Storage In Microsoft Environments: So Many Approaches

Storage In Microsoft Environments: So Many Approaches

The recently concluded Microsoft TechEd conference, the showcase of everything related to building Microsoft-centric IT environments, was a good place to look at what is in store from storage vendors targeting this part of the IT industry.

Vendors used the conference to show a wide range of hardware, software and services targeting primary storage, archiving, disaster recovery, and virtualized and cloud storage in Microsoft environments.

To see many of these new solutions, turn the page to join CRN on a recap of the storage news.

Barracuda Networks: Archiving Corporate Email

The new Barracuda Message Archiver version 3.5 from Campbell, Calif.-based Barracuda Networks has added Microsoft Exchange 2013, Microsoft Office 365, Google Apps and Copy to the list of corporate email systems with which it is integrated.

Barracuda Message Archiver 3.5 off-loads email storage, streamlines eDiscovery and compliance and provides permissions-based access to any email message, the company said. It now provides access to messages via Outlook 2013, as well as via Windows, Mac, iOS and Android mobile devices. Users can use the mobile app to do searches, reply to messages, forward messages and push messages back to their mailboxes.

Brocade: Enhancing Hyper-V Support For SANs

Brocade, along with partners Microsoft and Hitachi Data Systems, used TechEd to unveil a joint solution architecture that leverages the Storage Management Initiative (SMI-S) standard to support Hyper-V virtual machines with increased simplification and automation across SANs.

The joint support for SMI-S standards provides a single management interface for the entire virtualization environment that lets users manage hosts, virtual machines, networking, storage and fabric from a single pane of glass to cut deployment times for virtual machines and services, Brocade said. The solution combines Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager (VMM), the Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform G1000 and the Brocade SMI-S Agent server.

CommVault: Enhanced Simpana For Microsoft Applications

CommVault, Oceanport, N.J., used Microsoft TechEd to show new enhancements to its Simpana software platform for Microsoft applications and infrastructure the company said can help customers modernize their data management strategies while cutting costs, increasing data management efficiency and reducing risk. The Simpana enhancements include virtual machine life-cycle management in Hyper-V environments, archive enhancements for Exchange, and updates to support Office 365, SharePoint and SQL Server. The enhancements are now available to Simpana 10 customers. Licensing for CommVault’s Simpana software Data Protection Advanced (DPA) edition, which includes snapshot-based protection plus backup functionality for all supported Microsoft applications, is priced at $7,250 per terabyte.

DataON: Partnering With HGST On Cluster-In-A-Box

DataON Storage, a San Jose, Calif.-based developer of high-performance storage subsystems, partnered with HGST, a Western Digital subsidiary that develops spinning and flash disk drives, to an update to DataON's Cluster-in-a-Box (CiB) platform.

The new CiB-9224 converged storage appliance from DataON is based on a modular chassis supporting dual compute nodes and up to 42 TBs of 12-Gbps SAS tiered storage using HGST's Ultrastar SSDs and hard drives. The CIB-9224 leverages Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 clustering technology with Microsoft's Storage Spaces technology for pooling storage capacity into virtual drives.

Dell: High-Density Storage Support For Microsoft Storage Spaces

Dell at TechEd said it is the biggest OEM storage supporter of Microsoft Storage Spaces technology for pooling storage capacity into virtual drives, and does so via a variety of servers, controllers, JBOD enclosures and more.

It expanded on that support with the news that its Dell PowerVault MD3060e enclosure now supports its PowerEdge R620, R720 and R720xd servers. The MD3060e is a 4U, 60-drive, high-density enclosure that expands to up to 240 hard drives behind a single server. Together with a fully configured R720xd with 50 TBs of internal capacity, this packs over a petabyte of capacity in under a half-rack of standard server rack space while supporting Microsoft Storage Spaces.

Dell Software: NetVault Backup 10

Dell Software used TechEd to unveil the release of the NetVault Backup 10 cross-platform enterprise data protection solution, and the Dell DR6000 deduplication appliance.

NetVault Backup 10 features a new web-based GUI, three-times the scalability of the previous version, and increased performance through tight integration with the DR6000.

The DR6000 targets larger enterprises with over double the raw capacity and greater scalability than Dell's previous model. It provides up to 180 TB of usable storage capacity, as well as source-side deduplication for NFS and CIFS backups. Data from up to 64 different Dell DR series deduplication appliances can be replicated to a single DR6000 appliance.

Gridstore: Strikes Microsoft Gold

Gridstore, Mountain View, Calif., said at TechEd that it received Gold Partner Status for OEM Competency from Microsoft. The company claims it offers the only storage purpose-built for Hyper-V and Windows 2012 environments. Gridstore's storage solutions accelerate application performance by providing each virtual machine with its own virtual storage stack.

Imation: Mobile Workspace Data And Apps On A USB Key

IronKey by Imation showed the IronKey Workspace W700, a secure USB flash drive that takes advantage of the Windows To Go feature of Microsoft Windows 8.1 for BYOD scenarios.

Windows To Go allows a manageable corporate PC image to be installed on a bootable certified USB device, giving users the ability to securely run their business PC workloads from any device. The IronKey Workspace W700 lets users deploy ruggedized portable workspaces with military-grade security, hardware encryption, support for CAC/PIV login, and enterprise-class provisioning with centralized management.

InMage Systems: Data Protection For All Types Of Clouds

InMage Systems, a San Jose, Calif.-based developer of cloud-based data protection solutions, unveiled Scout 7.1, the newest version of its technology for hybrid cloud backup, recovery and migration.

Scout 7.1, available as software, a service or an appliance, is the first solution that lets customers use public, hosted and private clouds as a backup and disaster recovery target, InMage said. The solution features recover time to objective (RTO) and disaster recovery drill operations that are optimized for larger environments. This includes the ability to power up virtual machines for disaster recovery or for disaster testing, the company said.

Mimecast: Archiving Legacy Data

Mimecast, a Watertown, Mass.-based developer of email and file archiving and security solutions, unveiled a partnership with Australia-based data analytics firm Nuix on a solution to help customers optimize the speed, volume and accuracy at which data is produced.

Mimecast is using the integrated Nuix technology to bypass legacy archive APIs and target data directly to more quickly and easily migrate data from on-premise archiving solutions to Mimecast’s cloud-based email management platform.

NetIQP: Workload Management And Disaster Recovery

Houston-based NetIQ used Microsoft TechEd to unveil the latest generation of its PlateSpin workload management and disaster recovery products, including PlateSpin Forge 4, PlateSpin Protect 11 and PlateSpin Migrate 11. The new solutions target efficient disaster recovery, server consolidation and migration capabilities for virtual and physical server workloads. New enhancements to the PlateSpin include extending the capabilities of VMware's Site Recovery Manager (SRM) to physical servers, extending NetIQ's proprietary, high-speed block-based transfer protocols to the latest Microsoft OS versions, and expanding hypervisor and operating systems support in the company’s all-in-one disaster recovery appliance.

OCZ: Flash Acceleration For Microsoft SQL Server

SSD pioneer OCZ, which early this year was acquired by Toshiba, used Microsoft TechEd North America 2014 to showcase two accelerated flash-based storage solutions.

The first was a beta version of OCZ’s next-generation ZD-XL SQL Accelerator, a device that targets optimized and efficient flash acceleration for Microsoft SQL Server environments. Working with SQL Server 2014, the solution provides improved storage performance, availability and manageability, OCZ said. The second was a solution jointly developed with business intelligence software developer Panorama Software, which provides high-performance business analytics for SQL Server applications using OCZ’s ZD-XL SQL Accelerator.

Pure Storage: Expanded All-Flash Storage Array Line

Pure Storage, a Mountain View, Calif.-based developer of all-flash storage arrays at TechEd unveiled the expansion of its flagship FA‐400 Series with new entry‐level and high-capacity all-flash storage arrays, as well as the release of its Purity Operating Environment: Purity 4.0.

The new FlashArray FA‐405 targets midsize enterprises, distributed operations and single-application deployments with up to 40 TB of usable space. The new FlashArray FA‐450 offers increased performance and capacity for large enterprises, with up to 250 TB of usable space.

The new Purity 4.0 software features FlashRecover, which includes native replication, snapshot, and policy management services to work as part of a comprehensive disaster recovery and data protection solution.

Tegile: Support For Microsoft Server Message Block

Tegile Systems, Newark, Calif., unveiled support for the Microsoft Server Message Block (SMB) 3.0 network storage protocol, and said it will develop storage systems leveraging several of the technology’s key features.

The latest version of Microsoft Server Message Block (SMB) 3.0 lets users use file-based protocols to store virtual machines and integrates well with Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization. In addition to SMB 3.0, Tegile's Zebi arrays also support off-loaded data transfer (ODX) to transfer data within or between compatible storage devices without having to first pass through a host computer. They also support integration with Microsoft's Virtual Machine Manager in the Microsoft Operations Console to monitor virtual machine health, and new network fault tolerance and performance tools.

Tintri: Hybrid Flash Storage For Virtualized Environments

Mountain View, Calif.-based Tintri was at TechEd showing the latest versions of its VMstore hybrid disk/flash storage arrays. Tintri VMstore, which originally focused on VMware environments, also now supports Hyper-V environments.

Tintri for Hyper-V sets up in under 10 minutes, letting administrators manage virtual machines and vDisks instead of LUNs and volumes. It scales seamlessly from tens of virtual machines to thousands of virtual machines without additional storage provisioning.

Tintri for Hyper-V also instantly identifies performance hot-spots at the hypervisor, network and storage levels. It protects individual virtual machines with customizable policies and can be used to create hundreds of high-performance, zero-space virtual machine clones.

Veeam: New Hyper-V Support

Veeam Software, Baar, Switzerland, introduced its upcoming Veeam Management Pack (MP) v7 for System Center, which now includes support for Microsoft Hyper-V. The Veeam MP integrates fully with Microsoft System Center Operations Manager to provide app-to-metal visibility for both Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere layers. This release also enhances visibility for the Veeam Backup & Replication™ infrastructure, which protects a business’ critical Hyper-V and VMware environment.

General availability for Veeam Management Pack v7 for System Center is planned for July 2014.

Violin Memory: New All-Flash Memory Array

TechEd also saw Santa Clara, Calif.-based Violin Memory unveil its new Windows Flash Array (WFA), a storage solution developed with Microsoft to embed Windows Storage Server 2012 into the Violin 6264 all-flash memory array to increase the performance of Microsoft application workloads.

Violin Memory claims its new Windows Flash Array with 2012 SQL Server delivered nearly double the write performance and up to 50 percent more read performance compared to an unnamed all-flash array connected via Fibre Channel.

Zadara Storage: Storage-As-A-Service For Microsoft Azure

Irvine, Calif.-based Zadara Storage used TechEd to debut its enterprise-class cloud storage as a service (STaaS) for the Microsoft Azure public cloud. Zadara claims its service provides Microsoft Azure users the ability to run enterprise IaaS workloads on file (NFS and CIFS) and block (iSCSI) storage with the performance, consistency and privacy of single-tenant solutions, but with multitenant scale and pricing.

The service is also the first multi-cloud-capable SAN and NAS-as-a-service offering, which Zadara said means IT managers can provision and deploy once to Zadara’s platform and then attach the same storage to Microsoft Azure and other public cloud offerings such as AWS.