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'Virtualizing' disparate storage resources

by Linda Gail Christie

Would you like to get a point-in-time snapshot of your disparate storage resources regardless of which disk array supplier houses your data? Would you like to create a universal storage pool out of your Fibre Channel, SCSI, EIDE, and IBM SSA drives? Would you like to substantially improve performance yields from equipment already on your floor?

According to DataCore Software, these are just a few of the advantages that network storage pools powered by the company's SANsymphony are providing - without shutting down, rewiring, or overloading application servers.

"Currently, anyone who has legacy SCSI disk arrays alongside Fibre Channel and EMC boxes are having to use various, vendor-specific utilities to monitor and control their storage resources," says Augie Gonzalez, director of product marketing for DataCore Software. "With SANsymphony, a central administrator can take overall custody of disparate storage resources in a homogeneous way. No longer do they have to be overwhelmed by each particular disk vendor's administrative nuances."

Gonzalez says SANsymphony's built-in caching algorithms are adding new value to existing storage assets. "Many people have equipment on the floor that doesn't live up to its performance potential," he says. "Now you can come in after the fact and accelerate their I/O response time from 6-8 milliseconds down to under 250 microseconds through caching built into the virtualized disk access."

Configured as network nodes, SANsymphony storage domain servers provide all these functions without adding software to application servers, according to Gonzalez. He continues, "IT departments can grow the capacity and bandwidth of their storage pool with relatively unintelligent and inexpensive arrays, rather than buying a really pricey big box -- enabling acquisition increments in small affordable steps."

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Storage management tips are written by Linda Gail Christie, a contributing editor based in Tulsa, Okla.

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