n|Frame Selects DataCore

n|Frame selects DataCore's SANsymphony for its managed SAN - an integral part of its overall virtualization practice

September 25, 2007

3 Min Read
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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- DataCore Software today announced that n|Frame, the Indianapolis regions premier data center and infrastructure solutions provider, has selected SANsymphony™ to best support its clients’ virtualization needs due to the virtualization solution’s hardware independence, high availability, thin provisioning capabilities and performance. Above all, it was imperative for n|Frame to have a virtualized storage area network (SAN) in order to support its strategy for server virtualization. “One of the biggest mistakes a company can make and the biggest single point of failure that companies fall into when implementing a server virtualization strategy is not building it out on top of a SAN that is highly available,” said Eric Beasley, n|Frame senior systems engineer. “In fact, the weakest link of most server virtualization infrastructures is the SAN.”

Beyond providing data center co-location, including offering clients redundant power, Internet connectivity and scalable physical infrastructure, n|Frame offers a robust suite of managed services on top of its five-nines data center. The company offers high availability solutions – including managed routers, firewall, and switch; load balancing; advanced monitoring; replication and backup solutions; and hardware ‘break and fix’ as well as patching for software such as Microsoft and Red Hat. The company also is currently witnessing more and more clients who request VMware in their n|Frame environments.

A Managed SAN Offering

It was in acknowledging the importance of a SAN installed in tandem with any server virtualization infrastructure that led n|Frame to pursue offering a SAN solution to small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) so they could increase adoption of VMware within the firm’s environments. “So many of our clients see the value in server virtualization but get stuck on the perceived cost of the SAN required in order to make virtualization happen,” said Beasley. n|Frame’s strategy was simple. They already offered a data center with a 99.999% uptime guarantee (with power build-out, air conditioning and Internet), therefore they knew they needed to offer a fault tolerant SAN solution – one that had to be highly available and work across different networks to protect a variety of systems and platforms. Due to the cost and constant demand for storage, they required thin provisioning to make it affordable for n|Frame and for its clients.

Three New Clients for SANsymphony

Having decided to launch a managed SAN and selecting SANsymphony to accomplish this, n|Frame has already signed up three new clients and has put the first client in production as of early August 2007. In terms of this first managed SAN user, the production server has been connected, performance testing is underway and upon completion of the testing another four servers will be folded into the environment (SAN-attached). Two other VMware environments that are currently direct-attached storage will be added to the managed SAN within the next month.

Beasley was adamant about giving the SAN first priority before beginning the practice of managing server virtualization environments. “I have just seen too many instances where companies have skimped on the SAN and that becomes one big single point of failure for a virtualization infrastructure,” he said. He went on to explain that when looking to go the VMware route a lot of small and medium sized businesses would adopt a Fibre Channel (FC) SAN, but try to do it with low end storage. Unfortunately when companies go this way, Beasley said, they run into maintenance issues and worse because they have only deployed a single controller, without auto failover control. When one of the switches is taken down in a single Fiber fabric scenario, if it is the primary fabric switch, the SAN goes away and every virtual machine needs to be powered off before any maintenance can be performed.

DataCore Software Corp.


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