DataCore Software has announced that hosted IT-as-a-service company External IT has standardized on its SANsymphony storage virtualization software to serve as their storage area network (SAN).

With VMware virtual servers, Citrix XenApp and DataCore storage virtualization, it allows External IT to deliver a complete virtualization infrastructure.

Joseph Stedler, senior engineer and Dallas data center manager, External IT, said this is in the form of private computing "clouds", tailored individually to a specific client’s needs.

He said he had worked with traditional SANs for eight years and has had firsthand experience with every major hardware SAN – including EMC, HP and NetApp.

"There are various, major drawbacks to hardware SANs. One is the fact that there is a single point of failure at the disk level," he said.

"This is particularly the case when doing, for example, firmware upgrades – on the controllers, on the disks, on the shelves – whereby you have to take the SAN down to perform that task.

"The second most irksome characteristic of hardware SANs is their cost. These EMC SANs, these HP EVAs are inherently expensive, particularly during upgrade time."

Stedler said there are capabilities that DataCore brings to the table that he "absolutely loves".

"The concept of having two SANs as your one SAN environment is just elegantly simple," he said. "You have an ‘A’ side and a ‘B’ side."

Stedler said the beauty of this is that if you need to do hardware maintenance or firmware upgrades, an administrator can actually take down half of the SAN and still have the other half serving production traffic – completely uninterrupted.

"The second, major benefit of DataCore for External IT has to do with performance," he said.

"With DataCore, you will experience enormous performance gains. The performance that DataCore delivers is nothing short of awesome."

Other benefits that make up the "DataCore Difference" for External IT include Seamless Maintenance, Disaster Recovery (through asynchronous replication) and the Flexibility to create your own SANs.

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