How can Sanbolic software help me?
With active-active access to shared files on SAN storage providing improved architecture for availability, users can rest assured that they will be able to get at their critical content assets quickly and at all times.
Keeping applications and data available in the event of hardware failure is of vital importance for most organizations. IT organizations are faced with the challenge of maximizing system availability and eliminating any single point of failure.
Sanbolic’s software allows better utilization of the inherent redundancy in a SAN, and provides an improved set of options for backup as well as server and storage failover. This gives administrators the ability to better match high availability architectures with application requirements, and significantly reduce the cost and complexity typically associated with high availability solutions
The tools in common use today to protect data and keep applications available include RAID storage, storage-array based data mirroring, active-passive server clusters, and backup software. Although they can be effective when used properly, the financial and administrative cost of these tools, especially mirroring and failover cluster, are often an obstacle to deploying them in many environments that may benefit from more protection from hardware failure. Mirroring and server failover clusters typically require commitment to a specific configurations of a single vendor’s hardware, and active-passive failover clusters double the capital cost for any application. Data backup architectures typically require buying and administering a license of backup software for each server resulting in a complex management and significant administrative cost. Although SAN storage inherently provides connectivity between multiple servers and shared storage hardware, the use of local file systems typically means that the tools for protecting data and keeping applications available often are not very different than those used in direct-attached storage architectures.
Sanbolic’s shared storage software can improve data protection and system availability solutions along several dimensions:
Reassign Volumes on-the-fly. LaScala can quickly reassign a volume (including NTFS volumes) to any sever on the SAN for data access in the event of a server failure, or for a manually administered backup operation.
Copying or Mirroring Data. LaScala can mirror data across heterogeneous data arrays, providing a very cost effective mirroring option. Sanbolic also provides a product SILM which can move or copy data across any volume seen by the server (SAN, DAS, or a Network Share) based on file type and usage profile. This provides a low cost solution, especially in SMB environments, to protect data, and to easily move less valuable or infrequently used data to a lower cost storage pool
Application Availability. Melio FS allows all servers to be given access to data on a SAN taking advantage of the inherent path redundancy of a SAN infrastructure.
This Active-active access to shared files on SAN storage provides additional options for maintaining availability in the event of server failure.
Typical active-passive failover clusters use specialized software to ensure that only one server accesses a volume at a given time, but that a redundant server can be given access to the data in the event that the primary server fails. This adds complexity and leads to low server utilization.
In contrast, Sanbolic’s software allow many types of applications (such as file serving) to have concurrent access to shared data. All servers can be actively supporting the application under normal operations, reducing the number of servers required. Should a given server fail, the other servers running the application continue to function, maintaining application availability, although at a reduced capacity. In addition Melio FS and LaScala support the Windows native DFS (distributed File System) and NLB (network load balancing) thus allowing even higher availability without increase in cost and deployment of proprietary solutions.
For applications that do not permit multiple application servers to share concurrent access to the data (for example, most databases, including SQL), Sanbolic’s software still provides improved availability options. All data base servers can access any database on the SAN, so the database need not be installed on a particular server. If any server fails, the databases it had been running can be quickly restarted on other machines, ensuring high
Allowing Active-Active and N+1 Clusters. Since both Melio FS and LaScala allow shared access to the volume and file system, users can build flexible active-active clusters instead the traditional active passive approach. In addition users can deploy application clustering products even in environments with non shared applications such as SQL, and Exchange and utilize the shared storage capability to cluster and migrate the server and application without having to bring the store or database file offline.
Backup. Since all servers can share access to the file system, the file system can be backed up from a single server, requiring only a single copy of backup software. Unlike SAN-based block data backup, the file system structure is retained, facilitating data recovery in the event of storage hardware failure. Users can utilize a single back up application license, and flexibly back up any set of data of any SAN connected server, at any given time with no disruption or downtime. They can also take full advantage of the high speed FC connectivity and removing the slow process of coping data through the Ethernet network.
- Active-Active access to all data on a SAN, permitting improved application availability architectures.
- Takes advantage of inherent redundant paths to data provided by SAN Fabricany server can be given access to any data on the SAN. A single server can back up all data on the SAN while maintaining the file system architecture.
- Software based data mirroring provides low cost option for data protection and supports heterogeneous hardware environments.
- Sanbolic’s Simple Information Lifecycle Manager utility provides a tool to manage policy based file migrations or copies, giving administrators flexible control over data replication and lifecycle management.