Monday, January 17, 2011

DataCore's Blog has moved! Please Visit the New Company Blog: 'The Virtual Viewpoint & Storage Virtualization Blog' for the latest conversations and updates...

Thank you for your readership and please continue to follow us by clicking on the image below:

         Or click to our new Blog site at:

Friday, January 14, 2011

SANsymphony 7.0 Selected as 2010 Products of the Year finalists for Storage Management,295582,sid5_gci1525938,00.html

Many will look back on 2010 as the year of big storage acquisitions, but the wheeling and dealing was only part of the story. Data storage vendors turned out a slew of ingenious enterprise data storage products to address some of the key issues users have been grappling with in their storage shops.

From nearly 200 entries, the judges of Storage magazine's and's 2010 Products of the Year awards have selected and announced their finalists.

Storage management tools: 2010 Products of the Year finalists
Jan 2011 | Storage magazine and Contributors

Here are the eight finalists in the storage management tools category in Storage magazine's and's 2010 Products of the Year competition. The category covers storage resource management (SRM) and SAN management software, performance monitoring, file systems, volume management, virtualization software and security software. Finalists are listed below. 
DataCore Software Corp. SANsymphony 7.0
DataCore SANsymphony 7.0 storage virtualization software adds non-stop high availability (HA) to let users do maintenance, upgrades and expansion, and address system failures without disrupting applications. Also new are support for Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), "advanced site recovery' (ASR) to enable IT shops to fail over physical and virtual servers to multiple remote and branch offices, and efficient space reclamation for thinly provisioned storage.

Balesio AG FILEminimizer Server balesio FILEminimizer Server

Gluster Inc. GlusterFS 3.1 GlusterFS 3.1

Nasuni Corp. Nasuni Filer 2.0 Nasuni Filer 2.0

Nexenta Systems Inc. NexentaStor 3.0 NexentaStor 3.0

Quantum Corp. StorNext 4.0 StorNext 4.0

Quest Software Inc. vFoglight Storage 1.0 vFoglight Storage 1.0

Rackspace Hosting Inc. Cloud Files Rackspace Hosting Cloud Files

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

See DataCore Real-World Case Studies and Breakout Sessions on Elimintating Downtime at the VMware User Group New England Meeting; 1000 attendees expected to attend Gillette Stadium event

VMware User Group New England Meeting
Eliminate Storage-Related Downtime and Bottlenecks in Virtualized Environments

VMware vSphere solutions let you work around server hardware hiccups and workload congestion, but the shared storage on which they depend will soon prove to be your biggest single source of outages and slowdowns, with 10 to 100 times greater consequences.

Attend the DataCore breakout session “Eliminate Storage-Related Downtime and Bottlenecks in Virtualized Environments” and learn how to:

  *   Eliminate single points of failure for 100% Uptime
  *   Gain a 200% performance boost
  *   Attain additional performance from your storage resources
  *   Realize 60% cost savings
Hear real world case studies and discover how your colleagues are reaping the benefits of a virtualized storage environment.

  *   American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
  *   Dinwiddie County Government
  *   Town of South Windsor
Don’t miss the opportunity to meet the DataCore team and enter our drawing to win DataCore storage virtualization software.

The DataCore Software Team 
Register Now! 
January 20, 2011
8:00 am – 6:00 pm


Gillette Stadium
1 Patriot Place
Foxborough, MA 02035

DataCore Session
Blue Level – Room 24

1:00 pm Breakout Session 1
2:00 pm Breakout Session 2
3:00 pm Breakout Session 3 
 Register Today!

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Next Big Industry Push is VDI

Check out the latest post form Jon Toigo at:

One of the problems I have been detecting in the literature is the same issue we saw in server virtualization:  the gotchas of hidden cost.  In addition to software and operating system licensing fee structures, the industry will need to sort out the enabling software for virtualizing desktops themselves.  But the really big cost is — you guessed it — storage.

I have read with amusement and disdain the papers by leading storage hardware vendors stating that, from a storage cost perspective, you can stand up 5000 desktop images on their array for a fraction of what a physical desktop costs.  They usually tout $100 desktops versus $400 physical PCs.  Big cost savings there, right?
Not really.  The reason why they use 5000 virtual PCs to achieve their groundbreaking cost reductions is that it is the only way they can amortize their box of disk drives and value add software.  NOBODY IS GOING TO VIRTUALIZE 5000 DESKTOPS!!!

Sorry for shouting.  I guess there are some companies out there with that many PCs.  However, the truth is that VDI will likely advance incrementally — tens or maybe a couple of hundred PCs at a time.  This is especially true at the outset of the trend, with early adopters and experimenters. 

So, the truth of most of these claims that 5000 desktop images can be stored for a quarter of the price of an equal number of physical PCs is quite self serving — and, more importantly, falls apart in the real world. 

The question shouldn’t be how many VDIs can I stack up to amortize my storage investment, it should be, how much cost can I take out of distributed desktops if I virtualize a few dozen?  The benchmarks of the EMCs, NetApps, et al never go there.

But DataCore Software does.  In case you missed their announcement today, here’s the news — at least the preliminary bits that were released today.

My friends at DataCore have just completed what I regard as the first meaningful benchmark on the cost of desktop virtualization from a storage hosting perspective.  I like what Ziya, George, Bettye and the gang have done — a lot!  In fact, I thought it was important enough to fly down there with a camera and shoot a video interview on the subject.  They have posted the videos to their site but I will be placing them at the C-4 Summit in Cyberspace by end of week.

Here is an extract of what I just wrote about it for Storage Magazine in the Netherlands…

Late 2010 saw a succession of “proof of concept” papers coming from the storage brand name vendors touting cost models for VDI that were a fraction of the acquisition price of physical PCs.  One three-letter vendor boasted that a 5000 PC environment could be effectively hosted on its storage array for roughly $50 US per box. 

Once you get past the wow factor, however, you quickly realize that the storage vendor’s benchmark is rather self-serving.  The benchmark ignores the cost of desktop OS and application software licensing, hypervisor licensing, server hardware, network enhancements, and storage cabling requirements to focus narrowly on the cost per VDI using the vendor’s storage gear.  Moreover, a business will need to stack up a full 5000 virtual PCs in order to amortize the cost of the storage rig and achieve the cost-per-virtual-desktop advanced by the vendor.

Truth be told, virtually no one is going to virtualize 5000 desktops all at once – not even the large insurance companies or government research labs that actually have desktops in those numbers.  It is more likely that companies will tread cautiously when pursuing a desktop virtualization strategy, virtualizing only a handful of machines at a time so that the real cost and efficacy of the strategy can be clarified.  Until that happens, buying a huge EMC, IBM, HDS, etc. storage rig to support 5000 virtual PCs at sub-$100 each will not return its investment.  In fact, companies pursuing this course will likely find out the hard way that the easiest path to doubling or tripling desktop computing costs is to virtualize their desktops on expensive infrastructure.
I wish everyone would read CTO Ziya Aral of DataCore Software’s wonderful benchmark on VDI and storage.  His goals were not to amortize a specific storage rig (DataCore sells storage virtualization that works just as well with Joe’s JBODs as it does with VMAX or USP).  He wanted simply to understand the capacity and performance requirements for desktop virtualization – especially in the 100 to 500 virtual machine range that will be much more common in the real world.

DataCore Software demonstrated pretty persuasively, and without trying terribly hard, that you could stand up that range of VDIs on a virtualized storage platform for about $35 per desktop.  They also discovered that the low cost could be maintained as you grew infrastructure using storage and servers configured as part of a star topology – stars later serving as a building block for scaling.  That price included all of the redundancy and failover capabilities touted as “enterprise class” hosting by the brand name storage rig vendors – leveraging only the secret sauce of DataCore read/writable snap shots created from virtualizing underlying storage.

There were many non-intuitively-obvious findings in DataCore’s research that I will only summarize here.  For one, a Microsoft Windows 7 machine will boot in less than 198K of memory – so there is no real advantage to throwing a ton of RAM at the system.  For another, most desktops require very little physical storage:  so, when you begin doing VDI, you need to stop thinking as though you are deploying a physical PC with parameters dictated by “boundary conditions” (i.e., configuring according to what the most data intensive application or user might require in terms of storage capacity).

Bottom line:  DataCore’s benchmark proves that it doesn’t require an overpriced “enterprise class” storage rig to virtualize desktops in a cost-effective way.  All that it really requires is common sense and storage virtualization software, preferably from DataCore Software, which [will shortly release a new and revamped version of its flagship storage virtualization wares].

We are off to a great start in 2011.  Maybe DataCore’s research will cajole the hardware guys to get real about their cost estimation around VDI.  For now, a sub-$35 price tag is pretty compelling.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Interesting Technologies that could come of age in 2011. Storage Virtualization Software #1

In my last blog I noted that the promise of the New Year encourages a flurry of predictions each trying to foretell next year’s technology winners and losers. Just as with New Year’s resolutions, I have tried to avoid engaging in this end of year ritual despite my last blog that may have created a contrary impression...

To me interesting predictions are those that reach beyond the safety of conservatism. Being bullish is risky but what is the point of predicting the obvious. So in the spirit of sticking myself out there on the proverbial limb my selection of technologies to watch in 2011 are; Storage Virtualization Software, Cloud Storage Gateways and Autonomic Software Architectures.

#1. Storage Virtualization Software: Not what is traditionally thought of as storage virtualization; for example HP’s EVA or a 3Par array. Storage virtualization software is a hardware independent software product, designed to deliver storage virtualization that replicates the many advantages VMware, Microsoft’s HyperV and Citrix et al has delivered to the server world.

How? By looking at what is traditionally consider to be platform based controller functions and physical storage virtualization as a portable software program that is abstracted from the physical layer and hence hardware independent. Very interesting concept and one that I anticipate will generate some interesting responses from the traditional storage vendors.

Companies to watch; DataCore, a 10+ year old company that could have a break out year in 2011, and for those interested in content addressable storage, Caringo.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Software based Storage Virtualization is key to Cloud Performance

Current projects emphasize the growing need for high performance and highly available storage for the cloud. Case in point – DataCore Software recently implemented its SANsymphony™ software at Waterstons. This major IT service provider offers cloud hosting services from a purpose-built Tier 3 data center in the North of England. Based on Dell storage hardware, VMware and DataCore's SANsymphony software – configured in a redundant configuration, it offers all the high availability and resilience that Waterstons' high-end cloud hosting service requires. Through SANsymphony's built-in agility and thin-provisioning software, Waterstons' clients can access storage “on-the-fly” from the VMware server farm. Andrew Kershaw, Technical Director at Waterstons, explains, "Through our cloud-based service, we are able to offer new and innovative ways of supporting clients and solving their business and technology problems. With the VMware and DataCore combination, we can respond to demands extremely quickly and on a very flexible basis, which often is simply not the case with traditional infrastructure.", one of the largest hosting services in the USA, delivers private cloud computing services for companies ranging from SMEs to large enterprises, utilizing a true software-based approach to attain the greatest flexibility and to deliver 100% uptime. "We chose VMware, DataCore and Cisco in the core design of our vPDC platform because each vendor delivers the very best virtualization component in their respective areas of competence," says Jeffrey Slapp, Vice President of Virtualization Services for He states that many companies have signed on as new customers because of the competitive advantages they have achieved with this combination of technologies and architecture.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

DataCore Software: 2011 Perspectives on the Shifting Economies of Storage Virtualization Software, Private Clouds and Virtual Desktops

"The business return on investment of a pure ‘software infrastructure,' where you pay once for intelligent software to manage, protect and get more from your storage assets - as they come and go from generation to generation and brand to brand - is a value proposition that is as compelling as it is inevitable."- George Teixeira, President and CEO, DataCore Software
Read the top 5 predictions for 2011 from DataCore Software at:

Monday, December 27, 2010

Top 10 Ways to Reduce Storage Costs - Software Based Storage Virtualization

Software Virtualization

There are many ways to virtualize storage. In some cases, the vendor suggests throwing away old hardware to buy a brand new virtualization array. A cheaper way is to leave legacy disk in place and incorporate it into a shared storage pool using software-based virtualization.

“With software-based storage virtualization, you can take full advantage of disk resources already in place before you spend any money on additional capacity,” said Augie Gonzalez, director of product marketing, DataCore Software.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Top Reasons to adopt Storage Virtualization Now! InformationWeek Cover Story

We've all grown comfortable with the server virtualization model, where you buy intelligent software and run your choice of hardware. Why should storage be any different? It shouldn't, and a number of vendors are providing the means to finally sever this bond. By offering flexible, standards-based storage virtualization and management software that will run on any x86 platform, DataCore, FalconStor and others extend a tantalizing promise: Pay once for intelligent software and run it on the hardware of your choice. Get the software virtualization layer in place, and the possibilities are endless...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Virtualization Review SuperCast: The Time to Virtualize Storage is NOW!

In this FREE supercast event, now available on demand, learn why storage virtualization is quickly moving from nice-to-have to need-to-have status and how to successfully deploy and optimize virtual environments.

Title: The Time to Virtualize Storage is NOW

Keynote: Jon Toigo, CEO Toigo Partners International, Chairman Data Management Institute
Storage expert Jon Toigo is a columnist for Enterprise Systems and contributing writer for Virtualization Review. He is a consultant, blogger and author of 15 books on business technology, disaster recovery and data storage.

Join industry leaders for a free supercast designed to help you understand the growing need and value of virtualized storage, as well as tips and strategies for implementation and optimization.

Featured Presentations include:
Secrets to 100% Uptime in a Virtualized Environment by DataCore

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Virtualization Begets Virtualization: Extending Efficiency and Business Agility

Interesting article:

Storage virtualization is often combined with server virtualization. Storage virtualization (functionality that takes multiple storage systems and treats those devices as a single, centrally-managed pool of storage) provides an additional opportunity to reduce IT costs and optimize efficiency—especially as server virtualization proliferates. ESG research indicates that among current server virtualization users, 86% report they have storage virtualization initiatives as a top spending priority over the next 12 to 18 months. The combination often amplifies the benefits of both forms of virtualization: lowering costs, improving resource utilization, increasing availability, simplifying upgrades, and enabling scalability.

As organizations become more comfortable with one form of virtualization, they don’t have to make great intellectual or philosophical leaps in order to grasp the concept of virtualizing other data center domains. Oftentimes, IT organizations undertaking complete data center refresh initiatives have virtualization as top of mind and would look to extract all possible efficiencies in one fell swoop by deploying virtualization in multiple technology areas.

Monday, November 22, 2010

DataCore Software Powers The Virtualization Infrastructure For Ahtna Government Services – Encompassing DataCore Storage Virtualization, VMware For Servers, And Citrix XenDesktops

"We have been a Citrix shop for some time and we recently decided to do our DataCore and our VMware virtualization implementations at the same time," states Chris Whitaker, Information Technology Manager, Ahtna Government Services. "The virtualization technologies all work hand-in-hand and they have drastically made our lives easier. The flexibility we have with DataCore powering our IT environment speaks for itself. With DataCore, we can apply storage to any server, any operating system, any piece of hardware, or to any desktop – when and where it is needed."

One important IT objective made possible by the newly virtualized environment is that the new infrastructure gave Ahtna the opportunity to accelerate putting many new systems into place earlier than was expected since no new hardware capital expenses were necessary. Not having to purchase hardware to complete projects that have been on the "Wish List," has meant these projects were indeed accomplished. With the virtual infrastructure and the disk space sitting behind DataCore, Ahtna's IT team did not have to purchase additional hardware to deploy new systems – because anything new is virtualized.

A Very Positive Impact on Operations: Desktop Virtualization and Server Virtualization Made Possible with DataCore

Whitaker comments, "Our goal is to build a non-stop datacenter and with DataCore we have a high-speed, synchronously mirrored, storage infrastructure now deployed at Ahtna along with VMware. Together they work in tandem to ensure a new level of uptime for our business." Whitaker adds that the mirrored systems have delivered as promised, providing data and VM redundancy. "The SANs do not go down on their own," he notes. "In fact, during a recent upgrade of DataCore storage virtualization software, the uptime on the server was so high, it was literally off the charts in terms of anything I could calculate."

Friday, November 12, 2010

DataCore does NAS? DataCore Software Brings Unprecedented Storage Scalability, Performance and High-Availability to Microsoft Clustered File Shares, Hyper-V Failover Cluster CSVs and Metro Clusters

Spotlight on Customer Use Cases, High-Availability NAS and Cluster Best Practices

At the recent Microsoft Tech-Ed Europe 2010, DataCore Software, a leading provider of storage virtualization software, demonstrated major breakthroughs to enhance the availability, scalability and performance of Failover Clustering in Microsoft® Windows Server® 2008 R2 with Hyper-V™. Several case studies and white papers are available to highlight how IT organizations can benefit operationally and financially from these joint solutions.

The two most common use cases for DataCore in Microsoft Failover Cluster scenarios involve virtualizing and mirroring storage resources across physically-separated storage devices for:

• Clustered Shared Volumes (CSVs)
• Clustered File Shares

Many DataCore customers at the event explained the technical aspects behind their real-world implementations. Featured among them was the Swiss-based hospital, Regionalspital Emmental (RSE) AG, where DataCore software fully virtualizes the shared storage infrastructure for RSE’s Exchange, SQL and medical applications. RSE operates 15 physical servers and over 50 virtual machines running on top of Hyper-V.

“Server virtualization from Microsoft Hyper-V combined with storage virtualization software from DataCore form an integral part of our IT strategy, significantly lowering costs for hardware, energy and administration,” states Falko Gieldanowski, Head of IT at RSE AG. "We are currently saving around 30% by better optimizing the use of our time and resources and from the resulting increase in productivity – and we anticipate further savings over the lifetime of our infrastructure."

What’s New: HA NAS - Eliminating Storage-related Downtime for Clustered File Shares
One of the topics that was spotlighted during Tech-Ed Europe 2010, was how to keep storage from becoming a single-point-of-failure for clustered file shares. DataCore explained how its software along with Microsoft's built-in capabilities could be combined to provide a true high-availability NAS capability, best of all no additional software or hardware are required to implement the capability. For more information and further details on how to achieve high-availability NAS, please contact: .

Non-Stop Data Access: Virtualizing and Speeding-up SANs for CSVs
US-based Stockbridge Capital Group deploys DataCore storage virtualization software with Microsoft Hyper-V to meet their business continuity needs. Two synchronously- mirrored DataCore nodes keep the storage infrastructure, especially the CSVs, highly available to ensure non-stop data access from a cluster of seven (7) Hyper-V servers hosting over 25 virtual machines. Prior to virtualization, Stockbridge had well over 30 physical servers.

“DataCore’s storage virtualization solution offers all of the high-end features, including enterprise-class high availability, but at an affordable price,” comments Stephen Pilch, COO, Stockbridge. “DataCore software lets us easily leverage our investment in existing and new technologies and empower our virtual servers to meet non-stop business needs while fitting our budget. It is a perfect match for us.”

The virtualized storage configuration services the needs of Stockbridge’s Microsoft Exchange server along with the file repositories used by all their employees. “We were pleasantly surprised that the iSCSI SAN, because of DataCore, actually performed better than the existing fibre SAN, in terms of its speed and accessibility,” notes Cem Kursunoglu, president at BayNODE. Read the full story here.

Large Scale Metro Clusters Rely on Microsoft and DataCore
Continuum Health Partners ("Continuum") relies on DataCore SANsymphony™ software to virtualize and manage well over 200 Terabytes of storage for the various hospitals in the Continuum hospital network. The DataCore-powered infrastructure supports a community of 14,000 users on over five-hundred (500) servers with storage devices split between different locations in metropolitan New York.

"DataCore storage virtualization software is the key to the virtualization puzzle - offering the flexible storage virtualization dimension needed for any virtualization project - and serving as the perfect complement to server virtualization as well as the perfect enhancement to storage hardware," explains Jill Wojcik, IT Director at Continuum Health Partners.

Microsoft solutions running on the DataCore virtualized infrastructure at Continuum include: Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), Microsoft SQL Server, and Microsoft Cluster Servers (MSCSs. For a more in-depth case study on this deployment, please visit: .

To receive a white paper describing the techniques used to provide uninterrupted access to Cluster Shared Volumes (CSVs) by synchronously mirroring across storage devices split between hot-hot sites, please download it at: .

Friday, October 15, 2010

DataCore Software and Fusion-io Technology Alliance Partnership; Customers Realize Performance Gains and Energy Savings

This week Fusion-io launched its Fusion-io Technology Alliance Program. DataCore Software is pleased to be a Fusion-io Technology Alliance Partner. Fusion-io’s solid state storage solutions combined with DataCore storage virtualization software achieve new levels of performance, high availability and energy efficiency when the two technologies are deployed together. Customers that are implementing Fusion-io as a server class memory tier across DataCore-powered storage area networks are experiencing unprecedented levels of I/O performance through tiered caching. One example of this is the German company NIEDAX GROUP, which is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of electrical installation equipment.

NIEDAX GROUP utilizes DataCore to accelerate storage performance along with high speed NAND flash memory from Fusion-io for its private cloud service. DataCore’s storage virtualization software takes advantage of server RAM memory to cache and accelerate storage I/Os, while the flash memory from Fusion-io acts as another tier of high-speed memory to further accelerate performance for critical applications.

DataCore’s technology enables effective sharing of these devices across the storage pool and provides the ability to use SAN-wide features across different vendor hardware arrays and devices. Thus it is a very cost-effective way to fully utilize all the storage available and to mirror and protect data. According to Oliver Bauer, Team Leader Administration/IT at NIEDAX GROUP. "We gained tremendous performance from adding DataCore and Fusion-io and overall we reduced our energy and cooling costs."

For a more in-depth overview of DataCore and Fusion-io at NIEDAX GROUP, see:

For more on DataCore Software and Fusion-io at NIEDAX GROUP, check out the following videos from VMworld TV:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

VMworld 2010 Europe: DataCore Software Eliminates Business Outages in VMware VIEW and vSphere Environments; Showcases Growing Base of VMware and DataCore Customer Successes

DataCore's software-based storage virtualization and high-availability approach is key to cloud-based and virtualized IT environments

COPENHAGEN –  At VMworld Europe 2010, DataCore Software is providing insights into new developments and highlights a growing number of applications and solutions being deployed at customer sites in conjunction with DataCore’s VMware-certified storage virtualization platforms. DataCore is highlighting the seamless integration of complementary technologies for private and public cloud computing. In addition, DataCore is showcasing cost-effective customer SAN deployments – virtualized with DataCore and VMware vSphere and VIEW – that are proven to meet the demands for virtual server and virtual desktop infrastructures (VDIs) that need high-availability, fast performance and archival solutions.

"At VMworld Europe 2010, cloud, desktop and storage virtualization are high on the agenda of attending end users and solution providers. The greater flexibility and high performance requirements for storage in virtual desktop infrastructures are also usually associated with high costs that can jeopardize the completion of virtualization and consolidation projects,” says Christian Hagen, Vice President of EMEA Channel & Sales Operations at DataCore Software. "DataCore overcomes the cost barrier. Our software solutions enable the integration of existing and new storage regardless of the underlying brand of storage hardware. The software revalues existing storage devices with the highest reliability and performance and transforms it into cost-efficient, flexible, shared storage – especially for VDI environments and other critical applications. We are seeing strong demand for our cost-effective solutions in this area."

Storage Virtualization Software is Key to Cloud Performance
Current projects emphasize the growing need for high performance and highly available storage for the cloud. Case in point – DataCore Software recently implemented its SANsymphony™ software at Waterstons. This major IT service provider offers cloud hosting services from a purpose-built Tier 3 data center in the North of England. Based on Dell storage hardware, VMware and DataCore's SANsymphony software – configured in a redundant configuration, it offers all the high availability and resilience that Waterstons' high-end cloud hosting service requires. Through SANsymphony's built-in agility and thin-provisioning software, Waterstons' clients can access storage “on-the-fly” from the VMware server farm. Andrew Kershaw, Technical Director at Waterstons, explains, "Through our cloud-based service, we are able to offer new and innovative ways of supporting clients and solving their business and technology problems. With the VMware and DataCore combination, we can respond to demands extremely quickly and on a very flexible basis, which often is simply not the case with traditional infrastructure.", one of the largest hosting services in the USA, delivers private cloud computing services for companies ranging from SMEs to large enterprises, utilizing a true software-based approach to attain the greatest flexibility and to deliver 100% uptime. "We chose VMware, DataCore and Cisco in the core design of our vPDC platform because each vendor delivers the very best virtualization component in their respective areas of competence," says Jeffrey Slapp, Vice President of Virtualization Services for He states that many companies have signed on as new customers because of the competitive advantages they have achieved with this combination of technologies and architecture.

The German NIEDAX GROUP, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of electrical installation equipment, utilizes DataCore to accelerate storage performance along with high speed NAND flash memory from Fusion-io for its private cloud service. The software takes advantage of server RAM memory to cache and accelerate storage I/Os, while the flash memory from Fusion-io acts as another tier of high-speed memory to further accelerate performance for critical applications. The software approach enables effective sharing of these devices across the storage pool and provides the ability to use SAN-wide features across different vendor hardware arrays and devices. Thus it is a very cost-effective way to fully utilize all the storage available and to mirror and protect all the data. "We are happy with our DataCore investment and we are benefiting from the many functional and financial benefits of putting it in use," states Oliver Bauer, Team Leader Administration/IT at NIEDAX GROUP. "We gained tremendous performance from adding DataCore and Fusion-io SSDs and overall we reduced our energy and cooling costs."

Compliance and Virtual Archives with DataCore and iTernity
At VMworld Europe 2010, DataCore continues to work with and integrate with an ever- growing base of important applications that impact the storage environments. A flexible and independent virtualization software layer is a prerequisite for value-added applications and functions such as archival and compliance software. Successfully tested and proven in a number of joint customer projects, DataCore’s SANmelody™ and SANsymphony™ have been deployed successfully in conjunction with iTernity™ Compliant Archive Solution (iCAS™) in a certified architecture that supports long-term archiving.

With the DataCore and iTernity solutions, users are able to obtain an expandable, secure and cost-efficient archiving solution that meets regulatory compliance and archival demands in VMware virtual environments.

VMworld 2010 Europe takes place at the Bella Center Copenhagen, Denmark from Oct 12th – 14th. Meet the DataCore experts for virtualization at booth No. 81.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

DataCore Software Fuels Growth, Adds Key Virtualization Industry Veterans to Scale Channel Operations as New Partners "Catch the Storage Virtualization Wave

DataCore Software, today announced that the company has continued to attract top talent from VMware and Citrix in key executive positions to fuel growth and to take the company to the forefront of the virtualization market space. DataCore has hired Dan Hascall as the new Vice President of Americas Sales, promoted Martin Clancy to the position of Chief Financial Officer, and appointed Johan Vanhaeren as the new regional director covering the Benelux countries.

“With over 6,000 customers worldwide and nearly 20,000 licenses shipped, we are tapping the wave of virtualization that has spread from servers and desktops to storage,” comments George Teixeira, president and CEO, DataCore Software. “Storage virtualization software, like its server and desktop virtualization cousins, is all about software that lives beyond the life of storage devices that come and go over time, making users’ storage investments better and more economical. Adding these industry veterans to our management team comes as we prepare an even more aggressive push to the reseller community and to virtualization users. We are hiring experienced virtualization industry leaders to fuel our growth as storage virtualization takes center stage and becomes more and more mainstream – both in the enterprise and in the Cloud.”

Widely recognized as the software leader in storage virtualization, DataCore has continued its double digit growth despite recessionary times. DataCore’s software solutions enable data centers and IT departments to better manage, consolidate and maximize storage capacity as well as to leverage existing hardware in order to protect and serve storage assets to VMware, Microsoft and Citrix virtual servers and desktops.

DataCore Doubles North America Sales Team; Hires Dan Hascall, New Vice President of Sales for the Americas
Building for growth in North America, in 2010 DataCore has doubled its North America sales team and hired Dan Hascall, formerly of VMware, to lead it as the new Vice President of Americas Sales. Hascall came to VMware in 2006 and helped develop VMware’s channel model and was responsible for the company’s Western Channel region. “DataCore is well-positioned for major success in both the network and Cloud computing models,” states Hascall. “And my question to users is simply ‘Why haven’t you virtualized your storage?’ Virtualization applies equally well to servers, desktops and storage. With DataCore, the move to storage virtualization is painless and partners can offer real value and strategic business agility to their customers. DataCore storage virtualization is the critical foundation that makes it easy for customers to move along the virtualization journey.”

Finance & Operations Expertise with a Channel Mindset: DataCore Promotes Martin Clancy to Chief Financial Officer
Martin Clancy has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer at DataCore Software. Clancy came to DataCore from Citrix Systems, a marquee virtualization vendor with a blue-chip reseller community and an extraordinarily channel-oriented mindset. In his twelve years with Citrix, Clancy served in a variety of financial and operations roles, the last one being Senior Director, Finance & Product Operations for the Desktop Division.

“DataCore is seeing a lot of growth and the numbers are compelling,” notes Clancy. “The appetite for virtualization technologies stems from the fact that these technologies give organizations that use them freedom. But from the perspective of CFO, I look at the tangible business benefits that virtualization brings, and they are incredibly persuasive on the storage-side. Virtualizing storage resources means that institutions are not locked in to a particular storage vendor and therefore gain greater purchasing power; they can avoid downtime, planned or unplanned; improve the performance of storage devices; mix current storage devices with newly purchased equipment; and, most importantly, stay within a budget.”

Worldwide Momentum in the Channel: DataCore Hires New Director of the Benelux Region

DataCore has also appointed Johan Vanhaeren, based in Belgium, as director for the Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg) region. Vanhaeren was the former country manager for Citrix in the Benelux region. “Just like its storage virtualization and desktop virtualization counterparts, DataCore storage virtualization software is changing the way resellers, solution providers and virtualization administrators manage and deploy virtualization projects and Clouds,” said Vanhaeren. “And this adoption is worldwide in its scope. The virtualization phenomenon knows no boundaries.”

Adds Teixeira, “More companies and institutions of all sizes are experiencing first-hand the power that comes from embracing DataCore’s software-based approach to storage virtualization, which includes achieving the highest degree of availability, flexibility and openness for their storage. We will continue to build our leadership team and company to help bring the benefits of DataCore storage virtualization to customers worldwide, helping them to evolve their current storage environments to attain the added benefits of virtualization.”

Monday, October 11, 2010

Citrix Synergy 2010: DataCore Virtualization Software Improves Availability and Performance While Overcoming the High Capital and Operational Costs of Storage for Virtual Desktops

At Citrix Synergy 2010 in Berlin, DataCore Software, a leading provider of storage virtualization, is highlighting how joint Citrix and DataCore customers have benefited from performance gains, improved availability and cost efficiencies resulting from virtualizing their desktops, servers and storage. DataCore delivers a cost-effective storage infrastructure for Citrix Virtual Servers and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) by avoiding the need to “rip and replace” existing storage and SANs, thereby avoiding large, upfront capital expenses and greatly reducing ongoing operational costs.

“For more than two decades, Citrix Systems has been deploying virtualization solutions. This experience pays off; with our continuous advancements in desktop and server virtualization, we are making this technology accessible to a broad customer base,” says Jens Luebben, Managing Director Germany and Area Vice President Central Europe at Citrix Systems Inc. “After having successfully launched Citrix Technology Alliance last year, we continue to work joint projects with DataCore that have been proven in practice. Together with storage virtualization partners like DataCore, we want to use Citrix Synergy 2010 to respond to the most pressing questions about virtualization.”
Virtual Desktop Infrastructures along with Citrix XenServer, XenDesktop and XenApp require failsafe and centralized storage solution, but in many cases this is jeopardized due to the high costs involved. With DataCore's storage virtualization, users can easily create cost-effective "shared" storage for virtual servers and desktops from new and existing storage capacities. Customers benefit from investment protection, higher capacity utilization, better performance and affordable, high availability storage.

By virtualizing disk storage devices from different brands and vendors, DataCore™ software eliminates incompatibilities across generations, models and manufacturers and maximizes the joint value of these resources. Thus, storage-related disruptions, bottlenecks and financial hurdles which threaten virtualization projects, can be eliminated. This reduces costs, minimizes risks and increases productivity.

Virtualization is Three-Dimensional: Efficiency Impacts Desktops, Servers and Storage
Many successful installations with Citrix and DataCore worldwide illustrate the three-dimensional virtualization spanning desktops, servers and storage. Clemens Albrecht, Head of IT at Plakanda Management AG, a service provider of outdoor advertising in Switzerland, says, “We are very pleased with our decision to implement a virtualization strategy with Citrix and DataCore. With the combination of SANmelody™ and the Citrix XenServer and Citrix Essentials we benefit from having dynamic storage management, reduced administration and long-term cost savings.”

German hospital Muldental is also relying on a virtual infrastructure based on Citrix and DataCore.
“Virtualization with DataCore and Citrix has reduced our hardware and software costs, simplified the administration and provided the flexibility for responding to requests quickly and efficiently. We can import updates for hundreds of identical desktops in a few minutes, or set up a special server such as one for the endoscopy department. DataCore's storage virtualization software ensures that our IT is continuously operating. A fact that we greatly depend on,” says Thomas Enderlein, IT Manager at Muldental.
See more information on effective storage solutions for Citrix with DataCore Software at  .

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wall Street Journal Blog: When Consolidation Fosters Innovation -6 Companies worth Watching includes DataCore Software

6 Companies to Watch, check the list:
Augie Gonzalez, director of product marketing for the storage virtualization firm DataCore Software Corp., says “our pitch to buyers is, whoever they buy their storage infrastructure from, we can help them maximize the value of that infrastructure.”

Friday, September 10, 2010

DataCore Software: Fujitsu Maximizes Business Continuity and Flexibility of Cloud Storage Architectures with DataCore Storage Virtualization

A Fujitsu-Qualified Integration of DataCore SANsymphony™ with Fujitsu ETERNUS and PRIMERGY Products Will Provide Customers with More Interoperable and Flexible Solutions and Options for Customized Storage Infrastructures

DataCore Software announced that Fujitsu has validated the integration of its data center storage and server systems with DataCore storage virtualization software, in order to minimize the risks for enterprises switching to virtualized and cloud storage architectures.

Jens-Peter Seick, Senior Vice President Product Division Datacenter Systems at Fujitsu Technology Solutions states, “By combining our server and storage solutions with DataCore software, customers benefit from storage consolidation in various usage scenarios. We deliver complete storage pool architectures customized to our customers’ ever-changing needs - via a single source.”

Initially available in Europe within Austria, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, the pre-tested and qualified solutions combining Fujitsu ETERNUS and PRIMERGY with DataCore SANsymphony are available immediately via local distributors. With the Fujitsu and DataCore combination, customers can easily provision storage within their cloud infrastructures in real-time, while improving business continuity by removing single points of failure. DataCore adds a new level of high-availability and makes it possible to move data and virtual machines as needed, where needed in a true cloud storage architecture.

Christian Hagen, Vice President EMEA at DataCore Software comments, “The combined Fujitsu and DataCore solutions enable our two customer bases to easily build powerful, extremely fast and reliable virtual storage infrastructures. By qualifying SANsymphony for Fujitsu ETERNUS and PRIMERGY systems, DataCore and Fujitsu assure a pre-tested highly-available platform for dynamic storage available on demand and optimized for cloud storage architectures.”

Additional links –

Fujitsu Press Release: Fujitsu Maximizes Flexibility of Cloud Storage Architectures with DataCore storage virtualization

About Fujitsu
Fujitsu is a leading provider of ICT-based business solutions for the global marketplace. With approximately 170,000 employees supporting customers in 70 countries, Fujitsu combines a worldwide corps of systems and services experts with highly reliable computing and communications products and advanced microelectronics to deliver added value to customers. Headquartered in Tokyo, Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.6 trillion yen (US$50 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2010. For more information, please see:

Friday, September 3, 2010

VMworld 2010: DataCore Showcases Why Its Storage Virtualization and Stretch High-Availability Software Eliminates Business Outages that Jeopardize Cloud Computing

At VMworld 2010 being held in San Francisco at the Moscone Center this week, DataCore is showcasing how fundamental software-based storage virtualization is to cloud computing.

The Mirazon Group's Chief Technical Architect Barry Martin states:

"Cloud computing platforms demand unprecedented uptime due to server and storage consolidation. DataCore's high-availability approach provides zero downtime. This is a tremendous advantage."

Storage Virtualization and Stretch HA Software for Non-stop Clouds
DataCore is blazing a trail by developing storage virtualization software that is a game-changer in terms of how resellers, solution providers as well as companies considering virtualization deployments manage and deploy virtualization projects and Clouds. The game-changer is that by deploying DataCore in a stretch high-availability (HA) configuration, DataCore delivers fault-tolerance that virtually eliminates storage-related outages that jeopardize business continuity and plague virtualization and consolidation initiatives.

"The DataCore Software stretch high-availability solution delivers seamless, enterprise-class business continuity, data resiliency, and high performance at an affordable price tag," states Aaron Schneider, principal and co-founder, Helixstorm, Inc. "Your applications, virtual servers and virtual desktops and VM migrations continue to run non-stop despite back-end storage changes, failures or reconfigurations. Bottom-line, you get a true high-availability, shared storage solution that automatically protects your data and your virtual machines right out-of-the box just by deploying the virtual storage software in two locations."

DataCore in the Cloud: Achieve the Highest Degree of Availability, Flexibility and Openness for Your Storage knows intuitively that storage virtualization software is priority one. "Any cloud computing platform, just like any virtualization deployment, needs to have portable software as its building blocks," notes Jeffrey Slapp, vice president of virtualization services, "We chose DataCore in the core design of our virtual private data center (vPDC) platform alongside VMware and Cisco because it delivers the very best storage virtualization component."

DataCore storage virtualization software is virtualizing the storage aspect of an all-virtual private data center (vPDC) platform developed by delivers private cloud computing services for companies ranging from SMEs to large enterprises, utilizing a true software-based approach for the greatest flexibility. Check out the Case study here: Host.Net Case Study on Why Chose DataCore?

Contain Costs, Avoid Risks, Boost Productivity and Extend the Life of IT Investments with DataCore Software
Even though server and desktop virtualization and consolidation have garnered much of the virtualization press to date, now the real focus of concern is turning from how to virtualize and consolidate servers and desktops to how can we do more to mitigate the risk that results from consolidation. The key concerns being, "How do I insulate my business applications from storage related failures and disruptions that can severely impact virtual machine images and data that are key to running the business?" and "How good is my high-availability, disaster recovery and shared storage solutions?"

DataCore addresses these concerns with proven software deployed in thousands of customer sites around the world. DataCore's software virtualizes disks across pools of tiered storage devices enabling users to provision, share, reconfigure, migrate, replicate, expand or upgrade without slowdowns or downtime. Simply put, DataCore:

+Complements your storage and makes it more reliable, faster and better.

+Works across unlike & incompatible storage devices.

+Eliminates storage-related disruptions, bottlenecks and funding roadblocks that jeopardize virtualization and cloud deployments.

Visit DataCore Customers and Partners Onsite at VMworld 2010 [Booth #1607]
Numerous DataCore customers, including and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, who have deployed DataCore along with top DataCore solution providers will be onsite at DataCore's VMworld booth [#1607] and are available and standing by to answer questions, highlight best practices and explain the DataCore difference. DataCore solution providers and partners onsite include Grove Networks, HelixStorm, Red Level Networks, Sanity Solutions, The Mirazon Group and DataCore's value-add distributor Lifeboat Distribution.

DataCore partner Andy Judge, founder and CEO of Miami-based Grove Networks, encapsulates the value DataCore brings as follows, "DataCore storage virtualization software gives our clients cost savings and flexibility that is not achievable with storage hardware alone. It takes hardware to a higher level - serving as a hardware and productivity 'enhancer' that pays dividends over the short and long term."

Thursday, September 2, 2010

VMworld 2010 Photos - DataCore Storage Virtualization Software Makes Clouds Happy!

VMworld 2010: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Deploys DataCore Software in a Stretch, High-Availability Configuration with VMware to Ensure Uptime and Business Continuity

At VMworld 2010 in San Francisco, DataCore Software, a leading provider of software-based virtualization solutions empowering storage, today announced that American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) has implemented a new stretch cluster and stretch high-availability (HA) storage configuration based on DataCore storage virtualization software and VMware server virtualization software to ensure uptime and business continuity. This new, stretch, dual-node configuration was implemented by DataCore partner Helixstorm, Inc. and together, DataCore and VMware form an HA configuration that spans floors – serving as an industrial-strength production system with fault-tolerance.

The goal is to transition all of ASHP’s data onto the newly configured, fault-tolerant, virtualized environment. “I am now a believer in the software-based approach to high-availability and storage virtualization,” states Jack Spencer, vice president of operations and CIO at American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. “It was not intuitive until I actually saw it. But now that I have, I am no longer skeptical. Going forward, I will put the bulk of all the money earmarked for network storage into expanding the DataCore configuration as well as building in remote disaster recovery.”

Enterprise Scalability, Seamless Business Continuity, Data Resiliency and High Performance That Supports the ASHP Membership
ASHP has 35,000 individual members. The staff at ASHP itself comprises 210 people. All benefit from the uptime the virtualized environment provides, with DataCore at the heart of it all. “The DataCore Software stretch HA solution delivers enterprise scalability, seamless business continuity, data resiliency, and high performance for a cost-effective price tag when comparing it to traditional storage arrays,” states Aaron Schneider, principal and co-founder, Helixstorm, Inc. “The best part about it is that if ASHP lost a floor to power or critical disaster, the users would not experience an outage because of seamless I/O failover to the surviving node. You get high availability right out of the box just by deploying the virtual storage software in two locations.”

The New HA Configuration: DataCore + VMware Form an Industrial-Strength Production System with Fault-Tolerance
The two HA systems are stretched across two floors at ASHP using synchronous mirroring – thereby providing data redundancy. In total, the data pool – near-line and on-line – comprises sixty (60) terabytes at ASHP. Because ASHP publishes 500+ different publications, storage has always been a big requirement. Three years ago, ASHP became interested in the flexibility, ease-of-use, centralized management and reduced costs that DataCore’s software-based approach to managing and virtualizing their storage assets afforded. DataCore was not, however, ASHP’s first step into virtualization. Prior to DataCore, VMware was deployed at ASHP and the virtual machine (VM) farm has grown four-fold over five years.

“We designed and implemented a true highly available SAN solution,” states Eric Henry, CTO and co-founder, Helixstorm, Inc. “It’s a shared nothing environment, which means the disks do not share a backplane with the controllers like traditional arrays. ASHP has eliminated all single points of failure between the application servers and the storage controllers along with increasing the data resiliency by ‘stretching’ the SAN between two floors via redundant fiber channel connections for synchronous mirroring. You just can’t get any better business continuity than that!”

A Mission-Critical Solution and Configuration
Spencer extols the value-added utilities and features of SANmelody as well as its ease of use – chiefly its simplicity in terms of set-up and maintenance. “Trying to carve out a LUN on a big SAN is a true hassle,” explains Spencer. “Then trying to maintain and keep track of the different LUNs – just the maintenance of the configuration – is very complicated. Software-based SANmelody makes it simple. It is elegantly straightforward and simple in terms of removing labor-intensive aspects of SAN maintenance.”

Friday, August 27, 2010

Stop by and Visit DataCore Booth 1607 at VMworld - DataCore Storage Virtualization Software Makes Clouds Happy.

We look forward to seeing you at VMworld 2010.

Always Stays Up   -  Prevent storage-related disruptions. Keep your clouds running with DataCore's non-disruptive high-availability software.
Never Tied Down - Works across incompatible storage devices. Agile and not tied to specific storage arrays, vendors or devices which 'come and go' over time.
Highly Stretchable - Spans buildings and locations for 'Stretch HA'  high-availability and recovery for VMs and data.
Lightning fast  - Advanced Caching enables electronic memory speeds to accelerate your workloads and overcome I/O bottlenecks that impact virtual server and virtual desktop performance.

If you are attending VMworld and will be available on Sunday evening, please contact your local DataCore contact if you are available to attend the DataCore VMworld Welcome Reception at the Infusion Lounge in San Francisco from 7:00-10:00 PM.

Monday, August 23, 2010

DataCore virtualizes FusionIO SSDs, HP storage arrays into SAN for NIEDAX GROUP

DataCore Case Study

DataCore Software has enabled the NIEDAX GROUP to combine traditional storage arrays, already installed, with new high-speed Solid State Disks (SSDs) to create a Storage Area Network (SAN) to meet their growing data center needs. DataCore virtualization software, combined with FusionIO NAND flash memory SSD technology, has achieved a new level of performance, high availability and energy efficiency, running in production at 100,000 IOPS and 600 MB/s (megabytes-per-second) of throughput, while consuming 15 Watts of energy versus 4000 Watts with hard disks alone.

The NIEDAX GROUP, an electrical installation manufacturer, needed to upgrade its systems to meet the growing demands of its ERP system which is based on Microsoft Dynamics. In addition they wanted to migrate their base of over 40 VMware VMs onto a more reliable SAN infrastructure. The major requirement, however, driven by the ERP requirements was for a new SAN storage solution that could deliver higher performance, capacity and availability than the existing hardware SAN.

NIEDAX utilized a consultancy firm to calculate and access its data requirements and found out that if it continued to use a traditional hardware SAN it would need to add and invest in at least another two storage systems, each with a minimum of 40 Fibre Channel disk drives, to achieve the required performance and high availability. This would be a significant investment and add to the ongoing space and energy costs – so alternatives were sought.

Having seen the value of using VMware for servers, NIEDAX wanted to know if there was virtualization solution that could do the same for their SAN storage. Additionally, it also had to meet the ERP performance requirements that were critical.

The company understood the value of virtualization – having evaluated the use of VMware ESX to virtualize a number of machines and realizing the benefits of going green by reducing power consumption and heating costs with servers. So, NIEDAX asked what they could do similarly for their storage. DataCore partner S&L Netzwerktechnik GmbH evaluated the requirements and then suggested and developed an alternative plan that could build on the company’s existing investment and reduce their ongoing costs.

The solution consisted of DataCore SANmelody 3.0 software providing virtualization, performance to accelerate caching software and high-availability mirroring across the pool of storage arrays and SSDs, integration of existing HP EVA Storage Array, integration and additional disks to the HP MSA Storage Arrays, and the addition of high-speed FusionIO SSDs with NAND flash memory to boost performance and lower overall energy requirements.

The DataCore SANmelody 3.0 virtualization software runs on standard servers and enables cost-effective high availability through synchronous mirroring to occur between the heterogeneous mix of SAN hardware. The DataCore solution facilitated NIEDAX GROUP using its existing hardware in combination with the required expansion and new SSDs in order to obtain higher performance and to grow capacity. In a similar manner to what VMware had done for their servers, DataCore virtualized and made their storage hardware more efficient and cost-effective.

“We are happy with our DataCore investment and we are benefiting from the many functional and financial benefits of putting it in use,” stated Oliver Bauer, Team Leader Administration / IT at NIEDAX GROUP. “The SAN now enables flexibility in administration, ease of expansion and the ability to dynamically allocate storage where and when we need it. DataCore caching accelerates overall performance and delivers a much higher data throughput. The software approach ensures the ease of transfer and the ability to use SAN-wide features on different hardware arrays and devices. Thus it is a very cost-effective way to mirror data. For our demanding ERP application, the fact that we could run FusionIO Solid State Disks under the DataCore virtualization and management solution was critical. We gained tremendous performance from adding FusionIO SSDs and overall we reduce energy and cooling costs.”

In terms of background, the demanding databases that support ERP systems, especially in manufacturing applications such as at the NIEDAX GROUP, often do not consume very large amounts of storage. Instead, however, they do require extremely high performance. With the Fusion IO NAND SSD flash memory technology in place, the NIEDAX GROUP was able to achieve 100,000 IOPS (Input/Output Operations per Second) and rates of 600 MB/s with only 15 Watt power consumption, when running in production. By comparison, if they had used conventional Fibre Channel storage disks alone to achieve these levels of performance, they would have consumed somewhere around 4,000 Watts.

"With the implementation of DataCore‘s virtualization storage software we were able to meet all of the customers technical requirements,” said Alwin Kohl, consultant at S&L Netzwerktechnik GmbH. “In addition, with the combination of DataCore’s virtualization software and FusionIO‘s SSD NAND flash memory we were able to protect NIEDAX’s current investments in their SAN and extend it – making it green and significantly reducing long-term costs for our customer.”

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Saginaw Intermediate School District Deploys a Flexible, Virtualized Cloud Infrastructure Using DataCore and VMware

DataCore Software announced that Saginaw Intermediate School District (ISD) has replaced a legacy SAN and embraced virtualization in its centralized data center built on DataCore, VMware and Xiotech. Moreover, Saginaw ISD’s VMware- DataCore-based cloud for servers and storage serves as both a centralized data center and a hosting service for the majority of school districts in the county.
Download the Case Study on Saginaw VMware and DataCore Cloud Computing

The implementation at Saginaw ISD is one that incorporates DataCore for storage virtualization, VMware for server virtualization, and Xiotech as the hardware platform providing the actual storage. DataCore’s SANmelody storage virtualization software powers two SANs that comprise DataCore software and Xiotech servers at two separate data centers, five miles apart, which are configured to mirror to each other. The data pool consists of 10 TBs on each end of the remote configuration.
"Our goal was to virtualize everything and have that supported by storage," states Jeff Johnson, Director of Technical Services, Saginaw Intermediate School District.
Saginaw ISD has deployed seven VMware ESX boxes in the VMware farm - all running on HP servers. These hosts service 35-40 VMs, which span everything from a utility machine running Windows XP - to five SQL servers. For replication purposes, the mirrored site has three ESX boxes that also make up the VMware cloud between the two sites. DataCore is at the heart of the virtualized infrastructure, powering the VMware cloud in Saginaw ISD’s virtual, private data center.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Total Wine Taps DataCore Software to Virtualize Storage, Enhance Its EMC SAN Investment and Add High-Availability for Microsoft Hyper-V Platforms
Challenge: Leveraging an Existing EMC SAN & Microsoft Hyper-V

Total Wine has seen enormous success in virtualizing the EMC storage area network (SAN) that was already deployed in its data center with DataCore storage virtualization software. The impetus for bringing DataCore in to virtualize and manage the SAN was straightforward - the SAN was running out of capacity and performance. "It got to the point where performance became an issue and we were out of disk space and we could not add more disk array enclosures unless we bought a new SAN," notes Todd Slan, director of technology, Total Wine. "So, the idea of a storage virtualization solution like DataCore that enabled us to enhance our existing SAN solution and at the same time accelerate performance was the path we started down."

Total Wine evaluated adding to the EMC SAN or going with other storage hardware solutions such as LeftHand Networks, EqualLogic as well as NetApp. However, in his role as Chairman of the Mid-Atlantic CIO Council for Microsoft, which serves as the executive advisory board, where he sits on the International Board, Slan was swayed to DataCore by another council member, who was a DataCore customer as well as partner. "DataCore and Microsoft partner The Asbury Group Integrated Technologies brought me into their data center and showed me how they solved an 80 terabyte problem with storage virtualization software from DataCore," adds Slan. "That and the idea of not having to rip and replace our existing investment in storage devices was enough to sell us on DataCore as the right solution for us as well."

According to David Herr, chief technology and security officer, The Asbury Group Integrated Technologies, "Virtual servers and desktops depend heavily on shared disks. Without them, system administrators cannot migrate virtual machines, fail-over workloads or start up sessions on a completely different desktop. That is where DataCore comes in."

Meeting Business Objectives - Accommodating Growth and Meeting Performance Expectations
The data pool that is now managed by DataCore is now totaling 10 TBs. In terms of the user community, that is divided between 230 users at total Wine's Corporate Headquarters as well as employees working at the retail stores. For the corporate users, DataCore is providing the range of data, databases and servers you would expect to be relied on heavily in an office environment - flat files, databases, Exchange, etc. For those working in the stores, the core line-of-business application that runs Total Wine's entire business operations "back-ends" to a SQL database that sits on the DataCore SAN.

"For our stores we had two issues," explains Slan. "One was a growth issue. We took a database application that was serving 200 users in the corporate office and extended that to the field - bringing an additional 1,500 users under that umbrella. A conventional SAN, not using virtualization, has pretty serious physical size limits - and when you hit them, you hit them hard. DataCore solved this problem - and we did not have to buy more hardware, re-provision disks or resize LUNs. Apart from the growth issue was the performance one. The performance issues associated with having 1,000 users hit a database - as opposed to 200 - are significantly different. We had to have a solution that enabled us to crank up the performance of those databases. DataCore virtualization has delivered for us on the performance front as well."

Total Wine needed a way not only to grow in terms of the size of the user community it supported but in terms of performance, simultaneously. According to Slan, DataCore has given his team the best way to do this - as well as the most cost-effective one. "With DataCore we are not wasting space as we had done in conventional SAN models," he explains. "That is what we had relied on before and we were essentially wasting fifty percent of our disk space."

One of the things Slan and his team really love about the storage virtualization solution from DataCore is that it empowers them with flexibility. Today Total Wine has a mix of storage under management - fiber channel, direct-attached and iSCSI. "DataCore does not tie us into any one storage model," Slan notes. "I don't need to buy fiber channel storage for everything, and DataCore accommodates that. I can buy lower cost storage. I can hang direct-attached SAS units off the back of the DataCore SAN and I do not have to pay the fiber channel costs - because I don't need it."

The Total Virtualization Environment - Virtual Storage for Hyper-V
Total Wine has a significant investment in Microsoft Hyper-V for virtual servers and has deployed Hyper-V exclusively as its virtual server of choice. Total Wine's data center in Maryland is approximately 50% virtualized. Currently eight major systems or one-third of the virtual machines (VMs) in the virtualized infrastructure are now running on DataCore to virtualize and accelerate their storage. This will grow substantially in the next phase of the virtualization deployment.

Initially, Total Wine deployed DataCore simply to achieve the inherent benefits of virtualization for its EMC SAN, including better performance via DataCore's "mega" caching functionality and increased capacity through its infrastructure-wide thin-provisioning technology. Slan and his team at Total Wine are now deploying a second DataCore license, to ensure high-availability and improve uptime. This summer, Total Wine's DataCore virtualized-powered storage infrastructure will be fully redundant, whereby two mirrored SANs will safeguard the data - guaranteeing uptime and fault-tolerance. This will also lay the groundwork for full disaster recovery (if needed), whereby at a later stage a third DataCore SAN can be added in a remote location and connected via remote or asynchronous replication.

Slan emphasizes that in the retail world, sales margins are thin and that resource utilization is crucial to the retail model. "If we are under-utilizing our resources then in a sense it is wasted money. In terms of resource utilization, we can get over 80% utilization of our storage investment with DataCore. Make no mistake about it - the attraction to DataCore for us was that it is not a hardware device-based SAN solution. The software-based approach of DataCore was absolutely ‘key' for us. Hardware is hardware. The bottom-line for us is that DataCore allows us to do a lot of the things we already knew were possible in the virtualization world, but with storage."

To access the Total Wine & More Case Study on implementing DataCore, EMC and Hyper-V, please go to: .

Monday, August 9, 2010

Real-world Success with DataCore Storage Virtualization Software
DataCore virtualization solutions enable system and network administrators to provision, share, reconfigure, migrate, replicate, expand and upgrade storage without slowdowns or downtime.

"We rely on DataCore software to pool our existing storage assets into a highly available, shared storage configuration," states Steve Bradley, Network Administrator, Rocklin Unified School District. "We selected DataCore because we saw the value and the power of virtualizing across all makes and models of storage devices in a manner that is cost effective, device independent and puts to use equipment already in place."

According to Chris Whitaker, IT Manager, Ahtna Government Services Corporation, "What won the day was the fact that DataCore offers a software-based, device-independent solution whereby we get infrastructure-wide functionality that runs across unlike and incompatible devices, without slowdowns or downtime. This rich set of advanced virtualization services from DataCore delivers the highest availability and best use of resources at the most favorable cost. DataCore virtualization technology hits on all cylinders for us. And their customer support is just exemplary."

“DataCore has helped tremendously in empowering us with what customers need in order to make their virtualization projects successful,” states Tiffany Sequeira, Chief Operating Officer, J4 Systems. “The marketplace at large is recognizing that virtualization projects are indeed three-dimensional and that storage is as vital as the other dimensions, if not more so. DataCore takes storage to the next level, protects existing storage investments and delivers genuine value to users by boosting productivity, utilization and performance through device independent software that safeguards their business from costly disruptions due to storage failures.”

Real-world Success with DataCore Storage Virtualization Software: In addition to Rocklin Unified School District and Ahtna Government Services Corporation, other J4 Systems customers that have already reaped the rewards of cost-savings, flexibility, productivity and risk mitigation include American Building Supply, AWI Management Corporation, Borges Architectural Group, California School Employees Association, Chelsio Communications, Citizens Bank of Northern California, City of Elk Grove Police Department, Composite Engineering, Inc., Corn Products International, County Medical Services Program, Delta Blood Bank, Document Fulfillment Services, Ecorp Consulting, Inc., Hose & Fittings ETC., Loomis Union Unified School District, PFU Systems, Inc., Qualys, Inc., Risse Mechanical, Robbjack Corporation, Schuering Zimmerman & Doyle, LLP, Stanislaus Union School District, Stockton East Water District, The CBM Group, Therapeutic Research, Trans Cal Insurance Services, Visionapp, and more.

"We find that DataCore virtualization software has become a very mission-critical part of the way we shape the long-term IT plans of our customers," notes Sequeira. "Yes a lot of customers are talking about virtualization. But it is how they are applying virtualization that is really relevant. Initially, our customers are typically using DataCore to attain high-availability. Then, they add a third DataCore-powered SAN to ensure disaster recovery. The bottom-line is that DataCore storage virtualization software enables virtualization initiatives to become reality for our customer base. And the reason for this is because DataCores solutions provide the high-availability required to keep businesses running out-of-the-box as well as a future path whereby DataCore makes disaster recovery both possible and economically viable."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) 2010: Visit the DataCore Booth - Is that Steve Ballmer?

DataCore is exhibiting this week at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference – running July 11-15 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C. DataCore is located in Booth 739 at Microsoft WPC. For more, go to .

If you are attending the conference, please stop by and see how DataCore’s software-based virtualization solutions empower storage and serve as the third dimension to virtualization.

...and yes that is Steve Ballmer the CEO of Microsoft along with Carlos Carreras from DataCore.