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Software-defined Storage, Data Infrastructure,
Parallel I/O and Storage Virtualization

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Software-defined Storage is a ‘Must Have’ for a Software-defined Data Center; Movement Driven by Need to Optimize Tier 1 Business Applications


Aug 27, 2012 AT 04:08 PM

I expect a lot of buzz at VMworld and afterwards around ‘Software-defined Data Centers’ and it makes me chuckle to think of all the different ways we have found to state the obvious ‘Software is what matters.’  The software model and business applications have redefined the foundation of architectures from being ‘static’ to ‘dynamic’; software is the basis for agility, user interactions and for building a long-term architecture that adapts to change. Yes, hardware continues to innovate rapidly but it is software that defines an infrastructure’s flexibility to evolve, to enhance productivity and to optimally align resources and services to meet the dynamic needs of application use cases.

As I blogged earlier this year: Software will take center stage for storage, empowering users to a new level of hardware interchangeability and commodity-based "buying power."

Clearly, this new found positioning and characterization in the virtualization industry around ‘software-defined’ is much more than just new buzz words.  It is a continuation on the trend to capture a few hard hitting words to frame the mindset evolution from hardware-centric to software-centric that is happening in the real world.  As users have to deal with the new dynamics and faster pace of business they can no longer be trapped within yesterday’s more rigid and hardwired architecture models. Infrastructure is constructed on three pillars – computing, networking and storage – and in each area hardware decisions are taking a back seat to a world dictated by software and driven by applications.  See today’s DataCore announcement at VMworld 2012: DataCore Storage Hypervisor Makes Mission-Critical and I/O Intensive Tier 1 Business Applications Run Up to 5X Faster Virtualized

The terminology and marketing hype has clearly evolved over the years from a conversation about software code, to emulators, to supervisors, to virtualization, to hypervisors, to management platforms, to private cloud infrastructures and now to ‘Software-defined.’ VMware certainly has been on the forefront of this journey and their CTO Steve Herrod has been blogging away on advancing the software-defined data center. Most recently when VMware purchased Nicira the tag line of the day became software-defined networking for the software-defined data center. And today, at VMworld, there will be a lot of announcements around this theme; frankly, I can’t wait to see all the news buzz and the articles that will result. I see this new conversation as a positive driver of momentum for true virtual infrastructure software suppliers, like VMware and DataCore Software, but more importantly, the real value is that the talk leads to a compelling value proposition for end customers in terms of flexibility and risk mitigation in how they build, purchase, upgrade and scale their infrastructures for the long-term.

This trend to software-centric thinking is inevitable and it is the foundation and the basic premise that led to the formation of DataCore Software, so we see this ‘new conversation’ and mindset as vindication that our vision on redefining storage as software was ahead of its time. We have never wavered on this direction. Therefore, we certainly support ‘software-defined storage’ becoming a meaningful new mantra for how the industry redefines infrastructures and advances the state of storage within a ‘software-defined data center.’


Software-defined means ‘Future-proof’ adaptability and Hardware Interchangeability
The whole concept of software-defined datacenters is based on how we view and manage holistically all of the different resources – Computing, Networking and Storage - and how we make them equally accessible to a lot of different application types. Hardware interchangeability is fundamental at each level; it becomes a ‘must have’ in order to gain flexibility, improve productivity, and optimize cost savings on an on-going basis. Likewise, software-defined architectures can absorb new innovations without complete redesigns, in effect allowing infrastructures to adapt and become ‘future-proofed’ to device changes that ‘come and go’ as new generations and models come along. This is the compelling value proposition that DataCore delivers with its software-based storage hypervisor.

Software-defined Storage and Tier 1 Applications
It is smart software that abstracts and transforms the many different device types (servers, switches, disk arrays, etc.) into pools of resources which can be provisioned and mapped to application systems as needed. Automation and management tools make it easier to achieve much greater levels of productivity and all this is thanks to software innovations that have redefined the infrastructure level.

Infrastructure is simply a means to an end. It's the way that you run applications that ultimately matters. The idea of the software-defined datacenter is to optimize that application experience. DataCore understands that in the end, it is all about how the software makes business applications more productive. To learn more, please see how DataCore’s storage hypervisor Optimizes Your Application-centric Storage

Also announced today at VMworld 2012: DataCore Storage Hypervisor Makes Mission-Critical and I/O Intensive Tier 1 Business Applications Run Up to 5X Faster Virtualized

SANsymphony™-V 9.0, the newest release of its flagship product, boosts the speed, throughput and availability of virtualized, I/O intensive tier 1 applications like SAP, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Exchange. Customers report up to 5x faster response time performance and achieve better than 99.999% uptime after virtualizing their existing storage with SANsymphony-V.

"DataCore fundamentally changes the economics of performance, cost-effectively enabling application owners to virtualize their tier 1 applications as they transform into private clouds and software-defined data centers. The DataCore storage hypervisor works hand in hand with VMware to intelligently and economically harness the full power of server caches, solid state disks (SSDs) and existing storage assets so that application owners no longer need to 'rip and replace' storage infrastructures and pay much higher costs to meet their performance and uptime objectives."

If you are attending VMworld this week, please stop by DataCore’s booth 2307 to learn more or please visit our web site at www.datacore.com