Virtualization Technology News and Information
DataCore Software Builds on its Software-Defined Storage Lead with Enhancements to its Proven SANsymphony-V Storage Virtualization Platform

Amid all the talk and future-looking promises of software-defined storage from hardware-biased manufacturers, DataCore Software has delivered real-world solutions to thousands of customers worldwide. DataCore continues to advance and evolve its device-independent storage management and virtualization software, while maintaining focus on empowering IT users to take back control of their storage infrastructure. To that end, the company announced today significant enhancements to the comprehensive management capabilities within version R9 of its SANsymphony-V storage virtualization platform.

New advancements in SANsymphony-V include:
  • Wizards to provision multiple virtual disks from templates
  • Group commands to manage storage for multiple application hosts
  • Storage profiles for greater control and auto-tiering across multiple levels of flash, solid state (SSDs) and hard disk technologies
  • A new database repository option for recording and analyzing performance history and trends
  • Greater configurability and choices for incorporating high-performance "server-side" flash technology and cost-effective network attached storage (NAS) file serving capabilities
  • Preferred snapshot pools to simplify and segregate snapshots from impacting production work
  • Improved remote replication and connectivity optimizations for faster and more efficient performance
  • Support for higher speed 16Gbit Fibre Channel networking and more.

"Storage is undergoing a sea-change today and traditional hardware manufacturers are suffering because they are in catch-up mode to meet the ‘new world order' for software-defined storage where automation, fast flash technologies and hardware interchangeability are standard," said George Teixeira, co-founder, president and CEO of DataCore Software. "We have listened to our customers and stayed true to our vision. With the latest release of SANsymphony-V, we are well-positioned to help organizations manage growth and leverage existing investments, while making it simple to incorporate current and future innovations. Our software features and flexibility empowers CIOs and IT admins to overcome the many storage challenges faced in a dynamic virtual world." 

Real-World Software-Defined Storage: Customer-driven Enhancements Overcome Challenges

Many of the new features which extend the scope and breadth of storage management would not even occur to companies just developing a software-defined package. They are the product of DataCore's 15 years of customer feedback and field-proven experience in broad scenarios across the globe.

The enhancements introduced in the latest version of SANsymphony-V take on major challenges faced by large scale IT organizations and more diverse mid-size data centers. Aside from confronting explosive storage growth (multi-petabyte disk farms), organizations are experiencing massive virtual machine (VM) sprawl where provisioning, partitioning and protecting disk space taxes both staff and budget. Problems are further aggravated by the insertion of flash technologies and SSDs used to speed up latency-sensitive workloads. The time and resource demands required to manage a broadening diversity of different storage models, disk devices and flash technologies - even when standardized with a single manufacturer - are a growing burden for organizations already struggling to meet application performance needs on limited budgets.

The bottom line is that companies are forced to confront many unknowns in terms of storage. With traditional storage systems, the conventional practice has been to oversize and overprovision storage with the hope that it will meet new and unpredictable demands, but this drives up costs and too often fails to meet performance objectives. As a result, companies have become smarter and have realized that it is no longer feasible or sensible to simply throw expensive, purpose-built hardware at the problem. Companies today are demanding a new level of software flexibility that endures over time and adds value over multiple generations and types of hardware devices. What organizations require is a strategic - rather than an ad hoc - approach to managing storage.

Notable Advances with SANsymphony-V Update 9.0.3

SANsymphony-V is a strategic productivity solution that works infrastructure-wide across many storage hardware brands and models. Its auto-tuning cache and auto-tiering software maximize the use of available CPU, memory and disk resources to dramatically increase overall storage performance, which translates into faster, more responsive applications. By more effectively leveraging existing disk storage investments, organizations can now cost-effectively add, and fully benefit from, the latest high-speed technologies like flash memory and SSDs.

DataCore's software makes it even easier to incorporate and optimize powerful "server-side" flash memory technologies. SANsymphony-V can operate directly with any flash and disk devices connected to application servers or can be used across all connected storage area networking (SAN) assets. New configuration flexibility and options have also been documented with the latest release of SANsymphony-V to simplify flash integration and maximize its utilization and performance.

DataCore offers an extensive set of management tools including "heat maps" to optimize performance and cost-effective tiering of storage. Auto-tiering prioritizes and applies the right storage to best fit application and workload needs. Storage profiles provide greater control, and because environments vary, more optimization to improve cost and performance. Profiles for virtual disks can be customized to govern how dynamic policies for auto-tiering, remote replication and synchronous mirror recovery are prioritized, while supplementing default policies built into the software. Virtual disk importance can be set to critical, high, normal, low or archive, controlling which volumes take precedence for shared resources. This ensures important applications benefit from more valuable resources, such as flash memory and SSDs, with less demanding tasks using lower cost, higher density storage.

Auto-regulating the best utilization of precious resources keeps them from unintentionally being consumed by lower priority demands, as often happens with backup snapshots and other replicas of line-of-business data. Instead, point-in-time copies are directed to tiers of storage more appropriate for their role, while SQL Server, Oracle, SAP, Exchange, SharePoint and other mission-critical apps are directed to higher speed resources.

DataCore customers can now enjoy cutting-edge recording, analysis and reporting for responsive, continuously available IT services. SANsymphony-V adds the ability to record historical performance for trend analysis. By displaying metrics gathered over time, workload spikes and potential bottlenecks can be easily addressed. There is also a greater emphasis on automating more nuanced aspects of provisioning and advanced storage services. The difficulty here has not been managing overall storage capacity as much as the total number of virtual hosts and volumes to be coordinated in a predictable, repeatable fashion. Admins now can kick off and manage these tasks effortlessly and visualize their state at a glance. Large-scale provisioning is made simple through the use of templates from which virtual disks can be instantiated with the same characteristics (size, profile, availability, etc.).

For business continuity, disaster recovery and off-site data protection, the new release offers faster asynchronous remote replication to meet stringent Recovery Time (RTO) and Recovery Point (RPO) Objectives. It also takes better advantage of lower speed/lower cost wide area networks. Safeguarding against regional catastrophes has raised the urgency for cost-effective remote replication solutions, even for smaller firms.

SANsymphony-V further leverages the Windows Server 2012 platform and Microsoft's latest clustering capabilities for faster, cost-effective unified NAS file serving and SAN disk services. This allows fully redundant, highly available configurations to scale out across multiple nodes and enable rapid switchover of network file system and Common Internet File System SMB clients despite hardware and facility outages. This powerful combination makes SANsymphony-V a unified NAS/SAN storage platform that is an ideal and affordable choice to support Microsoft Clusters and more demanding Microsoft File Serving environments.

With regards to high performance, low-latency needs, SANsymphony-V supports the newest 16Gbit Fibre Channel host bus adapters (HBAs) from QLogic. These can be mixed and matched with prior generation HBAs, as well as iSCSI NICs employed in less demanding areas of infrastructure. Fibre Channel is often the preferred interface between databases, high-speed apps and pools of hybrid and all flash arrays virtualized by DataCore.

To take advantage of the enhanced SANsymphony storage virtualization platform, please consult with your DataCore-authorized solution provider or your DataCore representative.

Published Wednesday, June 12, 2013 5:41 PM by David Marshall
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