dallas data center manager, External IT.

Stedler summarizes the value of a storage virtualization approach as follows, "I have worked with traditional SANs for eight years and have had firsthand experience with every major hardware SAN under the sun - EMC, HP, NetApp, etc." he said. "There are various, major drawbacks to hardware SANs. One is the fact that there is a single point of failure at the disk level. This is particularly the case when doing, for example, firmware upgrades - on the controllers, on the disks, on the shelves - whereby you have to take the SAN down to perform that task. The second most irksome characteristic of hardware SANs is their cost. These EMC SANs, these HP EVAs are inherently expensive, particularly during upgrade time."

The Value of DataCore: Uptime, Performance and Much More

"There are capabilities that DataCore brings to the table that I absolutely love," commented Stedler. "The concept of having two SANs as your one SAN environment is just elegantly simple. You have an 'A' side and a 'B' side." The beauty of this is that if you need to do hardware maintenance or firmware upgrades, an administrator can actually take down half of the SAN and still have the other half serving production traffic - completely uninterrupted. The second, major benefit of DataCore for External IT has to do with performance. "With DataCore, you will experience enormous performance gains," noted Stedler. "The performance that DataCore delivers is nothing short of awesome."

Friday 12 June 2009

NCE Scoop Best Storage Virtualisation Reseller in Northern Europe at DataCore Customer Conference

DataCore concludes European Customer Conference by announcing best of breed Partner Award Winners - NCE Scoops Best Storage Virtualisation Reseller in Northern Europe

DataCore Software recently gathered partners, integrators and resellers to their annual European Storage Virtualisation Partner Conference at The Golden Tulip, LTU-Arena Duesseldorf. Concluding the Conference was a prestigous partner awards ceremony where NCE scooped the Best Storage Virtualisation Reseller in Northern Europe accolade, handed to them by Christian Hagen, WW VP Sales & Marketing, DataCore Software.

"The awards ceremony was the culmination of a successful and productive partner conference that focussed on maximising the opportunities and growth potential from storage virtualisation within the present economic climate." Commented Iris Hatzenbichler, marketing & operations manager EMEA in DataCore. "We provided our top partners with awards in recognition of the
growth of opportunities and their ongoing commitment to DataCore."

Throughout the conference, partners had briefings from technical gurus; sales experts and heard first hand about the additional revenue opportunities that the new versions of flagship solutions SANsymphony 7.0 and SANmelody 3.0 will provide the market. Additionally, complementary
vendors and distribution partners provided overviews of the market and unveiled additional areas of potential growth.

John Greenwood, Solution Sales Director, NCE commented, "It was really pleasing to receive the award. We have enjoyed a great relationship with DataCore for many years, so to receive 'Best Reseller' is an honour that will take pride of place." Matt Moss, NCE was at the event to receive the award.

Thursday 4 June 2009

DataCore Unveils Advanced Site Recovery Solution for Virtual and Physical IT Infrastructures

DataCore Unveils Advanced Site Recovery Solution for Virtual and Physical IT Infrastructures

Advanced Site Recovery (ASR): This new component of DataCore's comprehensive business continuity portfolio allows central IT organizations to cost-effectively spread disaster recovery (DR) responsibilities among several smaller sites. Furthermore, the solution makes no distinction between virtual and physical servers, unifying their restoration in a common, automated process. DataCore is also using the occasion to demonstrate how expanded 64-bit features in the newest releases of SANmelody™ and SANsymphony™ benefit Microsoft users.

"The industry is conditioned to think of DR as a one-to-one proposition. They place unreasonable demands on a single recovery site, asking them to suddenly take over much larger workloads under very stressful conditions," argues James Price, vice president channel and product marketing, DataCore Software.

"But most organizations aren't structured that way. They look more like a hub and spoke, with smaller branches emanating from the central data center. For this reason, DataCore's Advanced Site Recovery distributes the disaster recovery workloads among these smaller entities, allowing each of them to accept a more manageable role in keeping the business going."

Distributed DR
DataCore's unique one-to-many approach fits well within the networking, computational and storage capacity constraints found in branch locations. And it also factors in staff and real estate limitations.

Same for Virtual and Physical Systems
As importantly, the solution is not confined to virtual servers. It operates identically with the many physical systems that make up large part of IT infrastructures today. Offering a congruent DR method for all of these environments eliminates catastrophic misalignments that plague divergent processes.

Central Site RestorationBuilt-in
DataCore's Advanced Site Recovery (ASR) software also addresses the rapid restoration of the central IT site from the widely dispersed branches through ongoing bi-directional replication. Other DR alternatives don't account for this critical aspect and end up prolonging the crippling effects of an outage long after the central machines could take over their original chores.

Universal Coverage for Heterogeneous Scenarios
ASR works whether the servers are purely physical, or have been virtualized with Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware or other popular hypervisors. Moreover, it supports the use of dissimilar storage devices between the data center and its branches. In contrast, lack of such heterogeneous features in competing, and much pricier, disk array-based replication products makes them unsuitable for many customers.

DataCore: Essential to Microsoft Hyper-V Configurations
DataCore yields the highest availability, fastest performance and fullest utilization from storage assets, making it an essential element of Microsoft Hyper-V configurations.The newest, 64-bit versions of DataCore's flagship SANmelody™ and SANsymphony™ storage virtualization solutions include advances in performance, migration, thin provisioning, and high-availability.

Among the new features in SANmelody 3.0 and SANsymphony 7.0 that will certainly serve to benefit the demanding needs of Microsoft users are large ‘mega caches' to accelerate SAN performance, non-stop high-availability, universal storage controllers that are Windows Server 2008-based, a simple and fast ‘Transporter' option, and ‘waste-free reclamation' of storage space.For more details on these newest versions of DataCore's high-performance storage solutions, please visit:

ASR Availability and More Information
Advance Site Recovery implementation services will be available through DataCore ASR-certified implementation partners beginning end of June 2009.

TechTarget UK: Retail Giant Co-op Jersey opts for low-cost DataCore Software SAN

UK Retail giant Co-Op opts for DataCore Software,289142,sid181_gci1357657,00.html

Co-Op Jersey has implemented DataCore Software's SANmelody software-based storage-area network (SAN) as shared storage to support a VMware-based server virtualisation project. The resulting iSCSI SAN -- which replaced existing direct-attached storage (DAS) -- runs on two IBM servers in which all disk writes are replicated instantly across the wide-area network to provide total redundancy.

"Downtime for maintenance and provisioning new servers isn't acceptable," said Don Le Clercq, IT manager at Co-Op Jersey. "To enable this, we have used a combination of two IBM servers along with DataCore's SANmelody to provide a synchronously mirrored high-availability architecture."

Monday 1 June 2009

SANmelody at the Co-Op Jersey is a Fairtrade for High Availability.

DataCore has announced that together with DataCore's trained and accredited partner, VirtualizeIT, they have installed SANmelody™ as the storage area network (SAN) virtual infrastructure at Co-Op Jersey's office and branch network. The Co-Op is one of the UKs largest retailers with over 2,500 recently refurbished food stores and supermarkets around the UK and in the Channel Islands.

“In a constantly trading retail business such as ours, availability of store and office data is paramount.” stated Don Le Clercq, IT Manager, Co-Op Jersey. Downtime for maintenance and provisioning new servers is not acceptable. To enable this, we have used a combination of two IBM servers along with DataCore’s SANmelody to provide a synchronously mirrored high availability architecture.”

The Co-Op moved from direct attached storage to virtualised storage 18 months after the retail giant adopted two physical servers running VMware’s ESX and now hosts 15 virtual servers running critical applications protected by SANmelody.

The Co-Op connected the two storage servers over their WAN where all disk write I/Os are replicated instantly - providing total redundancy. In this configuration an entire storage server can fail without impact on the SAN or ESX hosts.

“Co-Op Jersey have managed to achieve easier management and shared provisioning of storage with limited server room space and without incurring heavy set up costs.” commented Keith Joseph, Regional Manager, DataCore Software.

DataCore Ships 64-bit SANmelody 3.0 and SANsymphony 7.0; Advances in Performance, Migration, Thin Provisioning, and High-availability Improve Storage

For more details on the newest versions of SANmelody and SANsymphony, access the following presentation:

‘Mega Cache’ for SAN performance, Simple & Fast ‘Transporter’ Option, ‘Waste-free Reclamation’ of Storage Space, and Non-Stop High-availability are now shipping

DataCore Software, the leading provider of storage virtualization, business continuity and disaster recovery software solutions, today announced the general availability of the newest versions of its flagship SANmelody™ and SANsymphony™ storage virtualization solutions. SANmelody 3.0 and SANsymphony 7.0 deliver SAN-wide performance boosts, radically simple, high-availability, and optimum disk utilization for virtual server and virtual infrastructure users. Product highlights include x64 versions, a new “Transporter” feature allowing for conversion between the different flavors of physical and virtual servers, a pioneering, waste-free space reclamation capability for thin provisioning, and ground-breaking support for “mega caches” that deliver lightning-fast (electronic memory speed), storage performance.

For more details on the newest versions of SANmelody and SANsymphony, access the following presentation:

DataCore: Non-stop, Lightning Fast, Waste-Free Storage Solutions

“The x64 versions of SANmelody and SANsymphony materially improve performance, and utilization for virtual infrastructure shared storage especially through their ability to create very large memory-based caches,” said Jack Fegreus, CEO, openBench Labs, a Southborough, Mass.-based consultancy and product testing firm. “More importantly innovations such as the new Transporter continue to make DataCore a leader in simplifying and consolidating virtual infrastructure management, which is the most critical area for IT cost savings. DataCore's combining these features into a server-centric approach is the wave of the future for virtual infrastructure as integration increases between SANs and servers.”

Save More. Do More.

“DataCore is one of a few vendors that is answering user demand to do more with less. With solutions like this you can not only drive down capital [CapEX] costs while improving reliability you can also improve administrator and operational [OpEX] efficiency by centralizing storage operations to a single platform,” states George Crump, founder and senior analyst, Storage Switzerland.

DataCore solutions offer incredible value since they enable customers to enhance, optimize and consolidate their storage infrastructure and to get more productivity out of their existing systems. DataCore consolidates and optimizes storage resources by 60%, while greatly accelerating performance. For lightning-fast performance, DataCore enables memory speed caching to accelerate read/write access so more work can be accomplished in the same given time. Learn more about ROI and cost savings with DataCore at:

New features in SANmelody 3.0 and SANsymphony 7.0 include:

Lightning-fast, 64-bit “Mega Caches” Boost SAN-wide Performance

Leading the list of new features in SANmelody 3.0 and SANsymphony 7.0 are native 64-bit controller software with support for mega cache capacities, which is ideal for Database, Exchange and other I/O demanding applications “In large scale, consolidated data storage, cache is king,” commented James Price, vice president channel and product marketing, DataCore Software. “DataCore’s solutions will now support up to a terabyte (TB) of cache. They dwarf anything in the market and scale linearly with each node that you add to the fabric.” The entire working set of a large number of virtual machines can now be kept in SAN-wide cache for unprecedented performance. Behind the cache, VMware, Citrix, Microsoft and other virtual server customers can grow their storage pools from a few hundred gigabytes to multiple petabytes.

Non-stop, Radically Simple, High-Availability for Non-Stop Storage Virtual Infrastructure

Only DataCore allows maintenance, upgrades, expansion, and failures to take place throughout portions of the storage infrastructure without disrupting applications. According to George Crump, “The result is that you can confidently take half of your storage infrastructure out-of-service for routine maintenance any time of day without suffering downtime. And of course, you can sustain a major storage hardware failure without disturbing users” (Excerpted from George Crump’s article “Are you serious about high availability?”). Link to full article:

Waste-free, Efficient Space Reclamation for Thinly Provisioned Storage

Both SANmelody and SANsymphony offer the choice to thinly provision virtual disks and storage (independent of vendor brand name) rather than tie up physical capacity when LUNs are first created. In the new releases, previously allocated or thinly provisioned space can be reclaimed in the background after applications or file systems no longer need it.

Windows Server 2008-based, Universal Storage Controllers

Configuring DataCore software on x86/X64 Windows servers transforms them into universal storage controllers. The new SANmelody 3.0 and SANsymphony 7.0 releases have been re-architected to exploit the power and scalability of Microsoft Windows Server 2008 for either virtual or physical x86 and x64 platforms as universal storage controllers.

New Hypervisor Migration Support and Tighter Integration to VMware Virtual Center

DataCore’s “Transporter” time saving migration facility is a new option in SANmelody 3.0 and SANsymphony 7.0. Transporter migrates disk images and workloads between different operating systems, hypervisors and storage subsystems – eliminating lengthy backups and restores due to complicated format conversions. A plug-in for VMware’s Virtual Infrastructure Client is a no-charge option that allows administrators to non-disruptively provision, share, clone, replicate and expand virtual disks among physical servers and VMs.
SANmelody and SANsymphony Make Non-stop High Availability Practical

DataCore does high-availability better – making business continuity and disaster recovery solutions practical.
Simple, fail-safe SAN data protection
Unique, automatic failover and failback
Priced right for Small and Mid-size Business
Full-featured, HA SAN software (Thin provisioning, Snapshots, Synchronous and Asynchronous Replication)
No-penalty upgradeability and a “future proofed” growth path

For more information, please go to

DataCore and StorageLink - storage management for the Citrix and Microsoft Hypre-V virtual infrastructure worlds"

StorageLink provides a rich integration point between DataCore's Storage Virtualization Software and Citrix Essentials," stated James Price, vice president of product and channel marketing, DataCore Software.Citrix StorageLink is a component of the new Citrix Essentials for XenServer and Citrix Essentials for Hyper-V products - enabling simpler, integrated deployment of virtualization and storage solutions.

"Most virtual environments encompass diverse storage devices with disparate or non-existent management tools," continued Price. "DataCore consolidates the configuration, control and monitoring of these dissimilar disk subsystems under one unified management interface. This reduces complexity and costs by allowing administrators to satisfy the varied capacity, availability and performance needs of XenServer and Hyper-V virtual machines through coordinated and consistent requests, irrespective of the underlying storage hardware."

DataCore makes high availability SANs practical - offering non-stop storage and high performance for Citrix and Microsoft Hyper-V environments
"Many customers are stunned by the high costs and major overhaul generally proposed to put a new shared storage configuration in place," cautions Price. "And there's no getting past the sticker shock after hearing that 90% of their virtualization budget will be chewed up just to roll in a new SAN.""Instead, DataCore storage virtualization software recasts all of their storage and any extra servers they may have into a fully virtualized, highly available, shared storage pool at a fraction of the cost, without compromising performance, functionality or peace of mind."