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DataCore Tackles Storage Virtualization Barrier

Targeting the midmarket, DataCore Software is addressing what it calls the biggest barrier to widespread adoption of virtualization: storage. The infrastructure ISV says that its SANsymphony-V storage virtualization software enables data centers to use existing equipment and conventional storage devices, instead of the rip-and-replace approaches being proposed to support desktop and server virtualization projects.

Two years in development, the software uses adaptive caching and performance-boosting techniques to absorb wildly variable workloads while simultaneously removing storage as a single point of failure and disruption. Available in five models, software licenses for a fully redundant, high-availability configuration start at less than $10,000, including annual 24-by-7 technical support.

The company's objective is to be the logical third dimension of a virtualization strategy by combining the first two dimensions, server and desktop virtualization, with the virtualization of storage assets. The business benefits of a stable software infrastructure spanning multiple models and manufacturers across generations of hardware are as compelling for servers and desktops as they are for storage, states DataCore.

By decoupling the virtual infrastructure from the underlying disks, SANsymphony-V frees customers from hardware vendor lock. And by instituting best practices through the use of automation and guided workflows, it reduces complexity and operational costs. The benefits include faster application response by auto-tuning "mega caches" and selecting the best I/O paths, high availability through physical separation with full auto-failover and recovery capabilities, optimal disk space utilization through thin provisioning and pooling, and continuous data protection to rapidly rollback in time and recover workloads and virtual machines.

While somewhat dismissive of the "purveyors" of server hypervisor technology (saying they are "peddling fluff"), Jon Toigo, CEO and managing principal of Toigo Partners International LLC, gives good marks to DataCore's SANsymphony-V. He says the software provides a layer of functionality over the block storage infrastructure that simplifies the three main tasks of storage administration as conceived today: capacity management, performance management and data protection management.

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