Numerous surveys show that the adoption of server virtualization is poised to take off in small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). But what can get overlooked in this trend is that greater than 70% of these virtual server deployments that occur in SMB environments will use external storage. This is where SMBs can run into problems. Identifying an affordable, scalable external storage system that can meet their short and long term needs is sometimes easier said than done but that is exactly what the newly announced SnapServer SAN S2000 is designed to deliver.
A recent blog by Bernd Harzog, an Analyst with The Virtualization Practice and CEO of APM Experts, included some statistics shared during the Fall 2009 Gartner Symposium/ITxpo. Gartner forecasts that by the end of 2010 SMBs with 100 – 199 will have a higher penetration of virtual machines (VMs) than the Global 500 and by the end of 2012, 50% of x86 architectures will run on VMs.
This forecasted growth in server virtualization correlates to an increased adoption of external storage among SMBs. An Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) study found that from 2007 to 2009 the percentage of SMBs that will adopt virtual servers and will use networked storage will grow from 53% to 71%. A similar report that IDC prepared for Overland Storage forecasts that the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) for iSCSI storage systems from 2007 to 2012 will increase significantly with iSCSI storage systems that are priced from $15,000 to 50,000 would grow about 35% annually.
These forecasts for the increased adoption rates for external storage in general and iSCSI storage systems specifically are in part what led to the introduction of the SnapServer SAN S2000. While Overland Storage had previously added iSCSI support to its SnapServer line of products, the S2000 addresses key concerns that SMBs are bound to have as they look to use external storage in conjunction with their virtual server environments. For instance:
- Affordable scalability. The base unit SnapServer SAN S2000 is available in either 12 TB or 24 TB configurations using SATA drives and may even optionally be configured with higher performing SAS drives. This configuration may then be expanded to up to 120 TBs with its SnapServer Expansion E2000 expansion units. But maybe more impressive is its price. The base SnapServer SAN S2000 is available for a list price of $14,995 with its expansion units available for $2,995.
- Virtual server integration. As the adoption of virtual servers is one of the primary drivers behind the growth of network storage in SMBs, the need to integrate with virtual servers is needed out of the box. The SnapServer SAN S2000 delivers on this requirement. It directly integrates with the VMware vCenter management console and includes a Microsoft VSS provider so that application consistent snapshots of Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server instances may be taken.
- High availability. As SMBs adopt server virtualization, their needs for high availability also increase which the SnapServer SAN S2000 can now address. Its new active-active failover capability enables SMBs to mirror data between two S2000 systems. These can then be configured for failover so that should one unit fail or be taken offline for maintenance, application processing can continue uninterrupted.
- More business continuity, data protection and disaster recovery options. In addition to its new mirroring functionality, faster application recoveries can now be achieved using the S2000’s snapshot and replication features. SMBs can recover applications locally using its snapshot feature or use its replication feature to schedule the movement of data offsite.
Overland Storage has been in the business of data protection for years with a specific focus on providing data protection for SMBs. But as these recent analyst reports and trends indicate, SMBs are about to begin rapidly moving to data protection solutions that leverage disk so they can recover application data at the speed that today’s virtualized server environments expect and demand.
This is what makes the SnapServer SAN S2000 so valuable and more than just another iSCSI SAN offering. The SnapServer SAN S2000 certainly meets today’s new requirements of SMBs plus it gives small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) a new options. It provides SMBs and SMEs with an iSCSI SAN solution that is cost-effective, scalable, highly available and includes the advanced data protection and recoverability options that today’s emerging SMB and SME virtual server environments now need.
However these size organizations also may need a complete data protection plan that gives them other options to include both disk and tape. The fact that the SAN S2000 is part of a larger portfolio of products from Overland Storage gives both SMBs and SMEs the flexibility and choice to select from any of a number of products that ensure that their data is protected in the best and most affordable way possible for that application.