Dataram Rolls Out New HA Optimizer for Midrange SANs

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-03-02 Print this article Print

The new appliance can improve storage I/O performance up to 30 times using block-level read-and-write caching, Dataram said.

Dataram, a New Jersey-based memory and data storage-making company with a history that dates back to 1967, launched a new storage optimization appliance Feb. 28 for midrange-size Fibre Channel SANs.

Dataram's solid-state XcelaSAN Model 100 with High Availability, the latest in a line of other similar appliances, is designed for optimizing 24/7-type mission-critical applications. The plug-and-play machine can improve I/O performance up to 30 times using block-level read-and-write caching, Dataram CTO Jason Caulkins told eWEEK.

"The main news here is that we have achieved high availability across multiple platforms," Caulkins told eWEEK. "And we'll be shipping this new product next week."

The XcelaSAN Model 100 includes data protection through NAND flash disks with mirrored RAID, hot-swappable components and UPS protection from power failure, Caulkins said. The appliance also extends the life of a user's existing infrastructure by eliminating the need for additional storage arrays or the installation of much more expensive high-end storage, he said.

In addition, the latest version of the appliance now includes an enhanced graphical user interface and command-line interface for ease of configuration and management; an improved SNMP management interface; and advanced performance monitoring and statistics reporting to assist with SAN performance planning.

"The focus of the new appliance is to help users get more virtual server density on physical machines," analyst Terri McClure of Enterprise Strategy Group told eWEEK. "That's been an issue; our research indicates broad-but not deep-virtualization adoption. In other words, lots of companies are doing server virtualization, but not a lot of their environment is virtualized.

"One of the issues is scalability and performance of the storage infrastructure. There are a number of companies striving to help solve this issue in different ways, but we see an emerging ecosystem of appliances that sit between the storage and physical servers that can provide performance acceleration services to the virtual machines."

Can Be Shared Across Various Environments

What McClure believes is attractive about the Dataram appliance is that it can be shared across the storage environment and used as/where needed.

"This differs from how traditional storage vendors solve the problem with solid-state solutions that can only accelerate for the storage system they are a part of," McClure said. "That should help with the density issue as IT can get a higher number of virtual machines on each physical machine to drive greater efficiencies."

Jim Handy of Objective Analysis told eWEEK that "DataRam seems to have important customer support, and the product is unique. It should have a good chance of success.
"They had a good idea when the XcelaSAN was first introduced but appear to have missed the mark a bit, and worked with customers to get it right. The fact that customers were willing to pitch in and help with it shows a good bit of support, which I would read to mean that the product should do well when introduced."

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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