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Storage virtualisation for Citrix users

DataCore Software : 04 March, 2009  (New Product)
CeBIT to see enhanced features to DataCore's range of products delivering performance advantages to thin-client computing environments
DataCore Software will use CeBIT 2009 to highlight the newest features in the forthcoming releases of its SANmelody and SANsymphony storage Virtualisation solutions. In particular, DataCore is touting that the new versions of its solutions deliver SAN-wide performance boosts, and provides radically simple, high-availability, and optimum disk utilisation for Citrix XenServer, XenDesktop and XenApp environments. CeBIT runs from March 3-8, 2009 in Hannover, Germany.

"We are pleased to welcome DataCore to showcase their solutions on our booth during CeBIT", said James McNab, Senior Director of Marketing and Business Development EMEA at Citrix. "Storage is critical to rapidly deploying Virtualisation solutions, and DataCore's storage Virtualisation solutions have been validated with Citrix XenServer and are deployed with XenServer in a growing number of customer installations. DataCore's affordable, flexible, high availability SAN storage solutions will help our mutual customers to overcome the cost barriers and complexity that SAN storage can present."

Key resellers that are seeing first-hand the benefits of selling DataCore in conjunction with Citrix include: Albora (Spain/Portugal), itX (Australia), Miel (France), Ready Informatica (Italy), ADN (Germany), DNS (UK and Europe), as well as Moose Logic (USA), MTM (USA) and J4 Systems (USA), among many others. Moreover, numerous new customers are embracing SANmelody storage Virtualisation in conjunction with Citrix XenServer, as they are finding the tandem represents an affordable solution that is far more flexible than a proprietary approach.

DataCore value-added distributor ADN Avanced Digital Network Distribution is one of the biggest Citrix distributors in Europe and offers integrated end-to-end IT infrastructure Virtualisation from desktop to storage out of one competent hand. 'The concept of total enterprise Virtualisation from desktop, application, server to storage becomes increasingly accepted. Here DataCore's storage Virtualisation proves to complement Citrix Xen perfectly. With the Citrix and DataCore combination customers benefit from a flexible, high-performance and cost-efficient infrastructure solution with high-available storage' says Christian Geilen, Business Unit Manager Storage & Virtual Products at ADN.

DataCore's lineup of solutions, which are Citrix Ready for XenServer 5, have been met with broad appeal worldwide and the momentum keeps rolling for DataCore storage virtualization solutions delivered in combination with Citrix XenServer.

"Although we have an extremely demanding IT environment, thanks to DataCore SANmelody and Xen, we have reached all our objectives. The combined solution enabled us to deploy a virtual, flexible, easy to use and economical infrastructure. This way, we can simply deploy and redeploy virtual machines without any worries. SANmelody makes sure that the high available virtual disks will follow the virtual machines wherever they go", said Philippe Ottin, Head of IT at Weishardt Group, worldwide 4th largest manufacturer of gelatine for pharmaceutical, edible or technical applications.

DataCore Software enhancements in SANmelody 3.0 and SANsymphony 7.0 aimed at Citrix shared storage requirements include the following new features and functionality:

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 - per node. 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, Citrix 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 Citrix disk farms. Only DataCore allows maintenance, upgrades, expansion, and failures to take place throughout portions of the storage infrastructure without disrupting applications.

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. Citrix 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

DataCore has a suite of SANmelody-based Business Continuity (BC) and Disaster Recovery (DR) packages available for Citrix 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.

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