Technical Specifications for SANsymphony™-V 10


  Details
Vendor DataCore Software Corporation
Product Type Storage Virtualization Software
Market Space Small, Medium and Large IT environments along with Cloud Storage Infrastructures
Product SANsymphony™-V Storage Virtualization Software
Description SANsymphony-V software solves difficult storage-related challenges introduced by server and desktop virtualization, cloud computing and more general expansion, business continuity, and disaster recovery initiatives. It forms an active, transparent virtualization layer across disk storage devices to maximize the availability, performance and utilization of datacenters large and small.
Announced January 31, 2011
Current version / Release date 10 Update 1, September 4, 2014
Updates Available for download for customers under annual maintenance contract
Packaging Supplied as a downloadable CD image with context sensitive Help files
Licensed By Disk capacity under management, per node, some separately-priced optional features


SUPPORTED ENVIRONMENTS  
Main Features Device-independent virtual disk pooling, synchronous mirroring (HA), high-speed caching, asynchronous remote replication, thin provisioning, auto-tiering, online snapshots, non-disruptive disk migration, continuous data protection (CDP)
Host Connectivity Fibre Channel, iSCSI, and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) via FCoE switches
Access Type Block disk I/O over a physical or virtual SAN. File system access is provided via NFS/SMB (CIFS) protocols from the underlying Windows Server operating system. The two access methods may be combined to meet high availability, unified storage (SAN/NAS) requirements.
Host Environments Supported Computer systems running standard Windows operating systems including (Windows Server 2012, 2012 R2, 2008, 2008 R2 2003, 2000, Hyper-V, Windows 8, 7, XP), UNIX, HP-UX, Sun Solaris, IBM AIX, RedHat Linux, Suse Linux, VMware ESX / vSphere, Citrix XenServer,
Disks Supported (back-end) Any internal drives, external drives, external disk arrays, JBODs, Solid State Disks (SSD), Flash memories, and intelligent storage systems supported on Windows Server 2008, 2008 R2, 2012 & 2012 R2 may be attached to the DataCore node(s). They may be direct-attached or SAN-connected.
Disk Interfaces Supported (back-end) Any disk interfaces supported by Windows Server 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, 2012R2 including SAS, SATA, USB, FireWire, iSCSI, Fibre Channel.
SAN Switches Supported All standard iSCSI and Fibre Channel switches are supported
Network Interfaces Standard IP network interfaces for internode communications, console access, and asynchronous remote replication between nodes.
PLATFORM  
Operating Platform SANsymphony-V is installed on standard Windows Server 2012, 2012 R2 or 2008 R2 platforms, which then become high-performance Storage Virtualization nodes. These may be physical or virtual servers.
Operating System Requirements Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 with .Net 4.5.1
Processor Standard Intel/AMD x86-64 CPUs
Memory Required (min) 4 GB RAM.
Disk Cache Up to 1 TB of processor memory (RAM) per node may be used as disk cache
Disk Capacity Model dependent; greater than 128 TBs per node max
Max Nodes in a group (region) 32
PERFORMANCE  
IOPS/ node Dependent on configuration of underlying hardware platform.
Bandwidth/node Dependent on configuration of underlying hardware platform.
Max # of Virtual Volumes There could be a limitation on number of Virtual Volumes created on each SANsymphony-V node, but the limitation will be defined by size of each Virtual Disk and performance requirements per SANsymphony-V node.

Min size (GB) of virtual volume 0.001 GB
Max size (GB) of virtual volume 1 Petabyte = 1024 TBs
Max # of Physical Volumes The max number of Physical Volumes is dependent on the Storage sub-system hardware
Physical Volumes (max size) 1 Petabyte
Host Initiators
 (max #)
A single SANsymphony-V node may contain multiple (depending on number of slots on the motherboard) multi-port Fibre Channel (FC) HBAs or iSCSI NICs that would be assigned to a number of hosts. That would be the only limitation within a single node.
Snapshots  
(Differential & Full clones)
SANsymphony-V supports instant point-in-time snapshots along with full copy clones. You may periodically update snapshots to a later point in time with just the changed blocks that transpired after the last snapshot. You may also use snapshots to restore the source volume via the source update option. Snapshots are readable and writeable. SANsymphony-V uses copy-on-first-write technology as well as thin provisioning to significantly reduce the space taken up by incremental snapshots. The snapshot is available immediately upon request and may be triggered by VSS-compatible applications, VMware vCenter plug-in and PowerShell scripts.
Continuous Data Protection (CDP) Continuous data protection may be selected for virtual disks to restore the state of the virtual disks before an undesirable change (user errors and malware, for example). The software will log and timestamp every update to the virtual disks in a rolling buffer covering up to the last 14 days (depending on configuration parameters and available disk space). The state of the virtual disks may later be recovered to desired point in time within the 14 day period.
RAID Levels SANsymphony-V supports software mirroring and striping across physical disks behind each DataCore node. It can also offload RAID protection to back-end RAID subsystems and disk controllers.
Synchronous replication 
(Inter-node Mirroring)
SANsymphony-V synchronously mirrors virtual disks in lock step across two DataCore nodes. Separations up to 100 kilometers are typically achieved using dedicated high-bandwidth optical routes across Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs). Longer distances may be achieved for more latency-tolerant use cases. Diversely routed redundant mirror connections between nodes ensure no single point of failure.
Asynchronous Remote  Replication SANsymphony-V supports Asynchronous Remote Replication over conventional LANs and WANs using standard TCP/IP protocols. It automatically compresses transmissions to reduce bandwidth requirements. Secure, encrypted connections such as VPNs and trunked or aggregated multi-link circuits can be used to enhance the privacy and speed of inter-site transmissions. Disaster recovery sites may be initialized via network connections or by cloning virtual disks to transportable media at the primary site and shipping them to the remote destination. Replication is bi-directional. Topologies supported include 1-to-many, many-to-1 and many-to-many.
Multi-pathing Support (Linux) SANsymphony-V supports multi path drivers for different Linux versions and different OS types.
Multi-pathing Support (Windows) DataCore MPIO supports Auto failover and Auto Failback between primary and alternate paths. It also supports failover and failback between FC and iSCSI inside a single host.
Multi-pathing Support (VMware) SANsymphony-V supports different versions of VMware ESX using different path selection policies (ALUA), including round robin and most-recently-used.
Max # of SAN Ports Consumed That number depends on the number of SANsymphony-V nodes within the SAN zone.
Fabric Zoning considerations SANsymphony-V requires two fabric zones, Storage Zone and Client Zone. If there are different switches used for storage and client, then there are no zoning required on any of the switches.
Zones Per Host Since DataCore does not use LUN Masking technique, all hosts could co-exist in a single zone. But as a best practice policy, DataCore recommends creating a zone for every type of Operating System (OS) to separate Windows servers from Linux and other OS 
Load Balancing
Explicit load balancing is achieved by spreading virtual disks across multiple ports. Multiple back-end channels to LUNs within a device are supported. If one back-end channel fails then all LUN I/O activity will continue on the remaining healthy back-end channel/channels. Additional load balancing occurs across disks of the same tier in a pool. SANsymphony-V periodically looks for any drives that have unusually high activity (hot spots) compared to the other members of the pool. It then automatically fine tunes the pool by moving disk blocks to less active drives.
Non-disruptive upgrades Non-stop data accessibility is configurable with paired redundant SANsymphony-V nodes that circumvent any single point of failure. Such innovative and cost-sensitive architecture ensures that service level obligations continue to be met in spite of component failures. Essentially, the I/O responsibilities associated with an outage, scheduled or unexpected, are distributed in real-time among the remaining storage resources being managed by SANsymphony-V. Hosts automatically exploit alternate paths to the other running SANsymphony-V node to maintain end-to-end high availability
Online Disk Expansion & Removal Disks can be added to a SANsymphony-V node to expand the configuration on line without any down time. Also, when using thin provisioned disks, if more storage is needed, you can increase the pool size, without affecting any host or any Virtual disks presented to those hosts. Disks may also be removed non-disruptively from a pool. Simply select the drive to be taken out of service then, in the background, SANsymphony-V migrates the blocks across the remaining drives in the pool. Once complete, the physical drive may be removed.
LUN Security / Masking SANsymphony-V does not use LUN Masking technology. All FC or iSCSI ports connected to a node are discovered automatically. Once an FC port WWN or iSCSI IQN are discovered, and a host is registered, a Virtual disk may employ that port. Only those hosts that have been granted explicit access to a virtual disk can detect that the disk exists. Other hosts will not see it.
Virtual / Physical Correlation (Troubleshooting) Within SANsymphony-V, each Virtual disk could be created from multiple physical resources (storage). SANsymphony-V provides detailed information about which physical pool the Virtual disk is created from and which ports are used to present the Virtual disks to the hosts.
Automated Storage Tiering
Sub-LUN migration: Dynamically promotes groups of most frequently accessed disk blocks (chunks) to fastest class of storage and demotes infrequently accessed chunks to lowest cost, slower tiers. Administrator can set tier preferences and override migration for special circumstances. Up to 15 tiers can be defined to distinguish between devices having different price/performance/capacity characteristics.
Thin Provisioning Takes the guess work out of how much disk space to allocate to an application. Configure up to 1 PB virtual disks and SANsymphony-V takes care of allocating actual disk space as the demand for physical space increases from the running application.

High-speed Caching

SANsymphony-V assigns configurable amounts of the memory (RAM) inside each server that it has been installed on (SANsymphony-V node) into a high-speed storage Cache. Advanced caching techniques inherent in SANsymphony-V's design accelerate the response time of concurrent reads and writes from multiple application servers to virtual disks on the storage area network. The performance enhancements come inexpensively, exploiting the low-cost memory of the commercial processor platforms on which SANsymphony-V runs. SANsymphony-V's cache is closely analogous to that found in modern high-end storage subsystems. However, it operates across multiple storage devices.

It resides between the operating system on the application server and the physical storage. Like caches found on storage subsystems it provides a variety of caching services noted below:

• Read-ahead: When a request for a block is satisfied, SANsymphony-V will automatically pre-fetch adjacent blocks into its cache on the principal that if "block X" is required, "blocks X+1 and X+2" will probably be requested shortly afterwards.

• Write-behind: Unless specifically told not to cache writes, SANsymphony-V will respond with "I/O complete" when a request is cached and mirrored to another node (multi-cast stable storage). It will flush (destage) the cached request to disk when convenient.

• Write-coalescing: One of the reasons that writes are not normally flushed immediately to the disk is to allow SANsymphony-V to better organize the sequence of writes and to concatenate writes from adjacent blocks into a single operation while the physical disks are busy.  

SANsymphony-V's caching acceleration applies to all manufacturer's storage devices configured throughout a Storage Area Network. The caching strategies implemented by SANsymphony-V have been thoroughly tested and proven effective on generation after generation of hardware based storage controllers and JBODs
Scripting  SANsymphony-V commands may be issued programmatically rather than from the administrative console using an extensive library of PowerShell scripting commandlets.
Alerts and notifications E-mail alerts and event logs provide clear notifications when the software detects unusual conditions. SNMP v1 queries and traps are also supported for interfacing to popular Systems Management and Systems Monitoring packages.
Storage Profiles Set up relative priorities among Virtual disks by classifying their Storage Profile as Critical, High, Normal, Low, or Archive. SANsymphony-V functions like auto-tiering, remote replication and synchronous mirror recovery will give preferential treatment to higher priority volumes over less critical ones when resource contention exists. The storage profiles may be customized.
 Topologies SANsymphony-V may be configured on dedicated servers on the SAN to control external storage. The software may also be configured on physical and virtualized application servers to create virtual SANs from direct-attached storage (DAS).

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