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MonoSphere Busts a Mover

Startup MonoSphere Inc. has added data mover modules for the second version of its out-of-band virtualization software so that the app doesn't burn up host CPU cycles -- addressing one of the major downsides of its host-oriented architecture.

The MonoSphere Storage Manager software, like other virtualization software on the market, allows customers to pool multiple disparate storage resources to make them appear as if they were in one unified system. Ray Villeneuve, the startup's president and CEO, acknowledges that for larger deployments, being able to offload processing from application servers with data mover modules was a key requirement.

"The data movement [initial customers] requested was significant, so we said, 'Let's give it a boost so no host CPU cycles are burned,' " he says.

The MonoSphere Data Mover Module runs on standard Intel-based Windows servers, as does the primary management application. Villeneuve says different customer environments have different requirements, but he says that as a rule of thumb MonoSphere users might need to add a data mover or two once they reach 50 servers and 5 Tbytes of data.

Also new in version 2.0 of the startup's software suite is support for Solaris servers; previously, it supported only Windows NT and Windows 2000. In addition, MonoSphere now provides a Data Protection Module, which replicates volumes among heterogeneous storage devices. As with the previous version, customers must install Microsoft SQL Server 2000 to run the MonoSphere application. The software is priced at around 1 to 2 cents per MByte of storage managed.

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