Enhanced DFS namespace automation highlights Data DynamicsStorageX 7.5 release

Improved automation of Microsoft’s DFS global namespace management capability highlights this release.

Data Dynamics StorageX 7.5 Screenshot 700Teaneck N.J.-based cloud storage management vendor Data Dynamics has released StorageX 7.5, the new version of its intelligence-based storage management solution for hybrid and private cloud storage environments. While the upgrade offers several new features, the most significant is the enhancement of the automation of Microsoft’s Distributed File System (DFS) global namespace management capability.

“Today, we are seeing much more interest in the cloud space and utility model for storage, as business units are now dictating what they want,” said Piyush Mehta, Data Dynamics’ CEO. “Traditionally, storage was block and file, but the new generation is more scale up and out NAS technologies and more object storage at a cheaper price with analytics like Hadoop.”

Mehta said his company is poised to benefit from this transition.

“The challenge is that the legacy environment is traditionally managed, with homegrown scripts, and vendor based tools that address specific hardware types and siloes and aren’t heterogeneous across siloes,” he said.

“StorageX addresses this because we manage across various siloes of storage,” Mehta added. “Today we support file storage. Coming up, by mid-summer, we will add support for object storage and Hadoop, making us the true storage management layer.”

The major feature in this release has been the addition of automation around Microsoft DFS.

“There has been a challenge in upgrading it, with Server 2003 coming to end of life, since updating DFS is a manual and tedious process,” Mehta said.

StorageX 7.5 leverages a wizard to consolidate and merge namespaces, providing features which Microsoft does not offer natively, to update namespaces from Server 2003 to both 2008 and 2012.This includes restoring and merging of namespaces. It also allows back up and restoration of standalone and domain based DFS roots and metadata. It handles a broad range of replication, and offers advanced reporting on status, dependencies and root and share properties. Finally it permits the migration of 2000 to 2008 Root, something Microsoft does not have the capability to do.

“This gives you a ton of automation at the various layers you are looking at managing,” Mehta said. “A key namespace challenge is finding data trails in virtualization, and StorageX 7.5 does that too.”

StorageX 7.5 also introduces native NetApp migration support for disaster recovery and migration, with the ability to utilize NetApp SnapMirror technology as a replication or migration mechanism at the link level. Security and auditing have been improved with the ability to control access to the StorageX server via static pre-defined roles. In addition, audit capabilities have been enhanced with StorageX logs now presented in the user interface. The new version also adds new automated configuration checks to verify the “health” or valid configuration of storage resources and namespace resources managed by StorageX. Reporting has also been improved, with a series of static pre-configured report “views” for increased management simplicity.

The vast majority of Data Dynamics’ business goes to market through its reseller channel, with Arrow handling their North American business. About five per cent of their business goes direct, when customers demand they do it that way.

“It’s not our first choice,” Mehta said.

StorageX 7.5 is available now, with pricing starting at $USD 50,000.