Press Release

DataCore Adds NAS Performance Acceleration and High-Availability File Sharing Support to SANsymphony-V Storage Virtualisation Software

READING, UK – March 21, 2011 – DataCore Software, the industry’s premier provider of storage virtualisation software, today announced that its SANsymphony™-V software addresses the three major roadblocks – cost, performance and business continuity – that have made it impractical for critical virtualisation projects to utilize Network Attached Storage (NAS). SANsymphony-V overcomes these shared storage shortcomings and makes it feasible to employ the widely used NAS services already built into the Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 platform in those environments. DataCore’s storage virtualisation software and its powerful feature set can be easily configured to enhance these Microsoft services. The integrated combination cost-effectively speeds up performance and adds a new level of fault tolerance to clustered NFS/CIFS file sharing.
 
The new solution is particularly well suited for IT organizations that prefer to store their VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix XenDesktop virtual machine images under NFS or CIFS. Many of them are eager to eliminate bottlenecks and disruptions in their underlying storage systems, but not willing to spend a lot of money doing it.
 
Jeff Boles, senior analyst and director of validation services, Taneja Group, notes, “SANsymphony-V can be easily configured to significantly accelerate performance and add a new level of data protection to Microsoft’s Clustered File Shares. This resulting combination of SANsymphony-V and Microsoft is additive; it is simple to set up, requires no additional purchases and best of all it allows organizations to meet both their NAS and SAN requirements from one virtual infrastructure.” [1]
 
Enterprise-class NAS with No Premium-priced Specialty NAS Hardware Required
 
Prior to DataCore’s breakthrough, virtual data centre managers concerned with single points of failures in their vital NFS/CIFS files shares had few alternatives. They could either pick from a few specialty devices that provided the needed redundancy at a steep price, or take the risk that a storage-related disruption would cripple their entire virtual infrastructure. Those without the required funding have little choice but to postpone virtualizing their more important applications.
 
The new development announced today employs standard Windows servers with off-the-shelf disks to achieve the required levels of uninterrupted shared file services at a reasonable price.  Moreover, these systems now scale to performance levels once achieved only by “enterprise” NAS hardware.
 
DataCore’s novel design employs mirrored copies of the SANsymphony-V software layered beneath clustered file shares (NAS) integral to Windows Servers 2008 Enterprise. Any standard storage device can be used for disk space, ranging from the basic internal hard drives packaged by the server manufacturers, to bigger external disk arrays offered by the popular storage systems vendors.
 
Two High Availability / High Performance Configurations to Choose From
 
The versatile software combination can be fielded in two high availability arrangements based on the scale of the file shares.
  • In the smallest configuration, the DataCore software co-resides with the clustered file share functions on each of two (2) redundant Windows Enterprise servers. SANsymphony-V performs adaptive I/O caching directly on top of Hyper-V to speed up block disk access while mirroring updates to the other server’s virtual disk copy. All disk space is thin provisioned to maximize utilization. Snapshots and Continuous Data Protection (CDP) can be turned on for added protection helping customers recover from events like ‘virus attacks’ and inadvertent deletions.
During normal operation both servers actively handle file requests. Should one of the two systems fail or temporarily be removed from service, the surviving machine transparently takes over all duties using the mirrored disk copy. Then when the idle machine is put back into action, the system automatically returns to its original active-active state.
  • For larger environments, the file share cluster remains split across two machines, while the DataCore software runs on two separate servers dedicated to block storage virtualisation. The cluster then accesses the DataCore virtual storage pool over an iSCSI or Fibre Channel SAN.

Customers who start small and later outgrow the two servers can simply reassign their DataCore software licenses to the two additional servers. Incremental capacity licenses may also be added at any time to cover expansion.
 
John Bocskor, vice president of product management, DataCore Software, points out, “Unlike other attempts at converged SAN/NAS, the DataCore approach optimizes each layer for what it does best, yet both are managed from the familiar Windows Server administration console via a user-friendly interface with self-guided wizards.”
 
Available Now
 
Existing DataCore SANsymphony-V customers running Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise with Hyper-V do not need to buy additional software to support the clustered NAS file sharing features. For those new to DataCore, SANsymphony-V software, including the NAS capabilities, can be professionally installed through DataCore-authorized solution providers across the globe. 

About DataCore Software
DataCore Software is the industry’s premier provider of storage virtualization software.  Its software-as infrastructure platform solves the big problem stalling virtualization initiatives by eliminating the storage-related barriers that make virtualization too difficult and too expensive. For additional information, visit the DataCore website at www.datacore.com, email info@datacore.com, or
call (877) 780-5111.

DataCore, the DataCore logo and SANsymphony 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.

Media Contacts:
Sharon Munday
KPR Global
+44 (0) 7787 566382
smunday@kprglobal.com and publicrelations@datacore.com
 

[1] Excerpt from Taneja Group Product Profile, “Building the Virtual Infrastructure with DataCore SANsymphony-V”, February, 2011.  Available here