DataCore introduces virtual capacity

By Ann Silverthorn

DataCore Software introduced SANmelody 2.0 disk server software yesterday, which it claims "reduces the cost of enterprise-class storage capabilities down to the levels of the PC world." The software offers the benefits of virtual capacity to small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), allowing them to combine virtual servers and virtual storage in a single virtual infrastructure. DataCore claims SANmelody 2.0 results in less-costly and more-efficient storage management.

According to George Teixeira, DataCore's president and CEO, users are starting to intermix their physical servers with virtual servers. "SANmelody 2.0 works very tightly with Microsoft's Virtual Server and EMC's VMware products," says Teixeira. "We've turned storage capacity into an automatic process in which we can present massive volumes to the servers and cross the network over iSCSI, Fibre Channel, or a WAN."

DataCore claims several industry firsts with this announcement. For example, the software works with any network and any vendor's disk subsystems. "If you wanted thin provisioning features in the past, you had to buy a 3PAR or Network Appliance box," says Teixeira. In contrast, DataCore allows "auto-grow" [thin-provisioning] virtual capacity that works with disk arrays from any vendor.

Another industry first that DataCore professes is iSCSI fail-over and enterprise-level data protection, which uses existing LAN connections. Teixeira says that SANmelody 2.0 allows the use of Fibre Channel, clusters, or proprietary interconnects for high-end failover, and adds the option of standard lower-cost Ethernet as an interconnect between two physically separate disk servers, even if they are from different vendors. He adds that because the software is hardware-independent, users can achieve the same level of fail-over protection offered by Hitachi's TagmaStore or IBM's SAN Volume Controller.

Pricing starts at around $900 for a "virtual capacity" option on top of SANmelody's base capabilities, which are priced at about $1,500. Additional capabilities of the software include the following:

  • Support for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 storage services, such as Virtual Disk Services (VDS), Volume Shadow Copy Services (VSS), and Multipath I/O (MPIO). Administrators benefit because they can use a standard methodology for disk services, snapshots, and multi-path redundancy;

  • Support for Microsoft Clusters;

  • Ability to build hybrid iSCSI NAS/SAN appliances and systems through support of Microsoft Windows Storage Server platforms;

  • Capability to migrate, import, and manage existing live data that resides on Windows file system volumes through the use of a Microsoft Windows volume pass-through feature;

  • iSCSI and IP SAN security features; and

  • Windows Wizard installation process.

This article was originally published on May 04, 2005