3PAR, the leading provider of Utility Storage, announced today mySnapshot, the storage industry's first copy utility that provides non-storage professionals such as DBAs, software developers and test engineers with safe and easy copy and provisioning privileges. With mySnapshot, developers can make and use copies of test data instantly, thus eliminating the days or weeks required to request, justify, and be allocated such copies. Until now, these copy and provisioning privileges have been reserved for storage administrators only, but with mySnapshot administrators are relieved from these tedious tasks for internal test and development projects. mySnapshot is built upon 3PAR Virtual Copy, a uniquely flexible and efficient copy-on-write snapshot technology that reduces capacity consumption to the absolute minimum levels.

The Problem
In many organisations there are relatively few storage administrators to support potentially dozens or hundreds of developers, test engineers and DBAs. Already strained and overworked, storage administrators struggle to keep up with the additional requests for copies of data, while the organisation risks delay in a development project's time-to-market.

Allowing end users to make their own copies of test data would help relieve the strain. Unfortunately with traditional storage environments, there is no practical mechanism to do so without giving end users full provisioning control of a shared storage system. Such a practice would normally violate an organisation's security or change management procedures, as well as consume even more disk capacity. In addition, the process involved in making copies of test data is typically complex enough that end-users would be deterred from doing it themselves.

Efficient software development and quality assurance testing are vital elements of many organisations' future success. To ensure this success, users within these groups -- application developers, test engineers, and DBAs -- rely heavily on copies of data to perform their duties. During the development process, test data is often lost, damaged, or becomes outdated. As a result, application developers frequently seek restored copies of data that can be changed, manipulated and deleted safely.

To meet these requests, storage administrators traditionally establish a test database using a cloned copy of the production database. Requests for restored copies of data are then met using copies of the test database. Ideally, storage administrators would prefer a solution that allows users to obtain and restore their own copies of the test database. Now, with mySnapshot, there is a solution that meets everyone's needs.

mySnapshot Solves the Problem
With mySnapshot, development and test engineers can now safely and easily restore their own copies of test data in seconds without relying on the storage administrator - a practice unheard of using traditional storage platforms. mySnapshot dramatically improves efficiency within an organisation by empowering users, increasing productivity and improving time-to-market.

"3PAR's mySnapshot is great news for organisations who want to get more done with less. It's another case of 3PAR applying their innovative Utility Storage technology to a problem and delivering a solution that rocks," said Steve Duplessie, Founder and Senior Analyst of the Enterprise Strategy Group.

"A real utility should deliver service and control directly to the end-user without the constant intervention of an IT professional," stated David Scott, president and CEO of 3PAR. "3PAR Utility Storage is the only such platform to offer this - one more reason why customers continue to choose 3PAR for utility computing deployments."

The security design for mySnapshot includes an Access Control List that associates a user with controlled administrative permissions and specified storage resources. Once these specific administrative permissions are granted, the user can easily replace and restore copies of their own test database using 3PAR's space-efficient Virtual Copy snapshots in one simple command.

Offering Additional Flexibility
On traditional arrays, storage administrators almost never allow the main production database to be accessed, even indirectly, by developers for fear of impacting the Quality of Service to business users. The exceptional performance delivered by 3PAR's unique combination of mixed workload support, fine-grain virtualisation and a massively parallel architecture can remove this concern. It offers storage administrators even more flexibility for supporting consolidated production, test and development environments. Rather than create a separate test database for developers to access, storage administrators can now choose to allow application developers to "mySnapshot" actual production data, with minimal impact on the production application. The main production database remains safe from accidental deletion or corruption since the developers do not have control over those volumes. This latter approach enables the developers to refresh their data with the current production data, versus an older test database image. It reduces the amount of storage capacity that must be consumed by the organisation, driving up efficiency and driving down costs.

mySnapshot is available immediately and is bundled with 3PAR Virtual

3PAR Introduces 300 Gigabyte Drives
3PAR also announced that it now offers 300GB Fibre Channel drives for the 3PAR InServ Storage Server platforms. With the new 300GB Fibre Channel drives, 3PAR offers yet another capacity tier for varying the quality of service provisionable from the array. 300GB drives are available immediately, and are ordered with an initial system or separately as an upgrade.

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