VMworld 2014 has come and gone. It was a great show with a massive attendance exceeding 22,000 from 85 countries around the globe. This year the theme was “No Limits”, which was very appropriate since the common message across the board was about leveraging software to maximize hardware investments. I couldn’t agree more. VMworld 2014 confirmed that the industry appears to be ready for broad adoption of the software-defined storage architecture that DataCore introduced over 16 years ago and continues to innovate upon. DataCore, having released its 10th generation software-defined storage offering earlier this year, is in the industry “front seat”, leading the charge with its any storage, any server, any hypervisor product offering; a statement aligning perfectly with VMworld’s theme this year: No Limits, or in other words, Unleashed and Unbound.
Not surprisingly, Virtual SANs monopolized the topic of conversation this year. But the message was fragmented since there were many feature limitations coupled with the inability to integrate and co-exist with other storage and server components in the stack. This is what you would expect considering the infancy of the Virtual SAN concept. But this is where DataCore takes the lead yet again. As with traditional central SANs, the heart of DataCore’s Virtual SAN is SANsymphony-V. This means whether you are running traditional central SANs, Virtual SANs, or both simultaneously, DataCore offers the same enterprise-grade feature set and a single common management interface across the entire architecture. This is what you would expect from a 10th generation product release.
As a brief overview, DataCore™ Virtual SAN introduces the next evolution in software-defined storage whereby SANsymphony™-V is used to create high-performance and highly-available shared storage pools using the disks and flash storage in your application servers. It addresses the requirements for fast and reliable access to storage across a cluster of servers without the need for a separate external SAN infrastructure.
A DataCore Virtual SAN is comprised of two or more physical x86-64 servers with local storage, running SANsymphony-V. It can leverage any combination of flash and magnetic disks (although flash is not required) to provide persistent storage services as close to the application as possible without having to go out over the wire (network or fabric). Virtual disks provisioned from the virtual SAN can also be shared across the cluster to support the dynamic migration and failover of applications between hosts.
DataCore’s Virtual SAN addresses the challenges that exist today within many IT organizations such as poor application performance (particularly within virtualized environments), single points of failure, low storage efficiency and utilization, and high infrastructure costs.
DataCore’s Virtual SAN opens up many new possibilities within the infrastructure. Below are some of the most common use cases:
- Latency-sensitive Applications – Speed up application response and improve end-user experience by leveraging high-speed flash as persistent storage closest to the applications and caching reads and writes from even faster server DRAM.
- Compact Server Clusters at Remote Sites and Branch Offices – Put the internal storage capacity of your application servers to work as a shared resource while protecting your data against outages.
- Virtual Desktop (VDI) Deployments – Run more virtual desktops on each hypervisor host and scale them out across more servers without the complexity or expense of an external SAN.
- Highly-available Applications – When you are running applications that cannot suffer downtime, then you need synchronous mirroring. Synchronous mirroring provides real-time synchronized copies of all data across multiple hosts and/or regional sites, ensuring the highest levels of data and application availability.
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As the industry heads full-speed down this road, you can expect very exciting advancements to develop. I know that it will be an exciting time for DataCore’s customers and partners as DataCore continues, as it always has, to invent new ways of raising the bar in the software-defined storage arena.