Wednesday 14 July 2010

Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2010: Check out the DataCore Booth - Is that Steve Ballmer?

DataCore is exhibiting this week at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference – running July 11-15 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C. DataCore is located in Booth 739 at Microsoft WPC. For more, go to .

If you are attending the conference, please stop by and see how DataCore’s software-based virtualization solutions empower storage and serve as the third dimension to virtualization.

...and yes that is Steve Ballmer the CEO of Microsoft along with Carlos Carreras from DataCore.

Friday 9 July 2010

Virtualisation Partners See DataCore Software as Pivotal to an Overall Virtualisation Strategy

J4 Systems realizes importance of DataCore’s virtualisation approach

J4 Systems Inc., is a good example of a virtualisation oriented solution provider that has realized the importance of virtualizating storage solutions along with desktops and servers. New J4 Systems customers that have deployed DataCore to virtualize storage resources include Admail West, Antonini Enterprises LLC, California Bankers, Cross Petroleum, Grafil Inc., Porter Scott, Resource Capital Inc., Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment, and Tesco Controls Inc., among others.

"DataCore has helped tremendously in empowering us with what customers need in order to make their virtualization projects successful," states Tiffany Sequeira, Chief Operating Officer, J4 Systems. "The marketplace at large is recognizing that virtualization projects are indeed three-dimensional and that storage is as vital as the other dimensions, if not more so. DataCore takes storage to the next level, protects existing storage investments and delivers genuine value to users by boosting productivity, utilization and performance through device independent software that safeguards their business from costly disruptions due to storage failures."

DataCore develops software-based solutions that virtualize storage. Virtual servers and desktops depend on shared disks. Without them, system administrators cannot migrate virtual machines, fail-over workloads or start up sessions on a completely different desktop. DataCore virtualization solutions enable system and network administrators to provision, share, reconfigure, migrate, replicate, expand and upgrade storage without slowdowns or downtime.

"We rely on DataCore software to pool our existing storage assets into a highly available, shared storage configuration," states Steve Bradley, Network Administrator, Rocklin Unified School District. "We selected DataCore because we saw the value and the power of virtualizing across all makes and models of storage devices in a manner that is cost effective, device independent and puts to use equipment already in place."

According to Chris Whitaker, IT Manager, Ahtna Government Services Corporation, "What won the day was the fact that DataCore offers a software-based, device-independent solution whereby we get infrastructure-wide functionality that runs across unlike and incompatible devices, without slowdowns or downtime. This rich set of advanced virtualization services from DataCore delivers the highest availability and best use of resources at the most favorable cost. DataCore virtualization technology hits on all cylinders for us. And their customer support is just exemplary."

In addition to Rocklin Unified School District and Ahtna Government Services Corp., other J4 Systems customers that benefited form cost-savings, flexibility, productivity and risk mitigation include American Building Supply, AWI Management Corp., Borges Architectural Group, California School Employees Association, Chelsio Communications, Citizens Bank of Northern California, City of Elk Grove Police Department, Composite Engineering Inc., Corn Products International, County Medical Services Program, Delta Blood Bank, Document Fulfillment Services, Ecorp Consulting Inc., Hose & Fittings ETC., Loomis Union Unified School District, PFU Systems Inc., Qualys Inc., Risse Mechanical, Robbjack Corp., Schuering Zimmerman & Doyle LLP, Stanislaus Union School District, Stockton East Water District, The CBM Group, Therapeutic Research, Trans Cal Insurance Services, Visionapp, and more.

"We find that DataCore virtualization software has become a very mission-critical part of the way we shape the long-term IT plans of our customers," notes Sequeira. "Yes a lot of customers are talking about virtualization. But it is how they are applying virtualization that is really relevant. Initially, our customers are typically using DataCore to attain high-availability. Then, they add a third DataCore-powered SAN to ensure disaster recovery. The bottom-line is that DataCore storage virtualization software enables virtualization initiatives to become reality for our customer base. And the reason for this is because DataCore’s solutions provide the high-availability required to keep businesses running out-of-the-box as well as a future path whereby DataCore makes disaster recovery both possible and economically viable."

Thursday 1 July 2010

Wimbeldon 2010: All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club takes advantage of DataCore virtualisation.

Flexible Storage Utilisation Gained Using DataCore's SANsymphony™ Solution.

"With DataCore's SANsymphony solution running effectively, we have moved the Club's infrastructure into the next layer of availability and flexibility. It really has provided a cost-effective alternative that added needed flexibility to our traditional hardware approach." -Andrew Jones, IT Infrastructure & Security Analyst at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club

DataCore Software has announced that the prestigious All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, host of the world's most famous tennis tournament, Wimbledon, is using DataCore's SANsymphony as its storage backbone.

As one of the world's top sporting events, Wimbledon attracts the World's top tennis stars, along with tens of thousands of spectators and millions of viewers via television and the Internet. As such, you would expect there is a complex IT and support infrastructure that supports an IT population that swells from 200 to 6,000 users across a three-week period.

Running everything to do with IT security and data integrity is Andrew Jones, IT Infrastructure & Security Analyst at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, who is one of seven from the IT Department responsible for the platforms and infrastructure that ensure the smooth running of critical operations at the Club.

Jones noted, "Our initial requirement was to reduce the costs of deploying and running our CCTV system. The system had a very high storage requirement - between 16-20 TBs as a monthly load which we then intended to overwrite - and this was even at a heavily compressed rate." Footage has also increased dramatically (for instance the new state-of-the-art Centre Court moving roof contains four cameras provide a birds-eye view on Centre Court proceedings). Andrew recognized that pools of data this large needed to be linked into the existing storage area network (SAN), but also recognized that this integration would provide management headaches and significant strain on the present SAN backbone of an IBM Fibre Channel SAN Storage 4300 solution. The IBM SAN was effective and provided great data mirroring, facilitating the VMware ESX server virtualisation, but the Club realized that to accommodate this level of generated data, it required a cost-effective, flexible storage solution for CCTV that would have otherwise entailed the purchase of numerous additional trays of disks.

DataCore's SANsymphony solution was identified as being able to address the Club's present and future needs; including critically the mammoth expansion on the network usage throughout the run-up, duration and immediately following the Championship. Previously the distinct peaks throughout June and July each year had to be facilitated by additional hardware, which then was effectively unused for the remainder of the year. In addition, the Club took the opportunity to tie-in an effective Disaster Recovery solution (including the implementation of a full-scale, offsite DR emergency center).

The DataCore proposal showed a staggering £15,000 immediate capital savings outlay compared to the alternative of allocating more disks to cope with demand. With such compelling financial and business benefits, the business case was easy to justify to the Board.

The flexibility of the proposal prompted the Club to place an order for three SANsymphony nodes in late 2008, which run on IBM servers and complement IBM standard DS3400 storage arrays. Two were housed in the separate Wimbledon data centers in a mirrored environment for failover purposes and it was proposed that the third would be housed at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton for full DR purposes.

One of the first noted effects of SANsymphony was the ease of administration. Previously the team had to manage five different interfaces at any one time, controlling everything from switches and storage arrays - to the iSCSI/FC management interfaces. With SANsymphony, Andrew noted, "Everything is now presented to the DataCore virtualisation servers, which through a drag and drop interface control all aspects of the SAN. From an administration perspective there is a lot less to monitor, control and manage."

Even without the full offsite DR plan being implemented, the Club has benefited from SANsymphony's automatic failover configuration. Ongoing building works around Centre Court at the Club entailed the brief loss of fibre connectivity. The resultant effect on the SAN was negligible. SANsymphony's auto-failover kicked in, simply switching the servers to the mirrored site and causing no loss of data or applications.

Full Scale DR in progress
The third SANsymphony server has been allocated to the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, some three miles away. This way, in the event of a dramatic loss of functionality (hosting the world's most prestigious tennis tournament means that security at the Club is treated very seriously), the third SANsymphony can provide asynchronous mirroring and snapshotting. This means that almost instantly - in a full scale disaster - the entire system can be back up and running with only a five minute lag in data availability.

Additional growth is now easy to provide
SANsymphony's scalable approach provides additional reassurance and room to grow. Adding more storage is now a question of simply purchasing additional licenses. Complex provisioning and rezoning of disks is a thing of the past. Moreover, as data storage grows and retained digital image sizes increase, the team is now confident that in the future they can instantly serve back large files such as video restore.

Andrew summarizes, "With DataCore's SANsymphony solution running effectively, we have moved the Club's infrastructure into the next layer of availability and flexibility. It really has provided a cost-effective alternative that added needed flexibility to our traditional hardware approach."