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High performance and availability from VMware shared storage

DataCore Software : 25 February, 2009  (New Product)
SANmelody and SANsymphony from DataCore provide virtualized storage solutions for maximizing availability in VMware virtual infrastructures
Visitors to VMworld Europe 2009 will be among the first to learn how new versions of DataCore SANmelody and SANsymphony storage Virtualisation solutions materialize into SAN-wide performance boosts, radically simple, high-availability, and optimum disk utilization for VMware Virtual Infrastructure customers. DataCore's new lineup of VMware Ready Certified solutions will be showcased at Europe's largest Virtualisation community in Cannes, France. The event is being held at The Palais des Festivals from February 24-26, 2009.

Leading the list of new features in SANmelody 3.0 and SANsymphony 7.0 are support for 64-bit mega caches. "In large scale, consolidated data storage, cache is king," commented James Price, vice president channel and product marketing, DataCore Software. "DataCore's solutions will now support up to a terabyte (TB) of cache. They dwarf anything in the market and scale linearly with each node that you add to the fabric." Entire working sets of numerous virtual machines can now be kept in SAN-wide caches for unheard of performance. Behind the caches, VMware customers can grow their storage pool from a few hundred gigabytes to multiple petabytes.

Needless to say, storage pools of such immensity are in constant flux. With this in mind, the new product enhancements are fully integrated into DataCore's radically simple, high availability solutions for VMware. Only DataCore allows maintenance, upgrades, expansion, and failures to take place throughout portions of the storage infrastructure without disrupting applications. "VMware customers are demanding that the many storage-related interruptions they face while making metro-wide, virtual machine migration, failover and load balancing be eliminated. Solutions like those offered by DataCore are addressing these interruptions and are critical to making these tasks practical," said George Crump, senior analyst at Storage Switzerland.

Both SANmelody and SANsymphony offer the choice to thinly provision virtual disks rather than tie up physical capacity when LUNs are first created. This is particularly desirable with virtual machines that generally consume only a small fraction of the total volume assigned to them. With the new releases, once-occupied, thinly provisioned space will be automatically reclaimed in the background after applications or file systems zero it out. In this way, the SAN gives back capacity that may have been temporarily needed, further optimizing resource utilization.

Configuring DataCore software on x86/X64 Windows servers transforms them into universal storage controllers. ESX servers and virtual machines (VMs) needing storage, connect to the DataCore controllers using iSCSI or Fibre Channel. All of the popular operating systems, including Windows Server 2003, 2008, Unix, Linux, NetWare and MacOs can take advantage of DataCore's SAN-wide storage virtualization features. In small configurations, the DataCore controller is hosted on a VM as a virtual appliance alongside application VMs. The SAN is completely virtual needing no external storage. Larger configurations dedicate physical servers to this storage virtualization role and typically include both internal disk drives and external arrays. The new SANmelody 3.0 and SANsymphony 7.0 releases have been re-architected to exploit the power and scalability of 64-bit Windows Server 2008 virtual and physical platforms as universal storage controllers.

DataCore's "Transporter" time saving migration facility is a new option in SANmelody 3.0 and SANsymphony 7.0. Transporter migrates disk images and workloads between different operating systems, hypervisors and storage subsystems - eliminating lengthy backups and restores due to complicated format conversions

In addition, a plug-in for VMware's Virtual Infrastructure Client is a no-charge option that allows administrators to non-disruptively provision, share, clone, replicate and expand virtual disks among physical servers and VMs.

DataCore has a suite of ten SANmelody-based Business Continuity (BC) and Disaster Recovery (DR) packages available for VMware environments, ranging from Feature Packed BC/DR SAN Starter Virtualization Bundles to a Feature Packed BC/DR 32 Terabyte SAN Virtualization Bundle to virtually unlimited capacity SANsymphony Bundles.

Key features include:

* Highly Available, Shared Virtual Disks
* Thin Provisioning
* Online Snapshots
* Disaster Recovery (DR)
* High-speed Caching

As of March 2009, all the BC/DR Packages will all be shipped with the new SANmelody 3.0 capabilities.

DataCore yields the highest availability, fastest performance and fullest utilization from your storage assets, making it an essential element of VMware configurations.

DataCore's storage Virtualisation software solutions pool and mirror disk blocks across available devices, despite differences in make and model. In the process, they speed up I/O response and throughput using extensive SAN-wide caching.

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