Pancetera unveils its storage management and optimization technology for vSphere

Posted by virtualization.info Staff   |   Thursday, July 22nd, 2010   |  

In January virtualization.info reported about a stealth startup called Pancetera.

At that time there was almost no information about the company’s technology but a brief list of provided benefits. A few additional hints found online suggested that the product, possibly called TeraCapture was a storage management solution for VMware virtual infrastructures.

The real product, now that Pancetera unlocked its website, is slightly more complex as it combines the storage management with the storage optimization.

The storage management component is called SmartView.
SmartView aggregates all the storage resources available inside the virtual infrastructure as a hierarchy, under the P: virtual drive.
It supports fibre channel and iSCSI SANs, NFS arrays and even DAS resources like local hard drives. 
Any operating system or management solution that can read and map a CIFS shared folder or a NFS volume can remotely access the P: network drive, performing files management with simple drag&drop operations.

The P: drive can be accessed by 3rd party applications too, so customers can avoid to install agents on each virtual machine to access its file system.
SmartView will act as a proxy, allowing to remotely perform activities on guest operating system files.
Actually, assuming the 3rd party application supports network drives, this implies that customers don’t have to install anymore multiple agents. A single agent can be installed on any secondary machine that maps the P: network drive (it must be seen how this complies with the ISVs licensing terms).

Pancetera reports that its technology works at least with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (demo) and EMC Legato NetWorker backup solutions.

The storage optimization component is called SmartRead.
This piece of the solution cuts unnecessary I/O operations by marking which parts of the virtual machine disk file are redundant or no longer in use. SmartRead recreates a normalized VM that is ready to boot while consolidating active data and synthesizing a dedupe optimized VMDK file.
Pancetera claims that this approach can reduce the I/O load by as much as 80%.
The company even suggests that SmartRead increases the chances to accomplish long-distance vMotion as it cuts the time to replicate a VMDK file across WAN by 95%:

SmartRead_WANAcceleration.jpg

Here the primary competitor of Pancetera is another recently launched startup called Virsto Software, that virtualization.info covered in March. But while Pancetera is currently focusing on the VMware’s platforms, the Virsto technology is just for Hyper-V.

Both SmartView and SmartRead are delivered through a virtual appliance that uses Linux as guest operating system.
The product is able to map the storage resources of multiple virtualization hosts, so a single instance is required for the whole virtual infrastructure.

Pancetera_Architecture.jpg

Pancetera reads OVF standard format and supports both VI 3.5 and vSphere 4.0.

On top of that, the company is now featuring an interesting list of technology partners. Besides the obvious presence of VMware, there are CommVault, Riverbed Technology, Symantec and TSANet.

 

The virtualization.info Virtualization Industry Radar has been updated accordingly.



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