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Q&A with President and CEO George Teixeira: DataCore Software

Recently, DataCore Software made quite a splash with the launch of its SANsymphony-V product, a next-generation storage virtualization software solution.  SANsymphony-V promises to eliminate the difficult and costly storage-related barriers to desktop and server customer's virtualization initiatives. 

To hear about what DataCore has been up to, I spoke with George Teixeira, the company's president and CEO.

VMblog: Catch us up on DataCore Software and the launch of SANsymphony-V. How did the development of SANsymphony-V come about?

GT: DataCore's newest storage virtualization software solution, SANsymphony-V, it reflects DataCore's vision and passion and builds on more than a decade of work as well as the feedback and input of thousands of customers.

Our business has doubled over the last three years and while I wish our "time in the sun" had occurred sooner, good things come to those who wait. First, the virtualization movement had to occur at the server and desktop level, and it did. This movement has served to spread the word on the advantages of
virtualization as well as to confirm its overall business value. Secondly, a decade ago storage virtualization was aimed at storage experts in only the biggest data centers. Today, the world has changed and with the spread of virtual servers and all the consolidation that resulted, we see that the requirements
for data center-class shared storage infrastructures have become a must-have for enterprises of all sizes.

Small-and medium-sized enterprises actually have the same need to virtualize, but they don't have the money and expertise to do so. Today's larger mainstream market runs into the same increasing demands for higher performance and availability - therefore they require a "common sense" and an affordable way to cost-effectively manage storage and improve their business continuity. SANsymphony-V was developed specifically to meet this market need. 

VMblog: Last year DataCore was touting the "3-dimensions" of virtualization and how these encompass server, desktop and storage virtualization. This year we're hearing a lot about how DataCore solves the "Big Problem" impeding virtualization initiatives from being successful.  What do you mean by that? 

GT: Many organizations are moving forward on the path to virtualization, but the movement is not becoming the revolution it should be. Virtualization initiatives are only going so far and only encompassing so much within enterprises of all sizes. You see this especially as customers try to migrate their "core"
applications like mail servers and databases to virtualized environments, which require the cost of having enterprise-capable storage in place - "enterprise" in terms of performance and non-stop high-availability.  

The loudest cry we heard from our base customers was to find a way to reduce complexity and make it practical for "non-storage geeks" to manage storage in a virtual world. Equally clear was that this challenge was compounded in that consolidated server workloads increase the performance and availability requirements on shared storage. So, today's reality is that no one wants to think about storage, they just want it to be there when they need it - and it needs to be fast and reliable. Users want all of the sophistication - and none of the complexity associated with traditional SAN solutions. 

SANsymphony-V is our answer to this challenge. Just like its server and desktop software virtualization cousins, with SANsymphony-V the intelligence is in the storage virtualization software itself and hardware has become a secondary issue. 

VMblog: Is DataCore's bet that the need for storage virtualization software has crossed the chasm from early adopters to the mainstream market?  Isn't it ultimately going to take almost a cultural "shift" in terms of the way people think about storage to really make what DataCore does mainstream? 

GT: That's our bet and it's based on myriad validation points - our customers, our resellers, our prospects who would have bought "if" we had been more consumable to their enterprise in earlier days, etc., etc. 

And you're right; it does take a change - a shift - in mindset.  The same change of thinking that paved the way for server virtualization to be commonplace will have to come to pass and we believe strongly that it will because people fundamentally recognize the benefits of software. Software is developed to reduce costs and increase productivity for the task at hand. DataCore offers a practical software solution that takes the storage related issues off the table so that virtualization projects can be successful.

VMblog: How so?  

GT: DataCore uses software to shape a virtual, shared storage infrastructure and it does it by allowing you to leverage your existing equipment. Our SANsymphony-V software enables organizations to avoid overhauling and replacing their systems - and that way adding more costs and risks to their virtualization projects. In economic terms, this translates to significant costs-savings, better utilization, higher availability, more uptime and greater performance.

In terms of what you asked about mindset, let me try a simple mind exercise. When I say the term "server virtualization," I bet you are thinking about VMware or Microsoft Hyper-V or Citrix. All are software infrastructure solutions. However, if you hear the term storage virtualization, I bet the first thing in your mind is something like EMC, NetApp, and Hitachi. The fact is that we have been conditioned to think in hardware terms for anything storage-related.  

VMblog: You make a valid point. Storage virtualization is not traditionally thought of in the same regard as its server and desktop virtualization counterparts. 

GT: What's interesting about virtual infrastructure software solutions is that we take it for granted that the hardware platforms have become largely irrelevant and secondary to the virtualization effort. For instance, if you deploy VMware you don't really care if it is running on a Dell, HP, IBM or an Intel server platform. That has clearly become a secondary concern today and we have already taken for granted the business argument that the software endures and the training investment in people and process will be amortized over the complete infrastructure. We have learned with server and desktop virtualization solutions that changes of hardware at the server level reside below the software virtualization layer. 

Well, this is what DataCore does for storage. Our software insulates the users and applications as well as the virtual servers and desktops from storage related disruptions and changes. Again the hardware can "come and go," but even if it is not replaced - it is constantly changing with firmware upgrades, maintenance, refreshes, etc. All of that can lead to downtime and impact all the machines and systems running above. 

DataCore protects you from these impacts, adds performance and leverages the investments you already have in place and allows you to get value from them over the full lifespan of your infrastructure. 

VMblog: I think my readers will certainly take away from this that DataCore delivers a compelling business case and has addressed what is needed in a robust storage virtualization solution.  What do you consider DataCore's biggest difference?  

GT: DataCore's mission is to make any storage better. SANsymphony-V is our testament that we - as a company - are about infrastructure software not storage devices.  

In many ways, DataCore allows our customers to get a "Return on Yesterday's" investments; but just as importantly it lets them maximize investments across the entire infrastructure and over multiple generations and evolutions of hardware so that they can maximize the value well into the future. Who can
argue that this isn't a good thing to the financial well-being of any organization? 

Best of all, our technology is proven in the real world. I encourage your readers to check out the DataCore website to read hundreds of case studies.

###


I'd like to thank George Teixeira, president and CEO of DataCore Software once again for digging into this a bit more with us and providing us with this interesting and informative information.  For a more in-depth Q&A with George, please visit the DataCore Software website at: http://www.datacore.com/Company/News/Blogs/QandA-with-George-Teixeira.aspx

Published Thursday, April 21, 2011 5:00 AM by David Marshall
Comments
VMblog.com - Virtualization Technology News and Information for Everyone - (Author's Link) - May 26, 2011 8:26 PM

DataCore Software recently launched a new version of its SANsymphony-V product, a next-generation storage virtualization software solution. VMblog caught up with DataCore while at the Citrix Synergy event this week in San Francisco. Check out this video

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