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StorMagic Blog

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That time of the year is here once again when the IT gurus of the world migrate to San Francisco for the virtualization event of the year and it should be the biggest one yet.


Most VMworld attendees have a specific goal in mind, typically to find a set of solutions which fit a gap in their IT infrastructure projects or business objectives. Like a trip to the grocery store, VMworld is the ideal place to find what you need but you can also find yourself walking away with everything but what you came there for.


If hyper-convergence is part of your strategic objective then you need to take the opportunity to visit the StorMagic team at booth 2627 to learn more about SvSAN, the most cost effective virtual SAN enabling hyper-converged SME and multi-site infrastructures.

Not at VMworld this year?

If you can’t make it to VMworld this year, don’t worry, StorMagic is hosting a live webinar on August 20 on enabling hyper-convergence for SMEs with StorMagic SvSAN. Register here

Win a conference pass to VMworld?

Click to tweet the following to stand a chance of winning 1 of 5 free conference passes. “@StorMagic pick me to go to #VMworld” – Winners will be announced on August 20.

A lot has changed in the past four years. In 2011, StorMagic started to put more emphasis on creating a better virtualization and high availability solution for distributed enterprises and remote office/branch office (ROBO) environment. ROBO is where the enterprise meets the customer. Today I’m excited to announce the next phase in our channel strategy: our distribution partnership with Arrow Electronics, which will sell the StorMagic SvSAN through Arrow’s community of solution providers in the U.S. and Canada.



What does this mean for potential end users? As a $20 billion supply channel partner, Arrow’s distribution network will make it easier for remote sites and SMBs to gain the data availability of shared storage without the cost, complexity, or single point of failure of a SAN. Arrow will help us match customer requirements with local and regional resellers who are their customers’ trusted advisors.

On the other hand, VARs and solution providers in Arrow’s network will expand their virtualization and storage lines of business with a product in SvSAN that only requires two x86 server nodes to deliver high availability and excellent performance. SvSAN works seamlessly with a VMware or Microsoft hypervisor, appearing no different to a physical SAN but with the advantages of no single-point of failure, lower cost, higher performance through internal rather than network interfaces and simplified management. With StorMagic, Arrow solution provider partners can cut operating and capital costs by 40 percent and prevent downtime for customers by leveraging direct attached or internal server disks, including solid-state drives, and presenting all of it as centrally managed, virtualized shared storage for business critical applications.

For many years, the indirect channel has played a critical, strategic role in both our business and our customers’ business. StorMagic launched our first channel program in 2007. Over time we’ve built out our channel and technology partnership programs to scale our growth, deliver new software innovations faster to market and meet enterprise customers at the edge. In 2010 we launched in Japan to grow routes to market outside the United States and EMEA. In 2012, we introduced version 5 of our SvSAN, the first virtual storage appliance (VSA) aimed specifically at ROBO, which opened up new opportunities for our resellers that had been previously focused on core data center infrastructure solutions.

Last month, we expanded our partnership with VMware to deliver high availability with just two server nodes whereas other VSA solutions require a minimum of three physical servers at each site to provide highly available shared storage that protects against data corruption. The two-node entry configuration of StorMagic SvSAN allows VMware and its channel partners to recommend vSphere ROBO together with SvSAN for remote environments that don’t have low latency or high capacity requirements per site, but must have highly available shared storage.

The economics of the virtualized data center is shifting from the core to the remote edge and we’re finding that the market is coming to StorMagic. VMware and Arrow and hundreds of solutions providers and systems integrators are recognizing the benefits we bring to our strategic partnership and respective markets. Together, we’ll do our best to drive more shifts in the market that will expand opportunity for mutual success — for our partners and our customers.

To learn more about the StorMagic and Arrow Electronics announcement, read the press release in full here.

Retail is one of a handful of verticals whose revenue, brand, culture and customer experience is directly driven by their distributed sites/stores. Enterprise retail organizations with 1000’s of sites have an enormous challenge of maintaining each stores performance on these key impact points by ensuring that their staff are well trained, stores are well managed and that customers keep walking through the doors.

But what about downtime?


If the infrastructure fails, the store is no longer able to take orders, the brand is impacted and you potentially loose customers and future business to competitors. This is why retail is making substantial investments into their store infrastructures to reduce the risk of downtime. But how are they doing this? In a recent report from the INI Group (Industry Insights: Analysis of IT At The Retail Store) it is discussed that some organizations are centralizing their data and applications which opens the risk of mass downtime if the datacenter goes down. Others are introducing heavy set systems on-site which is a high CAPEX / OPEX investment but still leaves susceptibility to extended periods of downtime.


However, most organizations are looking to Virtual Storage Appliances (VSA) to decentralize their store applications/data and centralize their IT and support. VSA’s are helping enterprise organizations in many verticals to create streamlined yet robust distributed infrastructures which are managed centrally and require substantially less CAPEX and OPEX investment.

“If it took one week to get an IT system up and running, it could take 5,000 business days to complete the same project at all [1,000] sites. Performing a single deployment every day, it would still require 2.7 years to complete the project.”

In this report, the INI group discusses how enterprise retail organizations are approaching VSA solutions and what their key requirements are to ensure their store stay online.

Download the Report Here

StorMagic's virtual storage appliance (VSA) solution, SvSAN, enables organizations to achieve affordable remote site redundancy with less capital and IT investment. A recent big box retailer saved over $10 million in hardware alone with SvSAN and further savings with rapid deployment functionality across their 2200+ stores.

In this side by side comparison between StorMagic's SvSAN and VMware's vSphere Storage Appliance, we show that SvSAN is delivering functionality that holds value to organizations managing multiple distributed sites.


comparison date: February 2013

Try SvSAN for 60 Days: Download Now

Author: Colm Keegan, Lead Analyst at Storage Switzerland LLC.

Shared storage, whether it be networked attached storage (NAS) or a storage area network (SAN), has become an essential component of any IT environment – large or small. While the cost of shared storage technology has dropped significantly over the last 10 years the costs of physical storage solutions are still prohibitive in achieving remote site redundancy. In addition to high Capex and Opex costs, the complexity of implementing and managing physical storage solutions can be daunting for even the most seasoned IT professionals.


In most instances the storage capacity available internal to the physical hosts will suffice for supporting on-site applications. The challenge for organizations managing multiple remote sites is that physical storage solutions require high capital investment for acquisition, deployment, management and maintenance. These physical solutions re-introduce complexity into virtualized environments and are a single point that introduces higher risk of extended downtime.


Read Full Post

Although the retail sector has a lower probability of store downtime, it does suffer from a higher cost of downtime per hour. This high cost of downtime is a result of employee dependency on the in-store infrastructure.


For infrastructure management teams, implementing network storage in-store ensures availability of business applications. However implementing SAN storage in business and mission-critical retail locations actually increases risk because of its inherent complexity. Additionally, the capital and management costs make no business sense for these environments as they raise concerns and challenges such as:

-          High Capex and Opex associated with acquisition, management and implementation of physical solutions across multiple stores/sites,

-          Physical storage solutions re-introduce complexity into virtualized environments.

-          As a single point of failure if the storage fails your site goes down.

-          Potential extended downtime as physical solutions require on-site IT for hardware failure resolution


The combination of server virtualization and virtual storage appliances (VSA) changes the landscape providing a solution that is simple to use and cost effective while still providing high availability.

In this recent webinar we discuss how StorMagics SvSAN has reinvented network storage for retail environments:

-          Simple to implement over dozens, hundreds and thousands of remote locations

-          Ease of ongoing management and support across remote locations

-          Changes the business economics including capex and opex

-          Ensures in-store application availability cost effectively

-          Examination of a real world use case of a major retailer with over 2,000 locations


Watch Now:

When: Jan 30th at 11:30 - 12:30 EST / 16:30 - 17:30 GMT

Implementing SAN storage in business and mission-critical retail locations actually increases risk because of its inherent complexity. Additionally, the capital and management costs make no business sense for these environments.


The combination of server virtualization and storage virtual appliances (SVA) changes the landscape providing a solution that is simple to use and cost effective while still providing high availability.


In this webinar, you will learn how the StorMagic SVA is reinventing network storage for retail environments:

  • Simple to implement over dozens, hundreds and thousands of remote locations
  • Ease of ongoing management and support across remote locations
  • Changes the business economics including capex and opex
  • Ensures in-store application availability cost effectively
  • Examination of a real world use case of a major retailer with over 2,000 locations
  • Speakers for the event include Luke Pruen, Senior Systems Engineer for StorMagic and Tony Asaro, Senior Analyst for the INI Group.


    Access The StorMagic Retail Customer Profile

    As a thank you for registering for our webinar, we are pleased to share our informative retail customer use case of a major retailer with over 2,000 locations.



    This year StorMagic will be exhibiting at the 2013 NEVMUG winter warmer on January the 17th and will be held at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Winter Warmer brings together over a thousand IT professionals, dozens of vendors and VARs, and technology experts on virtualization, VDI, storage, data protection and security.


    In the breakout session “Networked Storage for Remote Sites and Retail Stores“, StorMagic CEO, Hans O’Sullivan, will be discussing how storage virtual appliances cost effectively addresses challenges inherent to remote sites including HA, ease of management and performance.


    There will also be live demonstrations StorMagic’s storage virtual appliance product, SvSAN, which enables enterprise organizations to affordably achieve high availability across distributed remote stores/sites.

    In 2011 reported that over $26.5 billion in revenue is lost each year from downtime. It is then understandable that revenue loss is the primary concern of retailers when considering the direct impact of store downtime. However, retail organizations have more to lose from downtime than revenue alone. Customer loyalty, brand equity and employee productivity/motivation are also affected.


    So what are these organizations doing to prevent downtime?


    Retail organizations, as seen in this recent customer profile, are turning to Storage Virtual Appliances (SVA) to enable High Availability (HA) in their virtualized store environments. Implementing SVAs into existing/new 2+ server virtualized store environments ensures continuous application and data availability.


    Storage Virtual Appliances

    • Provide shared storage more cost effectively
    • Require no dedicated storage hardware
    • Require no specialized training
    • Transform internal disk drives into a virtual SAN
    • Enable a highly-available ESX/i environment without external, shared storage
    • Provide shared storage cost effectively
    • Don’t need dedicated hardware
    • Turn internal disk drives into a virtual SAN
    • Enable a highly available ESX/i environment without external shared storage
    • Prevent data loss from drive failures by mirroring datastores between ESX/i servers
    • Leverage the processing power of ESX/i servers
    • Provide data-sharing for advanced ESX/i features such as VMotion, DRS and VCB.
    • Scale performance and capacity as needs grow


    StorMagics recently announced that its SVA solution SvSAN was standardized in over 2000 retail stores of a major US based retail giant. SvSAN version 5 was developed specifically to meet the growing demands of enterprise retail organizations managing multiple distributed stores and as a result has seen growing success in this sector.

    Analysts and industry research firms agree that throughout 2012 organizations have increased investment in their remote / branch office infrastructure development and it is anticipated that this upward trend will continue through 2013.

    What we don’t know however is what that trend is. Why is this important? Well, without knowing the trend we are incapable of calculating if our remote / branch office IT development is where it should be in line within the industry.

    Take this short benchmark survey to help us and you determine what that trend is, we’ll share the result via email and at our upcoming webinar “Learn the 3 Essential Steps For Efficient Branch Office Operations”.

    For every completed survey, StorMagic will donate to the men’s cancer charity Movember.

    So, Are You A Leader In Your Branch-Office Virtualization Initiatives? Find Out Now



    Today we announced that we have joined the Cisco Developer Network as a Registered Developer and that we have completed Cisco’s Interoperability Verification Testing.  Registration has been completed within the Unified Computing Systems technology category and interoperability testing has been completed with C-series – Cisco UCS C220 M3 (VMware 5.0 Update 1).


    As part of the Developer Network, StorMagic can collaborate closer with Cisco to meet the needs of joint customers. StorMagic customers can more effectively deploy a wider range of Cisco Compatible applications, devices, or services that can enhance the capabilities, performance, and management of their Cisco network.


    Read the original press release here:


    For more information on SvSAN 5 interoperability with C-series – Cisco UCS C220 M3 (VMware 5.0 Update 1) go to:



    We’re on the right track

    StorMagics storage virtual appliance (SVA) SvSAN has been developed for enterprise organizations managing multiple branch/remote offices. VMworld 2012 continued to validate our development path as we were inundated with visitors to our booths who were specifically looking for a solution such as SvSAN to enable VMware HA and other features at their branch offices.


    The key features organizations are looking for at the branch office are:

    • Minimal hardware
    • Low acquisition and maintenance costs
    • Low IT resource requirements
    • Centralized management, deployment and resolution
    • High performance
    • Scalability and Flexibility



    It’s not all going to the cloud

    Gradually more and more organizations are adopting “the cloud” as part of their branch office IT infrastructure. But regardless of which strategy they utilize i.e, private, public or hybrid; it’s not all going to the cloud.


    The cloud provides many benefits to the end-user and the central office but it is still limited by its inability to guarantee business continuity at the branch. After speaking with many cloud solution providers and booth visitors, most agree that organizations are still and intend to continue to run business critical applications on site.


    Cisco recently wrote this great article which identifies what branch applications are being moved to the datacenter/cloud and which are staying in the branch:



    SSD, VDI, & Persistent/Non-Persistent VMs

    To refer back to my first highlight and the key features organizations are looking for at the branch office, these are some of the key pieces to that puzzle for many IT administrators.


    The advancement in these technologies has been extraordinary and organizations are turning to them and SVAs to help achieve more reliable and cost effective branch office environments.

    When: Sept 12th at 11:30 - 12:30 EDT / 16:30 - 17:30 BST

    We're pleased to announce that we will be holding a live demonstration webinar to showcase all the great new features of SvSAN 5.  StorMagic's recent version of SvSAN is in the spotlight as the only SVA solution developed solely for the needs of organizations managing multiple distributed virtualized environments. Features such as Automated Scripted Deployment are unique to SvSAN and enables users to deploy shared storage hands off across distributed locations.

    In this SvSAN 5 demo webinar we will.:
    • Explain what is new in SvSAN 5 and how it has been developed for Multi-Site environments,
    • Demonstrate Automated Scripted Deployment and how it enables hands off deployment of multiple sites,
    • Show how SvSAN 5 integration into vCenter enables simplified management of branch environments.
    • Provide information on SVA cost effectiveness for implementation and management of shared storage.


    Learn More

    Virtualization from VMware helps drive down the cost of IT by consolidating servers, reducing maintenance costs and lowering management overhead. Just as importantly, VMware’s advanced features make it possible to achieve high availability for critical applications in the data center. With VMware’s high availability features, applications that support revenue generation and applications that support efficiency, cost containment and risk management are always available. It’s no surprise, then that, using data from a recent IDC study, highlighted virtualization as the top priority for CIO’s in 2012.


    Employees, partners, and customers may access an organization’s applications from virtually anywhere: from the office, from home, or on the road. And they expect the applications to be available, regardless of where the applications run, whether from a centralized corporate data center, from a cloud service, from a branch office or from some combination of the three.


    CIO’s and IT administrators responsible for branch office IT operations face unique challenges that have, until recently been barriers to delivering high availability. These barriers are:

    • High hardware and software acquisition costs
    • High maintenance costs
    • The lack of onsite skilled IT staff


    Shared storage is a key enabling technology for high availability and an absolute requirement for VMware’s advanced availability features.  Shared storage has also, however, been a prime contributor to high acquisition costs, high maintenance costs, and the need for onsite, highly-skilled IT staff.


    Download the full Whitepaper

    The VMware and Storage Virtual Appliance Solution


    When: July 18th 2012 at 11:30 - 12:30 EDT / 16:30 - 17:30 BST



    Maintaining business continuity and preventing branch office downtime is a difficult requirement for CIOs and IT administrators today. Managing multiple locations, whether national or international, can be costly and require on-site IT resource staffing.


    So how can organizations address their branch office management challenges with their existing VMware infrastructure more cost-effectively? How can Storage Virtual Appliances (SVAs) deliver high availability without associated high maintenance costs?


    In our new webinar, How to Prevent Branch Office Downtime, you will:

    - Learn how SVAs address the barricade of challenges for CIOs and IT administrators to deliver high availability.

    - Understand how to leverage VMware's benefits and centrally manage your branch offices cost-effectively and without additional IT resources.

    - Ensure lower capital, maintenance, and management costs.

    Who Should Attend?

    This educational webinar is aimed at both IT professionals and business decision makers whose organizations have tens, hundreds, or thousands of branch office locations.


    Access Your Free Whitepaper

    As a thank you for registering for our webinar, we are pleased to share our informative whitepaper from this topic, "Preventing Branch Office Downtime with VMware and Storage Virtual Appliances"


    • Steven Santini: Marketing Development Specialist at StorMagic