SANsymphony-V is a comprehensive storage virtualization platform that empowers a company's storage assets and solves many of the difficult storage-related challenges raised by server and desktop virtualization in contemporary data centers and Cloud environments. The software significantly improves application performance and response times, enhances data availability and protection to provide superior business continuity, and maximizes the utilization of existing storage investments.
SANsymphony-V centrally manages and optimizes all storage including flash memory, hard drives, storage arrays and ‘Cloud storage’ across a wide variety of vendors and devices within both virtual and physical IT environments. The integrated set of centrally-managed data protection, provisioning, caching, replication and migration functions operates uniformly over different models and brands of storage equipment, assimilating current and future technologies non-disruptively.
This is a software-based approach to storage infrastructure that enables customers to get more from whatever storage they use, repurpose existing storage and server systems to extend their useful lives while drastically reducing the need for new capital expense (CapEx) buys and operating expenses (OpEx) in terms of utilization, downtime and effort associated with managing traditional SANs.
- Reduces costs and protect your investment: maximizes and optimizes utilization of available disk capacity and resources of different performance level, cost reduction for new hardware and new life for old hardware, avoids the need to ‘Rip & Replace’ existing storage, you do not need advances licenses for disk arrays, less difficult technical support, cut operational expenses by 60%.
- Greatly speeds up applications performance by removing disk I/O bottlenecks.
- Makes business continuity and disaster recovery practical for virtual servers, virtual desktops and general IT consolidation. Prevents storage related downtime & costly business disruptions.
- Eliminates storage-related disruptions due to inevitable maintenance, reconfiguration, upgrades, expansion and failures.
- Eliminates vendor locked scenario for your storage infrastructure: only buy when & what you need.
- Centralizes, automates and simplify storage administration despite variations in equipment, and reduce provisioning times from days to minutes; spend 90% less time managing storage.
How it works
SANsymphony-V forms a transparent, scalable virtualization layer across your storage infrastructure in order to enhance its capabilities and centralize its management. The many nuances and incompatibilities distinguishing different models and brands of storage no longer stand in the way of using them together.
You have complete freedom to mix and match storage devices, migrating between old and new in the background. SANsymphony-V works with all the popular models and brands of disks and disk systems supported on Windows Servers allowing you to balance between high-speed, premium-priced resources and lower cost, higher capacity gear.
The same flexibility applies to packaging. You can start small with internal drives and expand externally. The software accepts direct-attached storage (DAS), SAN arrays and solid state disks / flash cards with equal ease, connecting to them via any of the standard disk interfaces.
Provisioning disk space
The SANsymphony-V administrator carves out virtual disks on demand from the physical disk pool according to the capacity, availability and performance needs of each workload.
For instance, some groups of virtual disks may be defined to be cached, synchronously mirrored, remotely replicated and thinly provisioned. In the background, the DataCore software draws on multiple devices and the necessary computing and network connections to meet those requirements. Auto-tiering functions dynamically determine which storage class will best meet the selected storage profile.
Hosts connect to the DataCore nodes over iSCSI and/or Fibre Channel just as they would connect to an external SAN disk array. The protocol between the hosts and the DataCore nodes may be different from what the nodes use to connect to the physical storage. For example, SANsymphony-V bridges iSCSI connections from hosts to trays of SATA and SAS drives.
For security purposes, hosts only see those virtual disks explicitly shaped and assigned to them over designated ports. In clusters, several hosts can share virtual disks even if the associated physical drives are not multi-ported (shareable).
To maximize disk utilization and eliminate wasted space, DataCore implements very granular, thin provisioning techniques and space reclamation features.
SANsymphony-V serves virtual disks to physical hosts running any of the popular open operating systems as well as virtual machines hosted by the mainstream server hypervisors.
The extensive PowerShell scripting library, SNMP traps, and task scheduling wizards simplify integration with other workflows and systems management tools. Real-time / historical charts, e-mail event notifications and reporting features provide additional insights into the health and performance of the virtualized storage infrastructure.
Uninterrupted access using mirrored nodes
SANsymphony-V shields applications from planned or unplanned outages in the underlying components by providing uninterrupted access to the virtual disks. It synchronously mirrors disk updates between nodes in separate rooms so they won’t be exposed to the same facility-related hazards.
Stretching the mirrored nodes up to 100 kilometers apart decreases the chances that ordinary misfortunes such as roof leaks, fires, air conditioning failures, construction crew mishaps or floods will affect both sites. Virtual disks in these high-availability (HA) configurations appears like a single, well-behaved, multi-ported shared drive, although it is really made up of two widely-separated mirror images updated in lock step.
Entire sites, nodes, disk subsystems, channels and other components of the environment may be taken out-of-service, upgraded, expanded and replaced without disturbing applications or scheduling downtime.
Replicate offsite for disaster recovery & migration
For additional offsite disaster recovery, or simply to migrate data between locations, SANsymphony-V replicates disks asynchronously over unlimited distances using conventional IP lines. You can also reverse the direction of replication to restore the original site after the danger has been averted. For additional confidence, remote restoration procedures may be tested regularly while normal production processing goes on at the primary data center.
Cache overcomes I/O bottlenecks
DataCore taps each node’s processing, memory and I/O resources to carry out advanced functions across all of the storage devices under its command. SANsymphony-V reserves up to 1 TB of RAM per node for SAN-wide “mega caches”.
Thanks to the sophisticated multi-threaded caching algorithms, data written to or read from disks move swiftly into and out of the caches, harnessing the full potential of each node’s high-speed multi-processors. Caching makes application run faster than they would had they accessed the disks directly, whether connected to top-of-the-line storage systems or lower end gear.
Automatically optimize disk access across tiers
Disks with different price/performance attributes can be organized into separate storage tiers. For example, the fastest tier may be composed of Solid State Disks (SSDs), with lower tiers made up of SAS and SATA drives, respectively. The same tier may include similar units from different manufacturers acquired over time.
SANsymphony-V automatically promotes frequently accessed disk blocks to faster tiers and demotes less active blocks to slower, more cost-effective drives based on the IT team’s criteria. You may override auto-tiering policies by explicitly defining which disks should be used for special workloads or confine the selection of tiers to a narrower set of resources.
Groups of disks may also be segregated for specific requirements, such as test / development or to isolate multiple subscribers (multi-tenancy) in public, hybrid and private clouds.
Advanced features such as caching, synchronous mirroring, asynchronous replication, snapshots, thin provisioning and CDP operate across mutually independent devices within the same tier or across tiers. For example, we find customers prefer to take online snapshots of virtual disks in tier 1 and place them in a tier 2 or tier 3 pool to avoid consuming premium resources for the backup copies. Similarly, tier 1 devices may be remotely replicated to a disaster recovery site that only has tier 2 devices, possibly from a different supplier.