CeBIT 2009: DataCore Unveils Improved Performance, Availability and Utilization for Citrixs XenApp, XenDesktop and XenServer

“We are pleased to welcome DataCore to showcase their solutions on our booth during CeBIT,” says James McNab, Senior Director of Marketing and Business Development at Citrix. “Storage is critical to rapidly deploying virtualization solutions, and DataCore’s storage virtualization solutions have been validated with Citrix XenServer and are deployed with XenServer in a growing number of customer installations. DataCore’s affordable, flexible, high availability SAN storage solutions will help our mutual customers to overcome the cost barriers and complexity that SAN storage can present.”

Key distributors and resellers that are seeing first-hand the benefits of selling DataCore in conjunction with Citrix include: Albora (Spain/Portugal), itX (Australia), Miel (France), Ready Informatica (Italy), ADN (Germany), DNS (UK and Europe), as well as Ingram Micro (USA), Moose Logic (USA), MTM (USA) and J4 Systems (USA), among many others. Moreover, numerous new customers are embracing SANmelody storage virtualization in conjunction with Citrix XenServer, as they are finding the tandem represents an affordable solution that is far more flexible than a proprietary approach.

Ingram Micro is the exclusive distribution partner for Citrix in North America and they recently signed up DataCore. According to the announcement, “DataCore is an enabling software product that our resellers can add to their arsenals, providing their customers with a solution set to virtualize their disks and achieve greater utilization of their storage investment,” states Jodi Honore, vice president, vendor management for Ingram Micro.

DataCore value-added distributor ADN Advanced Digital Network Distribution is one of the biggest Citrix distributors in Europe and offers integrated end-to-end IT infrastructure virtualization from desktop to storage out of one competent hand. “The concept of total enterprise virtualization from desktop, application, server to storage becomes increasingly accepted. Here DataCore’s storage virtualization proves to complement Citrix perfectly. With the Citrix and DataCore combination customers benefit from a flexible, high-performance and cost-efficient infrastructure solution with high-available storage,” says Christian Geilen, Business Unit Manager Storage & Virtual Products at ADN.

DataCore’s lineup of solutions, which are Citrix Ready(TM) for XenServer 5, have been met with broad appeal worldwide and the momentum keeps rolling for DataCore storage virtualization solutions delivered in combination with Citrix XenServer.

Recently announced DataCore and Citrix customers include Washington Archives Management, Statewide Title Company, Inc., and Alameda County Medical Center, just to name a few. These customers are each testifying that DataCore yields the highest availability, fastest performance and fullest utilization from their storage assets, making it an essential element of Citrix configurations. A case in point is Statewide Title Company, Inc. “The selection of DataCore was designed to pave the way for the Citrix XenServer implementation that we are now in the process of deploying,” explains George Overstreet, systems administrator, Statewide Title, Company, Inc. “For purposes of ease of management, efficiencies and centralizing storage, we went with SANmelody. With DataCore, you just have greater flexibility. And on top of this, with DataCore we can also meet all of our disaster recovery (DR) requirements as well.”

Moreover, according to Benjamin Crill, partner, ESI Technology Advisors, “DataCore is the perfect complement to server virtualization with XenServer. They are hardware independent, portable – and above all, ‘open’ solutions. Both DataCore and XenServer are feature rich and value-packed. DataCore’s storage virtualization solutions make storage management easy. They enable customers to maximize resources and lower costs, while delivering high availability, better utilization as well as enhanced performance and productivity.”

DataCore Software enhancements in SANmelody 3.0 and SANsymphony 7.0 aimed at Citrix shared storage requirements include the following new features and functionality:

Leading the list of new features in SANmelody 3.0 and SANsymphony 7.0 are support for 64-bit mega caches. “In large scale, consolidated data storage, cache is king,” comments James Price, Vice President of Channel and Product Marketing, DataCore Software. “DataCore’s solutions will now support up to a terabyte (TB) of cache – per node. They dwarf anything in the market and scale linearly with each node that you add to the fabric.” Entire working sets of numerous virtual machines can now be kept in SAN-wide caches for unheard of performance. Behind the caches, Citrix customers can grow their storage pool from a few hundred gigabytes to multiple petabytes.

Needless to say, storage pools of such immensity are in constant flux. With this in mind, the new product enhancements are fully integrated into DataCore’s radically simple, high availability solutions for Citrix disk farms. Only DataCore allows maintenance, upgrades, expansion, and failures to take place throughout portions of the storage infrastructure without disrupting applications.

Both SANmelody and SANsymphony offer the choice to thinly provision virtual disks rather than tie up physical capacity when LUNs are first created. This is particularly desirable with virtual machines that generally consume only a small fraction of the total volume assigned to them. With the new releases, once-occupied, thinly provisioned space will be automatically reclaimed in the background after applications or file systems zero it out. In this way, the SAN gives back capacity that may have been temporarily needed, further optimizing resource utilization.

Configuring DataCore software on x86/X64 Windows servers transforms them into universal storage controllers. Citrix servers and virtual machines (VMs) needing storage, connect to the DataCore controllers using iSCSI or Fibre Channel. All of the popular operating systems, including Windows Server 2003, 2008, Unix, Linux, NetWare and MacOS can take advantage of DataCore’s SAN-wide storage virtualization features. In small configurations, the DataCore controller is hosted on a VM as a virtual appliance alongside application VMs. The SAN is completely virtual needing no external storage. Larger configurations dedicate physical servers to this storage virtualization role and typically include both internal disk drives and external arrays. The new SANmelody 3.0 and SANsymphony 7.0 releases have been re-architected to exploit the power and scalability of 64-bit Windows Server 2008 virtual and physical platforms as universal storage controllers.

DataCore’s “Transporter” time saving migration facility is a new option in SANmelody 3.0 and SANsymphony 7.0. Transporter migrates disk images and workloads between different operating systems, hypervisors and storage subsystems – eliminating lengthy backups and restores due to complicated format conversions

DataCore has a suite of SANmelody-based Business Continuity (BC) and Disaster Recovery (DR) packages available for Citrix environments, ranging from Feature Packed BC/DR SAN Starter Virtualization Bundles to a Feature Packed BC/DR 32 Terabyte SAN Virtualization Bundle to virtually unlimited capacity SANsymphony Bundles.

DataCore’s virtual SAN appliance and storage virtualization software are Citrix Ready(TM) for XenServer 5. The Citrix Ready program recognizes Citrix partner products that have been validated by Citrix and/or partners to work in Citrix environments, making it simpler for customers to identify solutions that can be used with confidence in Citrix environments.

See DataCore at CeBIT, March 3-8, 2009, in Hannover, Germany. DataCore is located in Hall 4, Stand B04.

(888) 688-9880