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To Protect and Serve - Storage Hypervisors and the Data Protection Imperative

Welcome to The Virtual Viewpoint: Storage Virtualization - A Contributed Series by DataCore Software

To Protect and Serve - Storage Hypervisors and the Data Protection Imperative - written by DataCore Software President and CEO George Teixeira

For most people, the motto “to protect and serve” automatically brings up the image of a police car, but for IT professionals it might just as well be blazoned on the hardware and software of their storage infrastructure. The ever-increasing computer-dependence of business has pushed data protection and business continuity to top of mind in the IT world, and storage is a major player in the quest to preserve the integrity and availability of data assets.

But it can be a major headache, as well. It’s not that there aren’t good solutions for assuring storage availability, data protection, and data recovery. What’s problematic is assembling them into an affordable, consistent, and maintainable defense in depth to minimize “time to data:” how long it takes after an interruption to recover data, bring applications back up, and reconnect users.

This is especially difficult given the skyrocketing growth of storage capacity, driven both by server virtualization and increasing regulatory pressures for data retention. This keeps IT scrambling to maintain data protection as new storage hardware—and new types of storage, like flash and DRAM solid state drives—comes online. Too often, businesses find themselves locked into expensive single-vendor solutions because they can see no other way to provide a coherent strategy for configuring, monitoring, and managing all the necessary data replication functions.

But there is another way: the storage hypervisor. This is software that does for storage hardware what hypervisors like VMware, XenServer, and Hyper-V do for servers: transform static hardware platforms into rapidly provisioned and highly available virtual resources. A storage hypervisor like DataCore SANsymphony™-V provides defense in depth for all your storage hardware—present and future—that can be configured and managed from a single console.

For the most common kind of data disaster, user and application errors, SANsymphony provides Continuous Data Protection, allowing you to “rewind” any virtual disk back to the moment before disruption. Stikeman-Elliott, a leading Canadian business law firm, uses this capability to provide “zero-time backups.”

For a localized interruption, such as hardware failure, broken water pipes, and the like, SANsymphony provides real-time synchronous replication across a LAN or metropolitan area network. At Amnet Technology Solutions, a private cloud platform provider specializing in cloud-based, managed IT services, DataCore’s synchronous replication is an important part of the confidence customers have in the company’s cloud services.

For large-scale “CNN-level” disasters, SANsymphony offers asynchronous replication across a WAN to a disaster-recovery (DR) site or the cloud. In fact, just this week DataCore announced that Amnet has deployed the latest version of the SANsymphony-V storage hypervisor (version 8.1) to meet an increasing demand for offsite replication and disaster recovery. The company enlisted DataCore’s newest technology to build a scalable, easy-to-use backup and replication platform that rivals the speed of purpose-built backup systems at a cost savings of 30 percent. (Full case study here.)

SANsymphony also enables simple, non-disruptive testing of your data protection strategy, and all of this comes “out of the box,” without the need to cobble together third-party point solutions or try to get different storage vendors’ software to cooperate.

For an in-depth introduction to data protection and how a storage hypervisor can help you manage it, check out Part Four of Storage Virtualization for Rock Stars by Jon Toigo of the Data Management Institute: The Data Protection Imperative.

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About the Author

George Teixeira is President and CEO of DataCore Software. See full bio here.
Published Wednesday, April 18, 2012 6:55 AM by David Marshall
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