Wednesday 28 March 2012

Enterprise-wide Auto-Tiering Storage Hypervisor: SSDs, Fast Disks, Capacity Disks and Gateway to Cloud Storage

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DataCore Extends Storage Hypervisor Tiering to Provide Enterprises With Seamless Access to Cost Effective Cloud Storage

“Moving a storage infrastructure into a cloud paradigm can be a struggle for data center operators. The use of a heterogeneous storage virtualization solution provides a transition path that preserves investments and adds cloud operating semantics,” said Gene Ruth, research director and senior storage analyst for Gartner. “This particular solution combines storage virtualization, tiering of diverse devices and a bridge capability, allowing organizations to choose and offload less critical storage, backup and archive data onto cloud storage providers.”

Law Firm Achieves High Availability in a Virtualization Environment With DataCore Software's SANsymphony-V Storage Hypervisor

Rennert Vogel Mandler & Rodriguez, P.A. (Rennert Vogel), has deployed the latest version of its SANsymphony -V storage hypervisor. The law firm enlisted DataCore’s technology to cost-effectively achieve high availability (HA) in its virtual environment, allowing for non-stop business operations and greater staff productivity, while improving network performance and storage capacity management.

“We often come into contact with people from larger law firms that have bleeding-edge systems and they are envious of our virtual infrastructure,” said Mike Ferguson, IT director for Rennert Vogel. “They learn about our HA, the centralized management, performance - even across Layer 2 transport - and are amazed at the benefits the SANsymphony-V storage hypervisor offers. Add to this savings from not having to refresh hardware and it’s clear we made the right choice with DataCore.”

The DataCore SANsymphony-V storage hypervisor is a portable, centrally-managed software suite capable of enhancing the combined value of multiple disk storage systems, including the many purpose-built storage appliances and solid state disks (SSDs) type devices arriving to the market daily. The storage hypervisor supplements the individual capabilities of specialized equipment with a broad range of device-independent, integrated services. SANsymphony-V software executes on physical and virtual servers or can co-reside with server hypervisors. Other major features include, but are not limited to, “Quick serve” storage provisioning, automated tiering across SSDs, disk devices and different cloud storage providers and continuous data protection (CDP).

Rennert Vogel’s relationship with DataCore began in early 2008 with a foray into storage virtualization that entailed the onsite deployment of a SANmelody storage hypervisor (the precursor to the SANsymphony-V storage hypervisor). Pleased with the results, Rennert Vogel acquired another storage hypervisor from DataCore and set up a standalone node in what is known as a “cage” at, a co-location, managed services and cloud services provider in nearby Boca Raton. An ensuing phase moved almost all of Rennert Vogel’s production environment servers to the virtualized infrastructure at

Today, Rennert Vogel has two DataCore™ SANsymphony-V storage hypervisors running as synchronously mirrored copies in the same cage, meeting a prime objective of data redundancy. These “front” two storage arrays from Promise Technology, with four Dell PowerEdge R610 servers located on the iSCSI SAN fabric. VMware vCenter runs within that setup. Three VMware ESX hosts are on the Dell servers, connected to the SANsymphony-V storage hypervisors, running a mix of Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) and slower Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) drives. All the virtual disk capacity for the firm’s IT needs is carved out and served from the virtual infrastructure as an HA configuration. The system supports over 25 virtual machines and Rennert Vogel is connected via a 100 MB dedicated internet access (DIA) line.

Rennert Vogel has virtualized all the systems one would associate with a dynamic, knowledge-based enterprise, including the accounting system, case management system, file servers, a Citrix server for remote access, a fax server, as well as two Linux servers. A Microsoft Exchange server will also soon go from physical to virtual, protected by the HA configuration powered by SANsymphony-V. The virtualized databases and applications are literally the lifeblood of the firm, with the file servers supporting the Corporate, Tax, Real Estate and Litigation departments.

Rennert Vogel’s virtualized infrastructure also ensures the availability of multi-media files and depositions that represent hours of transcribed audio files. Moreover, the mandate at the firm is to store nearly everything -- files, emails and all attachments. This great volume of documents has also been addressed through virtualization; stored and made readily available with a capacity that now supports 8 terabytes (TBs) of data. Additionally, Florida’s hurricane season used to be cause for real trepidation because if the building operator needed to close the building, the entire firm was required to leave the premises. Now, work no longer has to grind to a halt; employees can easily work remotely and Rennert Vogel is truly prepared for disaster with two copies of its data and HA.
Equally important, the availability “hiccups” Rennert Vogel had encountered prior to embracing storage virtualization -- relying on lone servers that routinely failed to work -- have gone away. Moreover, the virtualized environment has accelerated performance. The centralized management functions of both VMware (through vCenter) and SANsymphony-V have made management very easy. Server consolidation has freed up hardware for reuse, saving money, and because underlying disk and server hardware is interchangeable with the storage hypervisor software, Rennert Vogel can swap out any device at any time for added investment protection.

“The gains we have achieved by deploying DataCore technology to virtualize storage resources include increased reliability, performance, and peace-of-mind for all of us,” added Ferguson. “We benefit from centralized management, from being able to consolidate servers, less refresh of hardware and more. Using SANsymphony-V for storage virtualization has improved the utilization of the firm’s existing hardware one-hundred times over, while future-proofing us for easy expansion down the road.”

A full case study of the Rennert Vogel deployment is available here: .
For more info on High-Availability, please visit:

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Video: IDC on the Importance & Business Value of the DataCore Storage Hypervisor & Auto-tiering

This video interview with IDC summarizes the benefits of a storage hypervisor and auto-tiering and the business value DataCore's SANsymphony-V delivers as a comprehensive, yet hardware-independent solution.

Monday 12 March 2012

DataCore – Consistently Championing Storage Hypervisors ...

DataCore is storage software company which has remained steadfastly focused on storage virtualisation since its inception in 1998. The main proposition is that different vendors’ storage arrays can be virtualised and managed behind commodity servers, (these days x64 servers). A couple of key reasons why customers consider this approach are the desire for a uniform management suite and acquiring features and functions that are more open than a proprietary array vendor’s solution. The array market has got plenty of competition in it, but once a customer selects a particular vendor’s storage platform it can be argued that there is an element of customer lock-in.

DataCore’s SANsymphony has by virtue been a storage hypervisor from the outset and by name some 12 months when the marketing term was fully adopted. With a mature software core, SANsymphony has evolved into embracing the key features of the array vendors and SANsymphony has also been qualified to embrace a wide variety of those very arrays. The use cases quoted range from customers acquiring commodity arrays to the more sophisticated high QOS array types. At the commodity end DataCore has the potential to add features that would otherwise be costly, while at the other, customers can apply the data management techniques which they are familiar with across their entire storage estate. Another justification for a multivendor solution lies in storage specialists’ on-going challenge of data migration. The ability to efficiently migrate data non-disruptively is not trivial.

It is interestingly the emergence and maturity of server hypervisors that is making storage hypervision more apt. We anticipate that more tools will emerge that bridge and orchestrate workloads across servers and storage. DataCore is supporting VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix Xenserver, and we speculate that the integration into server hypervisors will be strengthened. SANsymphony is as mentioned the core proposition of DataCore and its customer prospects choose the appropriate licensing scope in terms of nodes & capacity.

IT professionals should first of all evaluate how a unified approach to storage management can benefit them. The ability to extend different storage tiers behind a storage hypervisor has the potential to simplify storage provision & data protection, but also the performance of the entire storage pool. A larger storage tier exploiting commodity storage may also be attractive.

IT industry decision makers ought to explore how the storage hypervisor proposition is adapting itself to a world of high server virtualisation penetration. Workloads will be deployed and orchestrated differently in the years ahead and customers may well adopt some important lessons from service providers’ experiences with cost effective multi-tenancy implementations.

Friday 9 March 2012

CeBIT 2012: DataCore Software Showcases the Storage Hypervisor and New Capabilities

DataCore Software is demonstrating the latest innovations of its storage hypervisor SANsymphony-V at the world's largest IT event, CeBit. DataCore is being shopwcased at the CeBIT’s "Virtualization & Storage Forum" (Hall 2, Stand A40). DataCore presented its solutions for the integrated management of virtual infrastructures.

The results of a recent survey conducted by IT industry analyst firm, IDC, at the end of 2011 that storage and virtualisation are in the top investment categories. At the same time, general challenges such as Private Cloud, “Big Data,” storage cloud services and storage efficiency boost the market outlook for storage virtualisation.

At CeBIT, DataCore showcased a rapid configuration wizard which simplifies the installation and configuration of SANsymphony-V storage servers, especially for system builders, and system integration firms. In particular, DataCore solution partners and their SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) customers will benefit from a fast and seamless implementation of the DataCore solution into existing infrastructures.

At the event, DataCore also presented further product developments from collaborations with other leading virtualisation vendors. For example, with the Hitachi IT Operations Analyzer from Hitachi Data Systems the use of storage resources in a virtual infrastructure can be more effectively monitored and analysed via a single management console. Moreover, availability and performance bottlenecks can be diagnosed more quickly and effectively eliminated.

In addition, a powerful new storage management plug-in for VMware vSphere and a Monitoring pack for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager will be showcased to ensure a higher level and more seamless integration.

"Recent customer wins, such as Kaspersky Lab, a high availability solution which is deploying ten petabytes storage under DataCore, show that large scale storage virtualisation empowered by storage hypervisor software is becoming a standard for large enterprises,” says Stefan von Dreusche, Director Central Europe at DataCore. “With thousands of customer success stories, the time is right for this proven technology to gain momentum with the more mainstream partner and customer base".

DataCore’s SANsymphony-V storage hypervisor centralises manages and optimises the use of heterogeneous storage devices, regardless of price, performance, model or hardware and integrates flash memory, SSDs, hard drives and cloud storage. The auto-tiering functionality automates the progression and demotion of data across different storage devices – based on performance and cost criteria. Also, by integrating a cloud array gateway, DataCore expands auto-tiering to the cloud level, so non-critical backup and archiving data can be outsourced.

Amnet Deploys DataCore's SANsymphony-V Storage Hypervisor to Expand Its Cloud Platform

Amnet has used the DataCore's storage virtualization software from 2009 and has benefitted from its VMware and EMC environments and made a successful transition to cloud computing. Walsh continued, "I've never seen a product as versatile as DataCore's storage hypervisor. Performance acceleration gives us more 'bang' for our storage buck. We get a disaster-proof backup and replication system at a fraction of the cost. And, the ability to change SAN storage vendors at any time gives us the future-proofing on tech investments we need to support continued rapid growth."

...Walsh went on to say, "Today, we support thousands of users running within multiple private cloud computing grids across the country. We are 100 percent virtualized, with multiple backend storage models and varied vendor technology, all underpinned by DataCore's technology. And now, we've got a backup and replication platform that'll allow us to continue to grow, while maintaining the performance and reliability our customers expect, built at a fraction of the cost of a purpose built system. This has been a great partnership.”

Virtualization World 365: Amnet Technology Solutions enlists DataCore Software’s SANsymphony-V Storage Hypervisor’s-SANsymphony-V-Storage-Hypervisor
Amnet Technology Solutions has deployed the latest version of SANsymphony™-V storage hypervisor (version 8.1) to meet an increasing demand for offsite replication and disaster recovery. A cloud based IT and audio/video technology service provider (SP), Amnet enlisted DataCore’s newest technology to build a scalable, easy-to-use backup and replication platform that rivals the speed of purpose-built backup systems at a cost savings of 30 percent.

“We looked at a lot of backup appliances and found they can be very expensive, particularly when you get in the 100 terabyte range,” explained Ed Walsh, director of engineering at Amnet Technology Solutions. “DataCore’s SANsymphony-V can replicate remotely to any device. The performance acceleration it offers shrinks backup times, allowing many more jobs to be completed in a specific window. Furthermore, the cost savings - compared to the purpose-built solutions we evaluated - is phenomenal.”