Large, non-profit organization that fights on behalf of the disabled sees numerous benefits after deploying DataCore in conjunction with VMware.
AUSTIN, Texas and FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida – May 28, 2009 – DataCore Software, the leading provider of storage virtualization, business continuity and disaster recovery software solutions, today announced that its SANmelody(tm) storage virtualization software has been deployed by Advocacy Inc. The network administrator at Advocacy Inc. was confronted with disk space issues after allowing employees to scan relevant documents onto shared drives. The organization was compelled to find a better solution to enable users to use the system without interruption. The objective was to find a solution to the organization’s capacity issue that would enable the business – and its data – to grow. Federally-funded, there is an “Advocacy” in every single state. The organization is mandated by the federal government to provide legal services to people with disabilities.
Meeting Objectives: Storage Virtualization Delivers Business Benefits
Austin-based Advocacy Inc. has thirteen offices throughout Texas and employs about 115 people. Five regional offices support 10-18 employees, while other offices are 1-4 person offices. The remote sites of Advocacy Inc. are connected through VPN back to the main office in Austin where all the servers and networking equipment are located. In terms of data storage, prior to DataCore(tm), Network Administrator Carlton Whitmore was trying to cope with shared drives on a Windows server, the drives contained personal information and documents that were shared with work colleagues in a given region. “When we opened up the drives for users to scan and save documents, what we found was that certain departments – particularly Legal – began overwhelming the system – from a capacity perspective – with PDF files as well as videos,” explained Whitmore.
Advocacy Inc. is now running DataCore’s SANmelody using iSCSI on a Dell server, effectively transforming that server into a dedicated storage area network (SAN) courtesy of DataCore. SANmelody runs on Windows on a Dell PowerEdge 2950. In terms of the data pool, Whitmore has split the storage in half – so that half is dedicated to the aforementioned shared storage drives, while the other half is serving as a SAN for VMware virtual machines that Whitmore has also deployed. The network administrator has also set up a virtual LAN (VLAN) because he did not want to run the traffic to the SAN through the same sub-net.
From a capacity perspective, Advocacy Inc. now has the storage they need at their disposal as opposed to the limited hard drives they had previously. As far as maintenance goes, Whitmore notes, “There really is no maintenance to speak of. The thing just runs on its own and I have never had any problems with it. If we have to reboot one of the servers that is attached to the SAN, it automatically re-attaches back to the SAN.”
Supporting VMware VMs
Just three months ago, Advocacy Inc. started consolidating many of its servers by way of using VMware. SANmelody now serves as a SAN for the VMs at Advocacy Inc. as well – serving as a storage location for the virtual machines so that these VMs do not have to use local storage on the Dell machine on which they reside.
The Verdict: Performance, Flexibility and Simplicity – Powered by DataCore
In terms of supporting both physical and virtual machines, the IT staff at Advocacy Inc. has been amazed at the performance the SANmelody SAN provides. “It is incredibly fast,” stated Whitmore. “You would think that by going through a switch with an Ethernet line that it would be a lot slower than having local storage – but it isn’t. The reality is quite the contrary.” Moreover, Whitmore and team no longer have to worry about backing up existing servers, adding bigger hard drives and then restoring the data back to those new drives. Now, the network and system administrators can allocate additional storage space from the existing SAN. These administrators also tout the benefits of having all of the storage they need in one place – versus buying, for example, five separate hard drives for a server.
For Advocacy Inc., the virtual storage approach is a far simpler one. Now when the organization buys additional hardware, it just buys one or two servers for the operating system and attach that to the SAN, thereby saving on hardware costs.
“If it wasn’t for DataCore, there is no way that we would have been able to deploy a SAN,” Whitmore continued. “We could not afford a SAN from Dell or HP – or any of the traditional, hardware-based SAN vendors.”
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About Advocacy Inc.
Advocacy, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation funded by the United States Congress to protect and advocate for the legal rights of people with disabilities in Texas. It is not a part of state or local government. It has offices throughout the State of Texas, and a Board of Directors appointed mainly by disability organizations. The Board of Directors selects annual priorities which are the issues the organization will focus on that year. For more information on Advocacy, Inc. priorities and programs, go to www.advocacyinc.org.
About DataCore Software
DataCore Software, the leading provider of storage virtualization SAN software, fundamentally changes the economics of managing storage with innovative software that combines advanced functions and services with the agility and savings of hardware independence. DataCore lowers the cost and complexity of IT by making storage efficient, fast, flexible, fail-safe and virtual. DataCore’s portable storage server software simplifies and automates capacity expansion and centralizes storage management for Windows, UNIX, Linux, MacOS, NetWare, VMware and other leading open system and virtual server platforms. DataCore is privately held and its corporate headquarters are in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. For more information, call (877) 780-5111 or visit www.datacore.com.
DataCore, the DataCore logo, and SANmelody are trademarks or registered trademarks of DataCore Software Corporation. Other DataCore product or service names or logos referenced herein are trademarks of DataCore Software Corporation. All other products, services and company names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
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