FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida and TORONTO, Canada – April 3, 2008 – DataCore Software, the leading provider of storage virtualization SAN software, today announced that The State Group has selected, deployed and seen results with its SANmelody storage virtualization software solution. DataCore partner Interware Systems was responsible for the sale and the deployment at The State Group, a large construction company and multi-trade contractor with revenues of $250 million annually. The State Group needed to implement a solution to resolve their data back-up challenges and therefore decided to purchase SANmelody. In so doing, The State Group was introduced to DataCore’s storage virtualization capabilities. It was then a natural progression, after realizing the productivity and flexibility benefits of virtualizing their storage, to virtualize their servers as well. Currently, SANmelody supports the company’s existing systems, its remote, Citrix application servers as well as their new deployment of VMware servers. SANmelody did more than enable back-ups for The State Group; it became the first step to going down the path of Total Enterprise Virtualization.
“I am happy to say that Total Enterprise Virtualization is the way of the future and The State Group is ahead of the game,” stated Ralph Marascio, IT Manager, The State Group. “DataCore, with the help of Interware Systems, allowed us to get there and we would recommend this to any business.”
Before DataCore: Server Sprawl, Lack of Disk Capacity and Other Challenges
“Life before DataCore was challenging – maintaining our back-ups and storage requirements took away our time from other projects, since implementing DataCore we have been able to focus on projects to grow our IT capabilities, such as the VMware virtualization,” commented Marascio. A day-in-the-life before DataCore was one in which The State Group had multiple servers that needed storage. For instance The State Group has a Computer Aided-Design (CAD) department, which generated enormous files. The CAD server was routinely filling up and the IT team at The State Group constantly had to either add storage or even buy a separate server to cope with the space constraints. Running out of space was doing a real number on the back-up solution The State Group had in place prior to SANmelody – it just couldn’t handle the task. Instead of buying individual storage for each server that might not get fully utilized, they wanted to utilize a storage “pool,” whereby any server could tap the storage pool whenever needed.
The main business challenge from a systems administration standpoint was that the company has 33 remote locations that are connected via a VPN to the corporate office and need to be fully supported in terms of IT. Before SANmelody was installed, The State Group was the classic case of an organization experiencing server sprawl. The server room was packed with servers, housing upwards of twenty-five physical machines, including file servers, mail servers, location servers, etc. Back-ups were done using tape and there was simply no automation in place as for managing data storage.
“The State Group needed a solution to essentially manage their storage, to back up storage easily and to replicate their data across two boxes for high-availability and business continuity,” said Lak Gill, vice president, Interware Systems. “Overcoming their existing challenges on the data storage front led The State Group to recognize that they needed a SAN solution. What convinced the company to go with DataCore were the inherent benefits to SANmelody – the ease-of-use, the thin provisioning, the high availability, plus the fact that because the DataCore solution is portable software, they did not have to buy a high cost, hardware-centric SAN.” The State Group was able to buy HP servers, with some external storage, and virtualize that through SANmelody to serve up storage to all of their production machines, whether physical or virtual.
From a Back-up Solution to an Entire Virtual Infrastructure Built Upon SANmelody
Whereas the company was first looking for a back-up solution, what it found with SANmelody was the perfect cornerstone for Total Enterprise Virtualization. Once SANmelody was installed and the IT manager and systems administrator saw how it worked, The State Group wanted to do more with it – first supporting its base of remote, Citrix application servers and ultimately VMware servers as well. Using DataCore SANmelody as a foundation from which to build, The State Group engaged in a full-blown VMware deployment, virtualizing two core servers using VMware ESX, with a couple virtual clients – all backed by the SANmelody virtual SAN. “The foundation for our realizing Total Enterprise Virtualization is DataCore’s SANmelody,” commented Marascio. “Now, we have fully virtualized our infrastructure. It is easy to create new servers if we need them because everything is virtualized and running on SANmelody.”
Building a Centralized Data Infrastructure Using Virtualization from DataCore Software
SANmelody has enabled The State Group to make vast strides in its data collection and in its business objective of centralizing data. By “going virtual,” The State Group has been able to decommission 13 physical servers. “We needed a place to store all of our documents centrally. Virtualization has helped us do just that,” said Marascio. According to Marascio, the virtualization infrastructure has accommodated the growth of The State Group, particularly in the area of document distribution and file management. “It makes life so much simpler from a systems administration point of view,” added Marascio. “Re-boots and standard server maintenance can be administered on one system now, instead of the myriad of physical machines we were forced to manage in the past.” The virtualization pool now includes two VMware ESX server clusters, running on HP, that maintain seventeen VMs at The State Group.
The State Group is in the midst of completely centralizing its data resources. Remote site servers are literally being collected, with all their data, and moved to the corporate office, where they are being turned in to virtual servers. The remote locations will centrally deliver data to and take data from the corporate “hub.” Another area where The State Group is working to meet an objective is in the area of disaster recovery (DR). With SANmelody in place, The State Group is now looking at setting up a co-location, at Interware’s Network Operations Centre (NOC), where two more VMware ESX servers will reside, running in parallel with the existing system, with 100 MB connectivity. In the event of an interruption in its main office, the system could then seamlessly failover to the other location “hot site,” thereby averting any disruption in its business.
The Partner Plays a Key Role
Based in Toronto, Interware Systems has been in business since 1984. Historically focusing on network security, the company has grown into a total solutions provider that now focuses on selling and implementing virtualization solutions with the goal of getting companies to embrace Total Enterprise Virtualization. Interware is a certified DataCore reseller and has several DataCore Certified Implementation Engineers on staff. Interware is also a Microsoft Gold Partner, an enterprise partner of VMware and is partnered with several other leading technology companies. Interware has customers throughout North America and is responsible for several new SANmelody accounts. Further announcements on these customers will follow.
“DataCore has enabled us to get our foot in the door with a lot of SMB customers,” said Gill. “As opposed to hardware-based SANs, which cost tens of thousands of dollars, we can now provide these SMBs with low-cost SAN solutions, priced as low as $1,000. And with that as the foundation, we can upgrade these customers later on – enabling their infrastructures to grow as their companies grow.” Interware is an authorized reseller of all DataCore products, including the full line of DataCore’s SANmelody-based storage virtualization products, SANmelody, DataCore’s SANsymphony™, as well as the company’s continuous data protection (CDP) solution, Traveller™. All of these solutions include thin provisioning “virtual capacity,” a DataCore-pioneered innovation that automates “just in time” capacity allocation to optimize storage utilization.
About The State Group
Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, The State Group is one of North America’s leading multi-trade contractors that has been providing comprehensive Electrical and Mechanical Services on a single source basis for over 40 years. The company’s principal activities include construction, retrofit, maintenance, and emergency services for all sectors of the commercial, industrial, and institutional markets. For more, visit www.stategroup.com.
About Interware Systems
Interware Systems Inc. is a fully integrated managed services provider. The company provides professional services and products to build, manage and enhance network infrastructures. Solutions and services include IT Support, Professional Services, Virtual Infrastructure, Storage Solutions, Application Delivery Solutions, Security, Migration of Services, IT Professional Training, IP Telephony, Portal Implementation & Document Management, Compliance and Privacy, and more. Visit www.interwaresystems.com for further detail.
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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