iSCSI for the masses appears.

DataCore Software announced that the movement to "total enterprise virtualization" and iSCSI are driving new users to virtual storage. Hundreds of new, small to mid-size customers have installed DataCore's SANmelody storage virtualization software in the second half of 2006.

Companies worldwide are clearly moving beyond component level virtualization to "total enterprise virtualization," which spans servers, desktops and storage. The growing success of VMware and its support for new, low cost iSCSI storage connectivity has also spurred virtualization deployments in smaller to mid- size companies, which want the data protection and greater uptime benefits of a SAN.

"VMware environments and storage networks go hand-in-hand, but the cost to implement a SAN was a major limiting factor until we found and evaluated DataCore's Virtual Infrastructure Foundation," said Chris Cooper, president, Span the Wan. "The software was easy to install on our existing systems with Ethernet connections. Moreover, SANmelody gave us a lot of flexibility and - most importantly - it worked seamlessly with the VMware set up. The price made it a simple purchase decision." Span the Wan offers data and co-location services to the 48 contiguous states.

Server consolidation using VMware provides many benefits, but users are strongly advised to implement a SAN with reliable, fail-over capabilities in support of VMware Virtual Infrastructures. When servers are consolidated, more users are depending on fewer physical servers and, therefore, a single failure can affect many users. Most iSCSI storage solutions that are affordable do not perform true and reliable fail-over. On the other hand, most SAN solutions that provide high quality business continuity to FC SAN data centers are too expensive, and are often unavailable, for iSCSI implementations.

Because SANmelody features business continuity built for enterprise data centers but priced for the iSCSI market, customers who previously could not implement a VMware Virtual Infrastructure because of the high cost of reliable, Fibre Channel (FC) SANs are finding that SANmelody's support of both iSCSI and FC makes it practical to do so.

DataCore Software Makes Virtual Storage Infrastructures and iSCSI SANs Practical for Everyone; SANmelody Opens Virtual Infrastructures to All

"Virtualization means flexibility, faster response to change, better resource utilization and hardware independence," commented George Teixeira, president and CEO, DataCore Software. "Users want these benefits for storage and we are making it possible to do so at affordable prices. The recent up tick in SANmelody solution sales are a direct result of our ability to help enterprises get started in embracing virtualization.

As an example, DataCore's Virtual Infrastructure Foundation is ideal for entry level users and SMBs. It offers true storage virtualization, networking over IP, SANmotion data migration and thin-provisioning virtual capacity that automates disk provisioning to systems and does so at a breakthrough price under $1,000."

SANmelody offers iSCSI customers the same business continuity capabilities that the company's FC SAN data center customers require but at a price that is practical for the iSCSI market. The flexibility to begin with iSCSI, FC, or both, and then accommodate the natural evolution of the customer's infrastructure is a major advantage of SANmelody over other products that support only iSCSI or FC, but not both.

"VMware and DataCore are both Virtual Infrastructure: VMware virtualizes servers; DataCore virtualizes storage," said James Price, president, Fairway Consulting Group, a systems integrator and virtualization solution provider. "DataCore's SANmelody makes Virtual Infrastructures practical for everyone.

Now that VMware also supports iSCSI, this combination can be implemented in practically any business on a standard Ethernet network, without any investment in Fibre Channel infrastructure. The combination is powerful because DataCore eliminates high SAN cost as a barrier to obtaining the many benefits of server consolidation."