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LeftHand Networks Extends Virtualization Capabilities With Eighth Generation SAN/iQ Storage Software

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SAN/iQ 8 Delivers New Levels of Efficiency, Capacity Utilization, and Simplified Management

LeftHand Networks, the leading provider of highly available iSCSI SANs that optimize virtual environments, today announced its eighth generation SAN/iQ(R) storage software. Available on LeftHand Networks’ full portfolio of SAN platforms, SAN/iQ 8 extends the advantages of LeftHand Networks’ storage solutions in virtualized environments with features that reduce costs, simplify management and deliver new levels of storage efficiency and capacity utilization.

"Virtualization technologies are placing new efficiency requirements on storage, particularly in terms of management, availability and cost," said Mark Peters, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. "With its new SAN/iQ 8 storage software, LeftHand Networks is demonstrating that it understands the unique challenges and complexities posed in such environments, by adding dynamic storage management capabilities to its SANs that can extend users’ abilities to cost-effectively deploy and control virtualization technologies."

The new generation of LeftHand Networks’ SAN/iQ storage software includes the following new features:

  • SAN/iQ SmartClone(TM) Volumes. LeftHand Networks’ SmartClone technology instantly replicates data volumes and data sets without requiring additional storage space. Each volume clone is a virtual copy that enables customers to save time and space in a variety of environments and applications, including server and desktop provisioning, boot-from-SAN provisioning and rapidly copying production data into test and development environments.
  • Integrated Performance Manager. Advanced performance monitoring and reporting tools help identify performance bottlenecks associated with increased network and storage resource loads within virtualized environments by analyzing performance from the application server down to a specific volume or snapshot. The new Integrated Performance Manager includes an integrated performance monitor and the ability to export the SAN performance data for trending and analysis. The SAN performance data is available via standard SNMP for integration into third party network management applications.
  • Virtual Connection Manager. Virtualization drives a significant increase in the number of connections to the SAN, which increases the importance of having tools that can help to identify and troubleshoot performance issues. To simplify management, SAN/iQ 8 includes a user interface (UI) enhancement that allows users to view a map of the connections between their servers, virtual machines and volumes. This graphical display helps IT managers alleviate management complexity.
  • Advanced Programmatic and Scripting Interfaces. Virtualization platforms and solutions present opportunities for tighter integration between management consoles and the underlying storage environment. SAN/iQ 8 implements an open set of interfaces that allow other applications and management consoles to automatically control SAN/iQ functions. The new API and CLI interfaces are particularly suited to automating manual processes in users’ virtual environments.

"To unleash the potential efficiencies and agility of virtualization, customers need innovative storage solutions that align with their virtualization strategies," said Larry Cormier, vice president of marketing, LeftHand Networks. "Powered by SAN/iQ 8 software, LeftHand Networks’ virtualized storage solutions enable customers to truly optimize their virtualized environments and take full advantage of the cost savings and efficiencies without making trade-offs in performance or reliability."

As virtualization adoption extends into desktop environments it will expose the issues and limitations of most traditional storage systems. For example, storing desktop system image data on external storage can be expensive, performance bottlenecks can occur as many desktops boot up within a tight window each morning, and traditional hardware RAID may not provide the level of availability needed.

The SAN/iQ 8 software addresses these cost, utilization and availability challenges. By storing de-duplicated system images with SmartClone, customers can cost effectively store image data on their SAN. Storage clustering addresses performance bottlenecks by load balancing the system image across every disk drive in the SAN to ensure that peak boot-up windows are supported. In addition, SAN/iQ Network RAID provides superior availability by protecting against system, rack, and even site failures — something dual controller systems with hardware RAID cannot do without expensive and complex software add-ons.

"Customer deployments of VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) continue to grow rapidly as companies realize the benefits of improved desktop management and streamlined IT processes," said Jeff Jennings, vice president of desktop product and solutions, VMware."LeftHand Networks’ SAN/iQ product line complements VMware VDI deployments with its cost-effective and scalable storage management."

"SAN/iQ 8 features can help simplify deployment and improve storage space efficiency within Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V environments," said Dai Vu, director of virtualization solutions at Microsoft. "Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager and LeftHand Network’s new SAN/iQ management enhancements complement each other and are examples of the management tools customers require as they move to a dynamic IT infrastructure."

"The SAN/iQ 8 software platform with its SmartClone feature and built-in high availability is a great option for customers deploying Citrix XenApp, XenDesktop, and XenServer environments," said Matt Fairbanks, vice president of product marketing, Virtualization & Management Division, Citrix Systems. "We are pleased that LeftHand Networks SANs are certified Citrix-Ready solutions. We are working with LeftHand to leverage the built-in functions of the SAN/iQ 8 software platform for thin provisioning, cloning and snapshot of virtual machines within the storage management domain to increase performance of storage-focused virtual machine operations."

"LeftHand Networks’ new SAN/iQ API is quite advanced and when used in conjunction with Quest’s Virtual Access Suite enables us to programmatically create and manage SmartClone volumes, automating the storage management tasks associated with hundreds of virtualized desktops and reducing the storage requirements for Quest-enabled platform-independent VDI deployments," says Peter Ghostine, chief technology officer, Quest Software’s Provision Networks Division.

Availability

LeftHand Networks’ SAN/iQ 8 storage software will be available October 2008 through LeftHand Networks’ resellers and VARs throughout the United States and Canada, and value added distributors throughout Europe. The SAN/iQ 8 storage software will come fully integrated on LeftHand Networks’ SAN solutions and Virtual SAN Appliance (VSA(TM)) for VMware ESX, and will be available to existing customers with current support contracts at no cost. For further information, please contact LeftHand Networks at 1.866.4.IPSANS (866.447.7267) or go to http://www.lefthandnetworks.com/.

LeftHand Networks will showcase and provide informative demonstrations of its SAN solutions and SAN/iQ 8 capabilities at VMworld 2008, booth #939. The conference runs from September 15 – 18, 2008 at The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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