Tuesday 23 August 2011

Scottish Agricultural College selects DataCore SANsymphony-V and Microsoft for Unified Storage; Adds Performance and HA to NAS Clustered File Sharing

Virtualization World 365 - Top Story: Scottish Agricultural College selects DataCore SANsymphony-V and Microsoft for Unified Storage

Scotland’s Leading Agricultural College announces it has settled on SANsymphony-V to add performance and safeguard the NAS Clustered File Sharing capabilities inbuilt within their Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Platform.

Scottish Agricultural College selects DataCore

DataCore Software says that its SANsymphony™-V software has been deployed at the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) to fully utilize the Cluster File shares and Network Attached Storage capabilities included within their Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 platform.

The next generation of DataCore’s software, SANsymphony-V, was recommended and configured by a leading Scottish solution provider, Tecnica Ltd. This DataCore authorized partner designed the system to manage both NAS file sharing and SAN or directly attached storage (DAS).The system now spans across 3 nodes; one within SAC’s main Edinburgh campus and the other two some 8 miles away within the College’s Research and data center campus. While operational for less than a month, immediately the integrated combination of DataCore and Microsoft has decreased the College’s reliance on costly hardware solutions and added a new level of fault tolerance and data protection to its clustered NFS/CIFS file sharing.

The key driver for change for the College came in Autumn 2010 when their existing environment came to end of life; moving from a complex and costly SUN infrastructure in favor of a Microsoft Windows based platform, while consolidating storage and eliminating bottlenecks and disruptions. They commenced the search for alternatives and Tecnica Ltd responded with a DataCore software based solution that significantly lowered cost and ongoing capital outlays and stressed the importance of being device independent with a software based solution:-

“The DataCore unified storage software layer provides the performance and functionality we require to effectively manage our current and future data requirements and has removed complexity, cost and support skills exposure from our storage infrastructure” - Ronnie McIntyre, IS Infrastructure & Operations Manager, SAC

“Some of the features that attracted us to DataCore’s SANsymphony-V were the transparency and ease of management which it offered along with the flexibility of design configuration to allow us to build a solution that would match our performance and resilience requirements. As with many organizations we required an agile solution to be able to meet the demands of the business whether generated through strategic / legislative requirements or market opportunities.” - Peter Gowler, Infrastructure Systems Architect, SAC

Unified Storage with No Costly Specialty NAS Hardware Required:

Keith Joseph, Regional Manager, DataCore Software, commented, “What the SAC IT team, working closely with Tecnica have achieved here is what data center managers have long been seeking – a simple, cost effective way to easily manage their disk resources and address potential single points of failures in their vital NFS/CIFS files shares. Previously, SAC’s choice would have been restricted to either picking from a few specialty devices that provided the needed redundancy at a steep price, or take the risk that a storage-related disruption would cripple their entire infrastructure.”

DataCore’s design at SAC employs dual copies of the SANsymphony-V software providing high-availability mirroring and performance acceleration layered beneath clustered file shares (NAS) integral to Windows Servers 2008 Enterprise. SAC can now employ and reutilize any standard storage device for disk space, ranging from standard hard drives to existing external disk arrays offered by the popular storage systems vendors. With the solution, splitting the file share cluster remains across two machines, while the DataCore software runs on two separate servers dedicated to managing the block storage virtualization.

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