Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

LeftHand Helps Spin Straw Into Gold

Alright, no actual transmutation occurs, but LeftHand Networks can help customers repurpose existing x86 storage into iSCSI SANs with its Virtual SAN Appliance (VSA) for ESX.
The concept is simple, the execution novel. LeftHand Networks leverages its SAN/iQ software platform to convert unused internal storage on existing VMware Infrastructure 3 servers into a clustered iSCSI SAN. Are you mildly bitter about those unused or underutilized drives in your ESX boxes? LeftHand wants you to create a virtual SAN out of 'em.

I spent yesterday morning attending a sales briefing presented by LeftHand highlighting its iSCSI product line and SAN/iQ software. The company has been around since 1999; it was in iSCSI at the ground floor in 2001, it has many x86-based storage options, and a strong customer base. Its main product line has offerings from 6 TB to 100 TB SAS SANs, and it has a snazzy single-pane tool for managing all products. It seems the company hasn???t had the best marketing machine. Depending on who you ask, the company is named after a picturesque valley in Colorado. Or a brewpub in Denver.

The one thing that caught my attention during the show yesterday was the claim of creating "the industry's first full-featured virtual iSCSI SAN." The specs include snapshots, thin provisioning, replication, and single UI management. The demo version of VSA scales up to 2 TB.

I???m itching to try it out in the Virtualization Test Lab. The sales guy was even handing out mini-CDs as schwag, so I won???t need to pull a download.

Our test lab's HP ESX boxes happen to have come fully packed with speedy drives. We're only using about 30% of them to run our environment. I'd like to move from lots of hot spares to one hot spare per box. It just feels right. I'm not sure when we'll fit an informal VSA test into our schedule, but I'll let you know how it plays out this spring.

  • 1