Amidst the pent up demand for enterprise-grade virtual SANs and the need for cost-effective utilization of Flash technology, DataCore, a leader in software-defined storage, today revealed a new virtual SAN functionality and significant enhancements to its SANsymphony-V10 – the 10th generation release of its comprehensive storage services platform. The new release significantly advances virtual SAN capabilities designed to achieve the fastest performance, highest availability and optimal use from Flash and disk storage directly attached to application hosts and clustered servers in virtual (server-side) SAN use cases.
DataCore’s new Virtual SAN is a software-only solution that automates and simplifies storage management and provisioning while delivering enterprise-class functionality, automated recovery and significantly faster performance. It is easy to set up and runs on new or existing x86 servers where it creates a shared storage pool out of the internal Flash and disk storage resources available to that server. This means the DataCore Virtual SAN can be cost-effectively deployed as an overlay, without the need to make major investments in new hardware or complex SAN gear.
DataCore contrasts its enterprise-class virtual SAN offering with competing products which are:
- Incapable of sustaining serious workloads and providing a growth path to physical SAN assets.
- Inextricably tied to a specific server hypervisor, rendering them unusable in all but the smallest branch office environments or non-critical test and development scenarios.
The Ultimate Virtual SAN: Inexhaustible Performance, Continuous Availability, Large Scale
There is no compromise on performance, availability and scaling with DataCore. The new SANsymphony-V10 virtual SAN software scales performance to more than 50 Million IOPS and to 32 Petabytes of capacity across a cluster of 32 servers, making it one of the most powerful and scalable systems in the marketplace.
Enterprise-class availability comes standard with a DataCore virtual SAN; the software includes automated failover and failback recovery, and is able to span a N+1 grid (up to 32 nodes) stretching over metro-wide distances. With a DataCore virtual SAN, business continuity, remote site replication and data protection are simple and no hassle to implement, and best of all, once set, it is automatic thereafter.
DataCore SANsymphony-V10 also resolves mixed combinations of virtual and physical SANs and accounts for the likelihood that a virtual SAN may extend out into an external SAN – as the need for centralized storage services and hardware consolidation efficiencies are required initially or considered in later stages of the project. DataCore stands apart from the competition, in that it can run on the server-side as a virtual SAN, it can run and manage physical SANs and it can operate and federate across both. SANsymphony-V10 essentially provides a comprehensive growth path that amplifies the scope of the virtual SAN to non-disruptively incorporate external storage as part of an overall architecture.
A Compelling Solution for Expanding Enterprises
While larger environments will be drawn by SANsymphony-V10’s impressive specs, many customers have relatively modest requirements for their first virtual SAN. Typically they are looking to cost-effectively deploy fast ‘in memory’ technologies to speed up critical business applications, add resiliency and grow to integrate multiple systems over multiple sites, but have to live within limited commodity equipment budgets.
“We enable clients to get started with a high performance, stretchable and scalable virtual SAN at an appealing price, that takes full advantage of inexpensive servers and their internal drives,” said Paul Murphy, vice president of worldwide marketing at DataCore. “Competing alternatives mandate many clustered servers and require add-on flash cards to achieve a fraction of what DataCore delivers.”
DataCore virtual SANs are ideal solutions for clustered servers, VDI desktop deployments, remote disaster recovery and multi-site virtual server projects, as well as those demanding database and business application workloads running on server platforms. The software enables companies to create large scale and modular ‘Google-like’ infrastructures that leverage heterogeneous and commodity storage, servers and low-cost networking to transform them into enterprise-grade production architectures.
Virtual SANs and Flash: Comprehensive Software Stack is a ‘Must Have’ for Any Flash Deployment
SANsymphony-V10 delivers the industry’s most comprehensive set of features and services to manage, integrate and optimize Flash-based technology as part of your virtual SAN deployment or within an overall storage infrastructure. For example, SANsymphony-V10 self-tunes Flash and minimizes flash wear, and enables flash to be mirrored for high-availability even to non-Flash based devices for cost reduction. The software employs adaptive 'in-memory' caching technologies to speed up application workloads and optimize write traffic performance to complement Flash read performance. DataCore’s powerful auto-tiering feature works across different vendor platforms optimizing the use of new and existing investments of Flash and storage devices (up to 15 tiers). Other features such as metro-wide mirroring, snapshots and auto-recovery apply to the mix of Flash and disk devices equally well, enabling greater productivity, flexibility and cost-efficiency.
DataCore’s Universal End-to-End Services Platform Unifies ‘Isolated Storage Islands’
SANsymphony-V10 also continues to advance larger scale storage infrastructure management capabilities, cross-device automation and the capability to unify and federate ‘isolated storage islands.’
“It’s easy to see how IT organizations responding to specific projects could find themselves with several disjointed software stacks – one for virtual SANs for each server hypervisor and another set of stacks from each of their flash suppliers, which further complicates the handful of embedded stacks in each of their SAN arrays,” said IDC’s consulting director for storage, Nick Sundby. “DataCore treats each of these scenarios as use cases under its one, unifying software-defined storage platform, aiming to drive management and functional convergence across the enterprise.”
Additional Highlighted Features
The spotlight on SANsymphony-V10 is clearly on the new virtual SAN capabilities, and the new licensing and pricing choices. However, a number of other major performance and scalability enhancements appear in this version as well:
- Scalability has doubled from 16 to 32 nodes; Enables Metro-wide N+1 grid data protection
- Supports high-speed 40/56 GigE iSCSI; 16Gbps Fibre Channel; iSCSI Target NIC teaming
- Performance visualization/Heat Map tools add insight into the behavior of Flash and disks
- New auto-tiering settings optimize expensive resources (e.g., flash cards) in a pool
- Intelligent disk rebalancing, dynamically redistributes load across available devices within a tier
- Automated CPU load leveling and Flash optimizations to increase performance
- Disk pool optimization and self-healing storage; Disk contents are automatically restored across the remaining storage in the pool; Enhancements to easily select and prioritize order of recovery
- New self-tuning caching algorithms and optimizations for flash cards and SSDs
- ‘Click-simple’ configuration wizards to rapidly set up different use cases (Virtual SAN; High-Availability SANs; NAS File Shares; etc.)
Pricing and Availability
Typical multi-node SANsymphony-V10 software licenses start in the $10,000 to $25,000 range. The new Virtual SAN pricing starts at $4,000 per server. The virtual SAN price includes auto-tiering, adaptive read/ write caching from DRAM, storage pooling, metro-wide synchronous mirroring, thin provisioning and snapshots. The software supports all the popular operating systems hosted on VMware ESX and Microsoft Hyper-V environments. Simple ‘Plug-ins’ for both VMware vSphere and Microsoft System Center are included to enable simplified hypervisor-based administration. SANsymphony-V10 and its virtual SAN variations may be deployed in a virtual machine or running natively on Windows Server 2012, using standard physical x86-64 servers.
General availability for SANsymphony-V10 is scheduled for May 30, 2014.