DataCore Aims for Inexpensive Virtual Storage

By Stuart Johnston

As Microsoft's Management Summit gets underway this week in Las Vegas, DataCore announced two configurations of its new high-availability, high-performance SANsymphony storage virtualization software.

The configurations provide network attached storage (NAS) performance acceleration as well as high-availability file sharing support to the company's recently released software.

"SANsymphony addresses the three major roadblocks – cost, performance and business continuity – that have made it impractical for critical virtualization projects to utilize NAS," DataCore said in a statement.

Additionally, SANsymphony does not require specialized NAS hardware, which can be hard on IT budgets.

"[It] overcomes these shared storage shortcomings and makes it feasible to employ the widely used NAS services already built into the Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows Server 2008 R2 platform in those environments," the statement continued.

DataCore announced general availability of SANsymphony in late January.

The design uses mirrored copies of SANsymphony-V layered below clustered file shares which are part of Windows Server 2008 Enterprise.

According to DataCore, SANsymphony can use any standard storage device from internal hard drives provided by server makers to external disk arrays sold by major storage systems vendors.

The smallest configuration runs SANsymphony co-resident with the clustered file share functions on a pair of redundant Windows Enterprise servers. The software performs adaptive input/output caching on Microsoft's Hyper-V in order to accelerate block disk access, while simultaneously mirroring updates to the other server’s virtual disk copy.

"During normal operation, both servers actively handle file requests. [If] one of them fails or is taken out of service, the second machine transparently takes over all duties using the mirrored disk copy," the company said. In a larger configuration, the file share cluster is split between two machines, and SANsymphony is run on separate servers used for block storage virtualization. The cluster accesses SANsymphony's virtual storage pool via iSCSI or Fiber Channel.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.

This article was originally published on March 21, 2011