DataCore Virtual SAN, VMworld 2014, VVols, and more…

DataCore Virtual SAN, a stepping stone to a ‘Data Anywhere’ architecture
Earlier this year, DataCore Software released SANsymphony-V10, the 10th generation of its enterprise storage virtualization solution. SANsymphony-V10 not only continues to push storage performance, scalability, and flexibility to new levels, but it also includes DataCore’s Virtual SAN capabilities and introduces new use cases for what the industry also calls Server-Side-SAN or converged storage.

DataCore’s Virtual SAN software transforms any locally-attached server storage (flash and disk-based) into a “Virtual SAN” that works with all the major hypervisors (i.e., VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V) and runs on any industry standard server or virtual machine. The DataCore Virtual SAN eliminates the added hassles, costs and complexity required to manage and operate external SAN infrastructures.

DataCore contrasts its enterprise-class virtual SAN offering with competing converged storage and virtual SAN products which are:

  • Immature, whereas DataCore’s Virtual SAN is based on a 10th generation release of SANsymphony-V which has been deployed at over 10,000 customer sites worldwide.
  • Incapable of sustaining serious workloads and providing a growth path to extend capabilities to physical SAN assets when necessary.
  • Inextricably tied to a specific server hypervisor, rendering them unusable in all but the smallest branch office environments or non-critical test and development scenarios.
  • Unable to extend beyond local ‘data islands’ of converged, local storage (internal flash and HDDs) and unable to provide a pathway to unify centralized, external SANs and cloud storage.
  • Lack the ability to scale performance and capacity to meet enterprise-level needs. DataCore’s Virtual SAN scales to more than 50 Million IOPS and supports 32 Petabytes of capacity across a cluster of 32 servers. Yet you can start with as little as 2 nodes.

DataCore’s Virtual SAN is used to create high-performance and highly-available shared storage pools using the disks and flash storage that reside within your application servers. Virtual SAN is a stepping stone in DataCore’s strategy for the ‘Data Anywhere’ architecture. It allows organizations to manage, virtualize, and leverage server disk and flash-based storage along with the ability to virtualize external storage arrays spanning different departments, data centers, and remote locations.

VMware Integration and Future Development
Along with these pioneering advancements, DataCore also was one of the first storage virtualization solutions to interoperate with VMware and it continues to develop and maintain tight integration with VMware’s server hypervisor, ensuring a coordinated approach to realizing fully virtualized environments. DataCore SANsymphony-V10 and Virtual SAN solutions include support for:

  • VMware vSphere interoperability and HCL certifications.
  • VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) integration which leverages the SANsymphony-V SRA to replicate virtual machines and associated virtual disks between remote locations, making it possible to realize fully automated site recovery and cross-site migrations.
  • VMware’s vStorage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI) to offload certain low-level storage operations from the hosts to the storage virtualization layer.
  • VMware vCenter console plug-ins to simplify and enable administration of storage. The console communicates directly with vCenter Servers to automatically register vSphere hosts, clusters, virtual machines (VMs), and datastores.
  • VMware VVol provider (underway, on 2015 roadmap) to enable per-VM data services without dealing with the limitations on the number of LUNs that can be addressed and allows VMs to scale to a much larger number of virtual volumes.

DataCore continues to track key VMware product enhancements and is committed to maintaining essential certifications and integrations while working together on evolving future technologies. For example, DataCore is working with VMware on VVols which aims to increase the level of storage management granularity down to the virtual machine level. This will serve to expose DataCore’s rich feature set to the individual virtual machine, further extending the flexibility offered by DataCore into the infrastructure.

For an overview of VVol, please see Hu Yoshida’s Blog. Essentially, VVol is one of the more major innovations in storage technologies that VMware is driving. VVol is designed to provide VM-level storage granularity to IT administrators by providing a storage API and abstraction layer between the hypervisor and the storage system. It makes it easier to automate and manage data without dealing with the details of disks and LUNs. When a VM generates a workload, it is directed to the appropriate virtual volume (VMDKs) on behalf of the ESXi hypervisor. This eliminates the limitation in the number of LUNs that can be addressed and allows VMs to scale to a much larger number of virtual volumes.

VMware VVols essentially can replace VMFS as a storage unit and possibly do away with the concept of datastores in general. The key benefit for DataCore customers is that VVol enables per-VM data services, such as replication, snapshot, caching, etc.. Customers can then leverage DataCore’s comprehensive feature set and advanced capabilities including auto-tiering, thin provisioning and synchronous mirroring over metro-distances to achieve maximum performance, optimal utilization and highest availability from their storage infrastructure.

DataCore software-defined storage solutions are well poised to add value to customers’ data centers by integrating VVol with our customer-proven SANsymphony-V10 and Virtual SAN platforms. DataCore is underway to provide VVol support, has incorporated VVols as part of its strategic roadmap and ‘data anywhere’ plans, and is committed to simplify storage management in a virtual software-defined world.

DataCore ‘Data Anywhere’ Architecture – Any Hypervisor, Any Storage, Any Location

Learn more about DataCore’s Virtual SAN at VMworld 2014 (Booth #1445).

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