DataCore adds virtual capacity

By Ann Silverthorn

DataCore Software recently began shipping its SANmelody 2.0 “disk server” software. The new release provides the benefits of virtual capacity to small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), allowing them to combine virtual servers and virtual storage in a single 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 physical servers with virtual servers. “SANmelody 2.0 works tightly with Microsoft’s Virtual Server and EMC’s VMware products,” he says. “We’ve turned storage capacity into an automatic process in which the software [which runs on standard PC servers] can present massive volumes to servers 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.

SANmelody also provides iSCSI fail-over between disk servers on Ethernet. (The software also works in Fibre Channel SAN environments).

Pricing starts at less than $900 for a “virtual capacity” option on top of SANmelody’s base capabilities, which are priced at about $1,500.

Additional features 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;
  • 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;
  • Support for Microsoft Clusters; and
  • Windows Wizard installation process.

From a virtualization and storage services perspective, DataCore competes with vendors such as FalconStor Software and StoreAge Networking Technologies.

This article was originally published on June 01, 2005