DataCore updates SANsymphony storage virtualisation platform

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Now with enhanced CDP and thin provisioning, Support for faster 8GB FC SAN connections and new data migration services.

DataCore Software, a leading provider of storage virtualisation SAN software, has updated its flagship SANsymphony enterprise-class, open storage networking platform and its Traveller CDP (continuous data protection) add-on capability.

The new update releases are available immediately. DataCores SANsymphony provides manufacturer-independent SAN-wide services designed to virtualise storage and meet the needs of larger scale SAN infrastructures and enterprise storage management. Traveller is a continuous data protection, recovery and time-shifting software that enables SANsymphony based systems to use or recover Virtual Machines or data by going back in time to restore systems to a previous good state.

Notable Enhancements:  New 8GB Fibre Channel SAN Support, Faster CDP and Replication, Better Usability, Improved Thin Provisioning Monitoring, Live Data Migration Services and Greater Virtual Server Integration 

This new SANsymphony update incorporates many customer requested enhancements including support for the latest 8 Gigabyte Fibre Channel cards, improved usability features, more powerful SAN-wide group volume configuration commands, new oversubscription monitoring services and Hot-swap capabilities to simplify the management of thin provisioning storage pools. Several user interface enhancements have improved the SANsymphony configuration tools and the Asynchronous IP Mirroring (AIM) features in terms of ease of use for management and administration. Many aspects of the product have also been redesigned to boost overall performance for both asynchronous replication over IP connections and for Traveller CDP features that are available in the new product update releases. 

Twice-as-Fast 8GB Fibre Channel SAN Support

With this update, DataCore has qualified its dual-mode driver solution for SANsymphony enabling both host initiator and target connectivity support for the latest Emulex and QLogic high speed 8Gb/s HBAs. These new HBAs offer twice the performance of today's leading products, providing the I/O scalability necessary to support an increase in the number of applications running on a virtualised server. Additionally, these 8Gb/s HBAs provide the increased I/O processing speed and throughput needed by large business-critical databases and transaction processing applications to scale to support additional users and larger database files.

Improved Thin Provisioning and Migration Capabilities 

DataCore continues to advance thin provisioning and migration services beyond its industry counterparts. Cases in point include the following:

Over-subscription monitoring services for thin provisioning. Customers want to know while they are creating and configuring thin provisioned virtual volumes if they are about to oversubscribe in terms of physical disk space. This enhancement has been requested by customers to enable them to be more cognizant of physical usage while they are configuring their systems as opposed to when they are running hot that they have oversubscribed. Thereby they will know in advance of hitting the thin provisioned pool threshold about to be out of disk space early notification wall that they will need to add more physical disks as opposed to finding out after pool space has been actually allocated. While SANsymphony already has the ability to provide threshold alerts for growth rates and level of storage, this new service is built into the SAN configuration manager interfaces and shows users what they have requested against the physical amount of storage before hitting a threshold alert under actual use conditions. This enhancement goes a long way to showing users just how much of the physical resource they have requested to use, as opposed to having already physically-used.  

Thin provisioning Hot-Swap migration. This is the ability to migrate data on physical disk devices within a thin provisioning pool from one device to another and then hot swap (replace) that device. If you imagine a storage pool with existing devices, the thin provisioning migration facility is of great value when it comes to adding new disks or storage arrays to the pool. This facility enables users to take the data that resides on existing disks and migrate it to the new added disks. The old devices can remain in the pool for new uses, or they can be removed from the pool and repurposed for other uses in the system. Either way, system and network administrators need not worry about impacting high availability, disrupting the application servers, or interfering with virtual machines that have access to the data.

Live data migration. Live Data Migration enables an administrator to move data (Windows, Linux, Solaris, AIX, etc) to any other storage device under management of SANsymphony in real-time. Data can come from a disk volume (a logical unit number or LUN) on any storage array IBM, EMC, Hitachi, HP, etc. The real benefit with these services is that the Live Data Migration provides users with the ability to move data from any platform to any other storage device, live, and to do so non-disruptively. Lets say a company has an application server and it is being fed by multiple LUNs from an IBM server. When DataCore is brought into the picture, the DataCore system gives an administrator the ability to literally take the IBM LUN, and serve the volume to the DataCore system, and SANsymphony will pass it straight back to the original owning application server. 

By using DataCores virtual volume management services, those volumes can be mirrored to another SANsymphony system providing the enterprise with all of the benefits DataCore is known for: data is mirrored, system speed is increased by way of DataCore caching algorithms, administrators have the advantages of being able to work with thin-provisioned volumes, etc. All of the inherent capabilities and benefits of SANsymphony can be available to an enterprise, if it simply passes the volumes containing the live application data through DataCores SANsymphony, said John Bocskor, vice president of product development, DataCore Software. When that data volume is passed through SANsymphony it is simply remapped to the application server so the server can immediately run the server applications. While the application server is running DataCores software adds value to those volumes Caching performance, High Availability, Snapshot, AIM, etc. 

New Professional Services Monthly Use Model Simplifies Live Data Migration and Storage Array Data Movement

In addition to its current software licensing model, DataCore now offers Live Data Migration Professional Services through a pay-by-the-use business model. As opposed to buying a long term SANsymphony license, users can use what they need on a monthly basis, through DataCores network of authorized professional services partners. DataCore can do this because we support heterogeneous environments and because we are hardware agnostic, said George Teixeira, president and CEO, DataCore Software. There is no real motivation for the hardware storage array vendors to make it easy to migrate data off of their platforms! DataCore on the other hand has every motivation to enable users to use whatever platform they please and to migrate data at will from any platform, to any platform.

These new Live Data Migration Services are available through authorised DataCore partners on a per month basis. Monthly use fees depend on the amount of storage capacity being migrated from one brand of hardware to another. 

Enhanced for Virtual Server Environments

All DataCore software maximizes the value from IT assets and boosts business productivity. At the same time, DataCore technology helps users get the most out of their investments with Virtual Machines (VMs) by eliminating the inflexibility of physical storage. The enhancements described above have all been tested and optimized for use with Citrix XenServer, VMware, Microsoft VS, Oracle VM, SUN VM, Virtual Iron virtualization platforms, as well as Intel/AMD based hardware servers and blades. 

DataCores storage domain architecture supports virtual server deployments such that applications running on VMs can be guaranteed quality of service levels in terms of storage performance and capacity to each of the VMs.

Not just the oversubscription monitoring services, the whole gamut of migration services and storage domains are optimized for virtual server environments, but Traveller CDP itself has been enhanced for use in virtual server environments as well. SANsymphony, running with Traveller CDP features turned on allows network and system administrators to dial back the clock and get to a previous state of any VM that resides on a DataCore virtual volume. Here is a way to go back in time and recover virtual machines or data, explained Teixeira. What if you have a VMware server with 20 different VMs on it and the machine died? With DataCore SANsymphony and its Traveller CDP capability, you can easily and quickly roll back time and save those 20 machines. 

New Packages and Availability

The new updates for SANsymphony and Traveller are available immediately. 

 

About DataCore Software 

DataCore Software, the leading provider of storage virtualisation SAN software, fundamentally changes the economics of managing storage with innovative software that combines advanced functions and services with the agility and savings of hardware independence.

DataCore lowers the cost and complexity of IT by making storage efficient, fast, flexible, fail-safe and virtual. DataCore's portable storage server software simplifies and automates capacity expansion and centralizes storage management for Windows, UNIX, Linux, MacOS, NetWare, VMware and other leading open system and virtual server platforms.

DataCore is privately held and its corporate headquarters are in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

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