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DataCore Makes High-Availability SANs Practical for a Slew of New Storage Virtualization Customers Based in Cincinnati and Southwestern Ohio
DataCore Software, the leading provider of storage virtualization software, today spotlighted LAN Solutions as representative of managed service providers using its SANmelody product to address the high-availability storage needs of SMB customers.  

At Lakota Local School District, for instance, LAN Solutions recently deployed a fail-safe VMware virtual server cluster stretched between two sites separated by several miles. Lakota is the largest suburban school district in Ohio encompassing approximately 18,000 students under the instruction of 3,000 teachers and administrative staff. “Lakota School District considered the pros and cons of other SAN configurations from EMC, HP and LeftHand Networks,” said Tim Rettig, President, LAN Solutions. “Yet those choices proved to be less resilient and more costly compared to the solution that we architected using DataCore Software.”  

Disk capacity problems, cooling issues with their equipment, as well as power problems in the data center initially drove Lakota Local School District into “going virtual”. The combination of DataCore storage virtualization and VMware server virtualization addressed all of these issues by reducing the physical resources required on the floor, while getting the fullest utilization from their servers and their storage assets.

“With a continually growing enterprise dependent on network based solutions, DataCore allowed us to implement a virtual infrastructure at a fraction of the cost and support of other storage solutions,” according to Todd Wesley, Network Operations Administrator for Lakota Local Schools. “As a result, we were able to virtualize several central systems, resulting in power, cooling and space savings as well as add additional redundancy.”

All of Lakota Local School District’s 12 Terabytes (TB) of data originally resided in their central office from existing independent servers. The LAN Solutions project synchronously replicates the most important 3 TBs of key information from this central site to their new disaster recovery (DR) location using off-the-shelf servers running DataCore SANmelody software. The storage virtualization software automatically mirrors updates between the two sites over a 10 Gbps fibre connection, making the virtual storage pool appear to be one large shared resource equally accessible from either end. Virtual servers at the DR location can thus take over vital operations anytime that the central data center undergoes maintenance or is threatened by an unplanned outage.

Other SMB Customers opting for LAN Solutions and DataCore

CONTECH Construction Products, Inc. also is running SANmelody at the heart of its two-node high-availability (mirrored) SAN supporting both VMware and Windows servers. They’ve chosen a mix of Fibre Channel and iSCSI connections from their applications. Cincinnati-based Council on Aging is another customer recently deploying SANmelody courtesy of LAN Solutions. They rely on a 3TB Powered by DataCore™ SAN.

In each instance, LAN Solutions serves as both a trusted IT advisor and as a managed services provider, whereby the firm fundamentally “runs” the IT departments for these customers. “LAN Solutions will engage with a client, install the solution and support the whole thing remotely,” explained Rettig. “In terms of administering the deployment, we do all that for an attractive fixed cost.”

Why Partners Build Their Practice Around DataCore

The cost of many SAN alternatives on the market is simply beyond the reach of most of LAN Solutions’ clients. This is particularly the case when they require true-high availability between physically separate locations, even in the same building. “DataCore enables us to put together solutions for our clients that fit within their budgets,” explained Rettig. “What is more, we feel strongly that our clients are getting robust, enterprise-level SANs at SMB prices.”

Rettig continued, “LAN Solutions looked at plenty of SAN alternatives before choosing DataCore, not just those from EMC, HP and LeftHand Networks. However, DataCore fit the bill perfectly for our clientele.”

According to this partner, DataCore makes high-availability practical. “A real differentiator for DataCore is their elegant approach to dual-node redundancy, coupled with auto-failover and auto-failback, as well as physical separation of disk arrays to eliminate storage-related disruptions,” commented Rettig. He also admits that a big advantage of DataCore is that it is an open platform, which enables his team to tailor the hardware components to each customer’s manufacturer preferences.

“With DataCore, the client can pick their favorite hardware vendor and even mix and match them,” Rettig said. “When the requirements encroach on the system’s limits, we can non-disruptively upgrade what they have with faster, newer technology, possibly from a different supplier who offers better price/performance at the time. Because DataCore enables LAN Solutions to offer an adaptable enterprise solution to our clients – in terms of capabilities, performance and reliability, all for a reasonable price, we feel that DataCore allows our firm to build a lasting relationship with our clients.”

DataCore Software Free 30-day Trial

With virtualized storage, customers receive enduring ROI benefits from the comprehensive storage management services provided by the software. For more information and a free 30-day test drive, please visit: www.datacore.com/trialsoftware.

Published Wednesday, December 17, 2008 7:50 PM by David Marshall
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