Nicos Vekiarides

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Combining Storage Virtualization with Unprecedented Cloud Storage Flexibility

System administrators have always sought best of breed data storage from a choice of storage vendors

The business case for storage virtualization software isn’t new. System administrators have always sought best of breed data storage from a choice of storage vendors and a centralized management framework. With a variety of data storage devices available today, ranging from high-performance SSD and Flash cards to low-cost SATA arrays, a seamless way to automatically tier data across the diversity of storage devices and purpose-built arrays can maximize utilization and cost-efficiency. Hardware interchangeability and auto-tiering empower consumers with greater cost controls and buying power. In addition, there are numerous benefits to an enterprise-class software stack that includes data replication and disaster recovery in a footprint that persists across storage system upgrades, with no need to ever change data management interfaces and policies.

DataCore SANsymphony-V is offered by the pioneer and established leader in the storage virtualization segment and is the industry’s first storage hypervisor that provides all of the above benefits and much more. This week, DataCore’s storage virtualization software added the flexibility of Cloud Storage to its list of features with the announcement that every copy of SANsymphony-V now bundles a TwinStrata Cloudarray virtual appliance. The combination enables companies to achieve true ‘open market’ buying power across their portfolio of storage investments; TwinStrata extends the cost-saving value propostion to a broad and impressive selection of public and private cloud storage providers.

The key implication is that DataCore has opened a path for seamlessly integrating cloud storage into existing storage environments. A cost-effective auto-tiering strategy eliminates the need to orchestrate cumbersome and/or disruptive migrations of existing data –you can take advantage of cloud storage immediately in a manner transparent to existing applications. Recently, I wrote an article entitled Breaking the Storage Array Life Cycle, describing how businesses are using cloud storage to break or extend the rather undesirable 3-5 year life cycle of storage arrays. This joint announcement takes the concept one step further, providing the easiest path to date for offloading data from your expensive on-premise arrays.

With the introduction of cloud as a part of a storage virtualization strategy, there is no longer a need to deploy dedicated off-site infrastructure to move data backups off-premise for disaster recovery. Petabytes of thin-provisioned cloud storage are just a button-click away, all with CloudArray’s robust enterprise-class feature set, including dynamic caching, data reduction, at-rest local key encryption and bandwidth optimization. Augmenting or even replacing an off-site tape strategy is simpler than ever.

As an added benefit, the compelling features of storage virtualization on local storage now apply across multiple cloud storage providers. Concerned about cloud reliability? Just select RAID or mirroring across a choice of cloud storage providers and increase reliability dramatically. You can also virtualize cloud storage along with existing local storage. Want to replicate data in an existing storage array to the cloud? It’s now a simple process — no data to migrate, no APIs, no vendor lock-in and the broadest choice of cloud providers.

Bottom line? Terri McClure from Enterprise Strategy Group may have summed it up best, saying the combined solution “gives companies greater control over storage performance and helps control costs by making it easy to tier their storage across the absolute widest range of resources, from high-performance SSD arrays and legacy disk arrays, to scalable, cost-effective cloud storage.”

Learn more about the unique TwinStrata and DataCore solution today.

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Nicos Vekiarides is the Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder of TwinStrata. He has spent over 20 years in enterprise data storage, both as a business manager and as an entrepreneur and founder in startup companies.

Prior to TwinStrata, he served as VP of Product Strategy and Technology at Incipient, Inc., where he helped deliver the industry's first storage virtualization solution embedded in a switch. Prior to Incipient, he was General Manager of the storage virtualization business at Hewlett-Packard. Vekiarides came to HP with the acquisition of StorageApps where he was the founding VP of Engineering. At StorageApps, he built a team that brought to market the industry's first storage virtualization appliance. Prior to StorageApps, he spent a number of years in the data storage industry working at Sun Microsystems and Encore Computer. At Encore, he architected and delivered Encore Computer's SP data replication products that were a key factor in the acquisition of Encore's storage division by Sun Microsystems.