LeftHand Networks Raises the Bar for SAN Optimization and Multi-Site Disaster Recovery with Seventh Generation SAN/iQ Storage Software Platform

July 29, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Technology News
BOULDER, Colo., July 24, 2007— LeftHand Networks® today announced SAN/iQ 7, the latest release of the company’s flagship Storage Software Platform. The latest software platform enables customers to reduce SAN implementation and management costs. The combination of enterprise-class x86 servers and LeftHand Networks’ SAN/iQ® storage software provides customers an easy-to-deploy open iSCSI SAN with unprecedented scalability, high availability, reliability and performance.

With today’s announcement, LeftHand Networks raises the bar in the SAN industry with an impressive slate of capabilities designed to deliver feature-rich SANs across all price points and capacities. SAN/iQ 7 includes next generation thin provisioning to increase storage utilization and self-healing SANs to proactively correct storage errors. In addition, two value-added solution packs allow for increased customization based on specific data center needs. The SAN/iQ Windows Solution Pack provides superior performance and compatibility for Microsoft Windows Server environments and the SAN/iQ Multi-Site HA/DR solution pack delivers unmatched security, management and data protection for disaster recovery and business continuity requirements.

“As made evident by recent market reports, iSCSI has grown to be an undeniable force in the storage market, and IP SANs are no longer second-class citizens,” said Roger Cox, senior analyst at Gartner Dataquest. “In order for this growth to continue, particularly in the enterprise space, it is necessary for iSCSI providers to continue offering new features that enable large volumes of data to be managed simply while remaining secure.”

“As we continue to grow our business, the new capabilities of SAN/iQ 7 will allow us to seamlessly and efficiently scale our storage infrastructure,” said Jimmy Reid, Director of Technical Operations at the University of Maryland. “The advanced new features incorporated in SAN/iQ help to ensure that our data is protected and high performing without requiring timely management.”

SAN/iQ 7 Product Family
The SAN/iQ Storage Software Platform greatly simplifies storage provisioning, management and data availability. The latest release includes upgraded thin provisioning capabilities to those unmatched in the market today and multi-site and geographic site awareness features absent in the majority of campus SAN offerings currently available. Customers can select from a variety of industry standard hardware platforms best suited to meet performance, capacity, reliability, and budget requirements while also protecting current network storage investments. Customers can implement the best configuration to address today’s needs and easily add additional storage as business and capacity requirements change.

SAN/iQ 7 Storage Software Platform
SAN/iQ 7, with more than 20 new features, is the largest, most comprehensive SAN/iQ release to date, reflecting a movement to deliver IT as a service and providing unique capabilities in the area of virtualization, management and security. Key features of the SAN/iQ Storage Software Platform include:

o Thin Provisioning 2.0
Thin Provisioning 2.0 increases utilization efficiency up to two times that of today’s Thin Provisioning 1.0 implementations, deferring and ultimately reducing storage acquisition costs, while reducing the administrative overhead associated with Thin Provisioning 1.0. Thin provisioning has been a key feature of SAN/iQ software since 2001 and is now automated in SAN/iQ 7. With the introduction of Thin Provisioning 2.0, the burden of provisioning no longer lies with the SAN administrator – instead, storage allocation is completely automated by the SAN. Thin Provisioning 2.0 integrates with all other features including volumes, snapshots and remote copy. With this upgraded technology, volumes can be “shrink wrapped” from fully provisioned to thinly provisioned without downtime, allowing data center operators to reclaim all of the unwritten space in the volume. Additionally, with Thin Provisioning 2.0, snapshots are always thin provisioned.

o Proactive Self-Healing SAN
As larger disk drives become common, the risk of corrupted or lost data due to drive failure increases exponentially. Self-Healing SANs enable greater data reliability and reduce application downtime by encountering and correcting disk errors before end-user applications encounter them and continually optimizing volume access performance as volumes grow over time. In the first case, the SAN/iQ Storage Software Platform reviews the entire set of data blocks in the storage server for read errors on a regular basis. In the event a read error is found, SAN/iQ attempts to recover the data from a known good replica of the data, eliminating bad data blocks and protecting the end-user application from hitting the read error. In addition, SAN/iQ performs data block defragmentation as a background task so that the data blocks for a volume are perpetually optimized for performance and layout over time.

SAN/iQ Multi-Site HA/DR Solution Pack
The SAN/iQ Multi-Site HA/DR Solution Pack provides ultra-high availability and fault-tolerant capabilities in multi-site environments while automating system tasks and reducing SAN management costs. The SAN/iQ Multi-Site HA/DR Solution Pack introduces the concept of a site, or data center, into the management of the SAN, enabling the SAN to intelligently make appropriate configuration and operational decisions to automatically protect data from a complete site failure. Network RAID Advanced Data Protection (ADP) provides 4-way synchronous replication, protecting the SAN from inter-site failures as well as intra-site failures delivering continuous, on-line access to volumes even after three separate system failures. Site failover and failback is automated – removing the need for costly professional services and custom scripts.

In addition to being ideal for multi-site requirements, organizations can use the SAN/iQ Multi-Site HA/DR Solution to partition a SAN into multiple virtual SANs within a single data center –securely isolating application data according to network and business policies.

SAN/iQ Windows Solution Pack
LeftHand Networks builds on its long standing relationship with Microsoft as a Gold Certified Partner with the addition of the SAN/iQ Windows Solution Pack for the large number of customers using Microsoft solutions. The Windows Solution Pack is designed for customers with demanding performance requirements in Windows Server environments and seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Windows Servers. The solution pack includes both a VSS and VDS provider and supports both x86 (32-bit) and x64 (64-bit) Windows Servers. Additionally, data access through the LeftHand open iSCSI SAN is optimized by the LeftHand Networks DSM for MPIO module, which creates an iSCSI data path to every storage node in the cluster for path fault tolerance and high availability, while also producing superior performance as all iSCSI MPIO paths are used for read and write I/O.

Pricing and Availability
The SAN/iQ 7 Storage Software Platform, SAN/iQ Multi-Site SAN HA/DR Solution Pack and the SAN/iQ Windows Solution Pack will be generally available on August 1, 2007. SAN/iQ powered platforms include the HP ProLiant DL320s, HP ProLiant DL380, IBM x3650 and LeftHand NSM 160. SAN/iQ software is currently available through authorized LeftHand Networks Advantage partners. For further information, please contact LeftHand Networks at 1.866.4.IPSANS (866.447.7267).

About LeftHand Networks
LeftHand Networks pioneered IP-based storage area networks (SAN) in 2001. SANs built using LeftHand’s SAN/iQ® software are uniquely able to distribute and protect data across a cluster of industry-standard storage servers. The company’s patented architecture increases data availability, allows users to start small and grow the SAN seamlessly, and simplifies management. The LeftHand SAN is ideal for storage and server consolidation, campus SANs, and disaster recovery. For more information, visit LeftHand at http://www.lefthandnetworks.com/?m=770