StorMagic SvSAN – Scalable Virtual HA Storage for the Masses

HA (High Availability) storage is nothing new to business.  You need to keep your critical apps up and running and allow it to survive failures.  But when it comes to ROBO, the game changes.  Cost becomes a major factor in any design decision, and not just licensing, but infrastructure as well.  Do you have extra physical space for a storage system?  Do you have the infrastructure, power, and cooling to support a new solution?  If you didn’t answer a resounding “YES” to all that, this is where StorMagic SvSAN can help!


What is StorMagic SvSAN?


At it’s simplest explanation, SvSAN is a virtual storage solution that can be built inside you existing virtual infrastructure and mirrors itself across multiple nodes to build a highly available solution.


But that’s an overly simplified explanation of the product, when you start to dig deeper, you see its capable of so much more.

First of all, SvSAN is a lightweight solution.  Each node only requires a VM with 1 vCPU and 1gb of RAM.  You also only need 2 nodes to get started.  You can simply throw 2 servers with some disks in them at a small site and have a fully redundant storage solution without expanding your footprint.  If you need some higher end features such as SSD caching or automated tiering, StorMagic has an advanced license to add enterprise features to this offering.

Now that’s easy to do if you want HA all in one physical location, but what if you want to step it up and allow your solution to survive a location failure (aka a metro cluster).  Well using the witness, you can mirror the data to multiple sites and protect from an interruption of service as well as data corruption.  This witness is built with remote links in mind.  It can handle up to 3 seconds of latency and up to 20% packet loss.  In fact, you only need about 9kbs of bandwidth per mirror.  So you can setup the witness in a central location and have it manage all your remote sites over the wan.  Probably the coolest feature I found about the witness was that its so lightweight, you can run it on a Raspberry PI!  $30 and you now have the witness external from all your mirrors.


StorMagic at TechFieldDay 13


This is not StorMagic’s first trip to Tech Field day, but I had the pleasure of meeting with StorMagic at TechFieldDay 13 (#TFD13) earlier this month in Austin, Texas.  I encourage you all to check out the videos from CEO Hans O’Sullivan as well as Technical Services Director Luke Pruen

I’m headed to Storage Field Day 11!

Storage Field DayWe’re just 1 week away from Storage Field Day 11 and I’m proud to say I’ll be there as a delegate!  For those of you who don’t know, the Tech Field Day series (a GestaltIT production) is a chance for vendors and members of the tech community to come together and discus their latest product innovations.  These sessions are broadcast live and are joined by the greater community on twitter.  Now for those of you familiar with the process, you might be saying “Sean, that was an over simplified explanation” and you’re right, it was.  Delegates are highly technical and won’t pull any punches when asking questions, so presenters need to be on top of their game and knowledgeable about all aspects of the products.  Nothing is really off limits, the only rule is no throwing things.


What companies will be presenting?

Traditionally with most Field Day events, 8 companies will present to the delegates.  They range from large established companies down to those coming out of stealth (this is a great type of event for coming out of stealth btw).  So lets look at the list of presenters:

Storage Field Day 11 Companies

As you can see, we have some well established vendors, some new ones, and 2 blank spaces (those would be the stealth companies).  I expect we’ll see some updates on storage mediums (Both spinning disk and Flash) as well as storage systems (Both Hardware and Software).

So what’s next?

I’m not really sure what is next.  While storage field day is not new to me (You’ll see me in the background of the EMC presentation at SFD5), I’ve never been a delegate before.  I’m looking forward to being on the other side of this and learning a lot.  So be sure to tune in next week and join in the conversation on twitter using the #SFD11 hashtag!

Oxygen Cloud is bringing the private cloud to you!

logo-oxygen-cloud-1004x408About 2 weeks ago, I was asked to participate in a private beta of a new platform Oxygen Cloud is releasing today.  This new product, called the Oxygen Storage Connector allows you to use your own local storage for your oxygen cloud account.


Installation of the Storage Connector was very simple and straight forward.  You just run the setup program on the windows server you want to use.  Once this is done, you login through the web interface and point the system to the folder you want to use for your storage.  You can install this inside a virtual machine, or do like I did and put it on my home NAS server that runs windows server 2008 R2.  Just remember that you can’t install this on a computer running the oxygen cloud client as well.  More information on the setup process (and a download link) can be found here.


OxygenCloudStorageConnector01Once the setup is all done, you can then connect to the Oxygen Cloud website and inspect your cloud storage.  I immediately provisioned out 250GB for oxygen cloud and then went back to check the used space on my windows server.  To my surprise, my usage was only a couple of megabytes.  This means that it is setup as thin provisioning and won’t eat up all your storage right away.  The files inside the storage appear to be broken up into 513k chunks and it is not discernable (to the naked eye) what is stored there.


Usage of the Storage Connector is simple too.  Inside my “O” drive, is a new folder in which anything placed there is will be put on my new private cloud.  If your windows server is up and running, you will be able to sync new files to this storage space.  It really is just that simple and Oxygen Cloud has now given you the ability to use your personal storage with the oxygen cloud interface.


A couple of reasons why I like this product:

  • OxyCloud 042_1This is the first I’ve seen of a company offering a solution to host your own cloud storage with their public product.
  • This will help ease the mind of people who have concerns with keeping their data out in public or hybrid cloud as now you can control the security of the data-at-rest.
  • This allows you to get more than 5gb from your cloud storage (at the expense of using your own bandwidth)


I’d also like to see a couple of things come from this in the future of this product:

  • Detect users that are on a LAN (or WAN) connection to the storage so that the traffic doesn’t need to go out to the internet to sync.  This will allow near instant syncing when a customer is using oxygen cloud at the workplace.
  • Allow multiple instances of the cloud connector setup under the same storage profile so that data is backed up to multiple sites for HA and DR solutions.
  • Offer setups for MACs and Linux machines or create a virtual appliance that can have storage provisioned directly to it.


All in all I see great work here and you can download the Oxygen Storage Connector for windows here.