Thursday 20 December 2012

2013 – The Year ‘Software-defined,’ Flash technologies and Virtualization of Tier 1 Applications Transform the Enterprise Storage World

Flash technologies and virtualization of Tier 1 applications are shaking up the enterprise world.

By George Teixeira, President and CEO, DataCore Software
During the past year, we have seen the first steps in a move to software-defined architectures. This has spurred a number of critical trends that are reshaping and having a major impact in the enterprise storage world, setting the stage for 2013 to become the year software-defined storage transforms the data center.

The move from hardware- to a software-defined virtualization-based model supporting mission-critical business applications has changed the foundation of architectures at the computing, network, and storage levels from being “static” to “dynamic.” Software defines the basis for agility, user interactions, and for building a long-term virtual infrastructure that adapts to change. The ultimate goal is to increase user productivity and improve the application experience.

Trend #1: Tier 1 apps will go virtual and performance is critical

Faster After VirtualizationEfforts to virtualize more of the data center continue and we will see an even greater surge to move Tier1 applications (ERP, databases, mail systems, OLTP etc.) onto virtualization platforms. The main driver for this is better economics and greater productivity.

However, the major roadblocks to virtualizing Tier1 apps are largely storage related.

Moving storage-intensive workloads onto virtual machines (VMs) can greatly impact performance and availability. Therefore, storage has to be over-provisioned and oversized. Moreover, as businesses consolidate onto virtual platforms, they have to spend more to achieve the highest levels of redundancy to ensure no down time and business continuity in addition to worrying about performance bottlenecks.

The high costs and complexities of oversizing negate the bulk of the benefits. With this in mind, enterprises and IT departments are looking for a smarter, more cost-effective approach (ie smart software), realizing that the traditional “throw more hardware at the problem” tact is no longer practical.

Trend #2: SSD flash technologies will be used everywhere; storage is not just disk drives

Another major trend related to virtualizing Tier 1 applications is the proliferation of SSD flash-based technologies. The reason is simple. Disk drives are mechanical rotating devices and not as fast as those that are based on high-speed electronic memory technologies.

Flash memory has actually been around for years; it was previously way too expensive for broad adoption. Though still more costly than rotating hard drives, their use in tablets and cell phones are driving prices downward. Even so, flash wears out, and taxing applications that prompt many writes can impact their lifespan.

Yet, flash devices are an inevitable part of our future and need to be incorporated within our architectural thinking. The economics are already driving us to a world that requires different tiers of fast memory-based storage and less expensive, slower disk drives. This, in turn, increases the demand for enterprise-wide auto-tiering software able to optimize the performance and cost trade-offs by placing and moving data to the most cost-effective tier that can deliver acceptable performance.

Trend #3: More storage will require more automation

There is a constant and insatiable demand for more data storage; it continues to grow more than 50 percent per year. However, the need is not just for more hardware disks to meet raw capacity. Instead, users want automatic, self-managed storage, scalability, rapid provisioning, fast performance, and the highest levels of business continuity.

Again, it takes “smart software” to simplify and automate the management of storage.

Trend #4: Software-defined storage architecture will matter more than hardware

These trends -- and empowering IT users to make storage hardware interchangeable within virtual infrastructures -- will have a profound impact on how we think about, buy, and use storage. In 2013 and beyond, IT will need to embrace software-defined storage as an essential element to data centers.

As users deal with the new dynamics and faster pace of today’s business, they can’t be trapped within yesterday’s rigid and hard-wired architectures. Infrastructure is constructed on three pillars -- computing, networking, and storage -- and in each, hardware decisions will take a back seat to a world dictated by software and driven by applications.

Clearly, the great success of VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V demonstrates that there’s compelling value delivered by server virtualization. Likewise, the storage hypervisor, and virtualization at the storage level, are critical to unlocking hardware chains that have made storage an anchor to next-generation data centers.

Trend #5: Software-defined storage is creating the need for a storage hypervisor

The same thinking that changed our views about the server is needed to address storage, and smart software is the catalyst. In effect, a storage hypervisor’s main role is to virtualize storage resources to achieve the same benefits -- agility, efficiency, and flexibility -- that server hypervisor technology brought to processors and memory.

This year, software will take its rightful seat at the table and begin to transform the way we think about storage.

The Ultimate Goal: Better App Experience through Software-defined Storage

Virtualization has changed computing and the applications we depend upon to run our businesses. Still, enterprise and cloud storage are dominated by physical and hardware-defined mindsets. We need to change our thinking and consider how storage impacts the application experience and view storage as software-defined, with storage services and features available enterprise-wide and not just embedded to a proprietary hardware device.

Why would you buy specific hardware just to get a software feature? Why would you restrict a feature to a single platform versus using it across the enterprise? This is old thinking, and prior to virtualization, that’s how the server industry worked. Today, with VMware or Hyper-V, we think about how to deploy VMs versus “are they running on a Dell, HP, Intel, or IBM system?”

Storage is going through a similar transformation, and in the year ahead, it will be smart software that leads the industry into a better, software-defined world.

Tuesday 18 December 2012

Jon Toigo Video on Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity: Use a storage hypervisor for data replication

Toigo Video

Toigo: Use a storage hypervisor for data replication

Video Link:

In this video, Jon Toigo, founder and CEO of Toigo Partners International, says that relying on a storage hypervisor like DataCore's SANsymphony-V provides greater ease of management and greater resistance to disruption.

Toigo said that storage environments have isolated islands of capability on hardware from different vendors and software products that add functionality for services like provisioning and mirroring, but these capabilities don't scale as you need more capacity and have to purchase another array. But the hardware behind the different vendor's product names is "generic," said Toigo, and a storage hypervisor can bring those disparate elements together by presenting storage as logical volumes rather than physical volumes -- allowing users to pool disparate hardware together into a common storage repository.

And for disaster recovery, storage virtualization can be a real benefit because you do not need to replicate between identical devices. "I could make a copy of data over to any other platform. I don't have to use the most expensive gear to make a copy of the most expensive gear … it doesn't matter, because it's all virtual volumes that we're dealing with," said Toigo...

Friday 7 December 2012

Novarion Launches its New Line of PlatinStor® Storage Systems Fully Integrated with DataCore Software Storage Hypervisor Technology

Collaboration produces cost-effective high-end storage solutions

Novarion, a system builder and manufacturer of high-end server and storage solutions, and DataCore Software today announced that they have worked together to develop a new  line of storage solutions based on DataCore's SANsymphony-V storage hypervisor technology. The new Novarion PlatinStor® systems are configured to address the needs of businesses and the public sector with the highest standards of reliability, performance and availability. The new systems are available European-wide and are being marketed with an emphasis on how they simplify storage management within large IT environments and the ease with which they integrate with existing storage systems.

The PlatinStor enterprise storage hardware from Novarion, together with the storage virtualization and hypervisor software technology from DataCore, deliver the ultimate performance solution to the storage market. In particular, large organizations will benefit from the systems modular design and additional features such as performance acceleration through self-adaptive caching, automated storage tiering, unified storage with enables SAN and NAS integration, continuous data protection, snapshots, analysis tools, synchronous mirroring, replication, capacity optimization (thin provisioning), resource virtualization, centralized SAN management, and the ability to integrate easily into existing SAN environments,

"We have developed these new storage systems to meet the highest levels of performance, quality and reliability. Together, the combination of the DataCore™ SANsymphony-V storage hypervisor and Novarion’s resilient and modular hardware design deliver to market a compelling high performance solution. We observed, during the certification process and from our own testing, a two- to seven-fold performance improvement over competitive products,” says Georg Gesek, managing director at Novarion IT Service GmbH.

Novarion PlatinStor ® is offered in four models; each integrated with the DataCore’s SANsymphony-V and they are available with choices of fiber channel, iSCSI or Infiniband connectivity.

  • PlatinStor ® EX 2 - "One-Box Enterprise HA SAN"
    This cost-effective, highly available solution comes with two independent SAN nodes and two built-in disk stacks to provide a maximum level of data protection, performance and reliability.
  • PlatinStor ® EX 3 - "Storage-Header for Enterprise SAN"
    The redundant storage header provides significant performance acceleration for existing enterprise HA storage solutions by providing intelligent caching and advanced tiering technology.
  • The PlatinStor ® EX 4 - "Enterprise SAN for vast storage requirement"
    The comprehensive Enterprise-HA-SAN environment provides virtually unlimited scalability of capacity and I/O performance thanks to its innovative grid design.
  • PlatinStor ® EX 5 - "All-In-One & SAN HA Application Cluster"
    The highly available one-box HA solution provides SAN system to support application clusters; itis an excellent solution to set up a low-cost "private cloud".

Pricing for PlatinStor® systems starts at 20,000 Euros. For more information please visit the website at

"Novarion is one of the few premier European manufacturers of high-end systems and an excellent technology partner. The DataCore storage hypervisor has been designed and optimized for larger data centers and cloud environments. Novarion has the reputation for delivering high quality and reliable hardware solutions. The combination makes sense. Moreover, partners and customers benefit from having complete integrated solutions that can meet the highest quality requirements required by today’s modern data centers”, says Siegfried Betke, director of business development, Central Europe at DataCore Software.

Monday 3 December 2012

Video Interview: DataCore Software and Dell in EMEA; Storage Virtualization and Auto-Tiering optimises and works over all Dell Storage Product Lines


W. Curtis Preston discusses with Pierre Aguerreberry, EMEA Alliances Manager for DataCore, at the Dell Storage Forum in Paris, France. They discuss SANsymphony-V storage hypervisor and its virtualization layer that can work over any storage the customer has installed or chooses to buy (Dell server, Compellent, Equallogic, PowerVault, EMC, Fusion-io, etc.). They discuss how DataCore has over 8,000 customers using their product...