As we mentioned a few days back, DataCore is a firm that is bringing their virtualized storage technology to WHS2011 and SBS2011 as a replacement for Drive Extender. We recently caught up with them and have some details for you. Read on!
I recently caught up with Carlos Carreras, Vice President of Alliances & Business Development for DataCore. He was gracious enough to answer some questions about their technology and how it could be useful to WHS2011 and SBS2011 users. I wanted to thank Carlos for taking his time to engage with us. Here is our interview.
- Introduction to Virtualized Storage: What is the technology? How is it being used today?
In the enterprise computing space we’ve become pretty familiar with the general concept of virtualization itself – abstracting, or removing, the ‘managing’ software from the underlying hardware, which enables you to take advantage of the benefits of software capabilities separate from the limitations inherent in the underlying hardware. Storage virtualization is conceptually similar: It’s the application of virtualization technology to the storage layer of your information technology infrastructure. Obviously, behind the virtualization concept there is a lot of deeply sophisticated software to make that abstraction happen — but that is the concept at high level.
When you apply virtualization technology to storage you separate out the management and control of storage from the big, bulky box with the spinning disk. That means that management and control of your storage environment is not subject to the limitations of all mechanical information processing devices – stress, wear and tear, capacity issues, natural disasters, and so on. That doesn’t mean that by virtualizing your storage you no longer need those spinning disks. They are still important – but they only do what they’re good at: processing the in-and-out flow of storing and retrieving data. That’s it.
By creating the separation between the hardware and the software through virtualization, your data and its management/control/protection are no longer tied to the health of a mechanical device. It’s that separation of software from hardware that enables our customers to easily allocate capacity from available virtual pools, maximize space utilization through thin provisioning, create backups through the use of snapshot technology and enjoy high availability of their data through replication technology.
- Introduction to DataCore:
Our company was started in 1998 by a group of storage experts who had gained their experience working in large storage environments – mostly in the aerospace industry. They started out with the intention of addressing the fundamental challenge with storage: The hardware that is inherently prone to failure is tied to the software that provides the “intelligence” that makes the hardware useful.
In taking a look at this age-old problem they came up with the idea that separating the two – running storage software separate from the device itself – helps you overcome the limitations and device-specific difference in the hardware. That became DataCore’s mission: We build software that transforms imperfect storage hardware devices into ideally behaved disks.
Over the years, as DataCore developed our storage virtualization software we were able to look at improvements in the control and management of the storage devices. Our software does that by creating “virtual disks” within the SAN that never run out of capacity, run faster, are easily shared, never age and are never forced offline for maintenance. For anyone familiar with the challenges inherent in running storage locked to hardware devices, our solution is like storage nirvana.
We’ve been at this for a while – and when we started there was no concept in the industry called “storage virtualization” – we just did what we did and got better at it over time. Now that virtualization is the hot new technology, people in our industry are looking at us and saying, “storage technology is the new big thing.” We tell them we’ve been doing this for years – we have over 7,000 customers worldwide and over 20,000 licenses deployed. It’s not so new … and it’s been working exceptionally well for our customers for years.