DataCore developing "SAN OS"
Startup DataCore Software is developing what it refers to as a "storage network operating system" based on its Storage Domain Server software. In beta at several OEM and reseller sites, the software is due by the end of this year.
Ft. Lauderdale-based DataCore was started in early 1998 by 12 former employees of Encore Computer, which was acquired by Sun Microsystems in 1997. DataCore currently has 50 employees.
Storage Domain Server, which will be bundled with Intel/NT hardware, is expected to compete in part with SAN-based data sharing products under development, as well as with SAN management and sharing software from vendors such as Mercury Computer and Hewlett-Packard`s Transoft division.
Comparing the Storage Domain Server approach to those products, DataCore president and CEO George Teixeira says, "In contrast, we virtualize all the disk storage on a SAN and make it look like one large disk drive that can be partitioned and allocated."
Moreover, Teixeira claims DataCore`s approach can signficantly speed up throughput on a SAN. For example, in lab tests with two dual-processor Pentium servers, results in excess of 100,000 I/Os per second have been achieved, according to Teixeira, as a result of cache optimization techniques.
The Storage Domain Server software, which Teixeira calls an operating system, handles storage resource allocation, management, mapping, performance monitoring, security, etc., and essentially provides a link between the operating system file services and SAN-attached physical devices. In a sense, Storage Domain Servers are the SAN equivalent of Network Domains in the LAN arena. The software runs on Windows NT, but a Storage Domain Server environment can also support Unix hosts.