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New Symantec software leverages SSD

Infrastructure

Symantec Corp. is releasing today a new version of its Storage Foundation product that has been re-built to take advantage of solid state drives (SSD).

According to Arun Balakrishnan, the manager of information availability at Symantec, based in Mountain View, Calif., the new product addresses the growth of unstructured data.

“We are seeing a trend in data growth. In our personal lives information is growing more and more through unstructured sites like Facebook, bank sites and government healthcare sites. Data is coming in from smartphones with images that are scanned and organizations can manage structured data really well, but that’s not the case with unstructured data,” Balakrishnan said.

He added that Storage Foundations Version 6.1 will help channel partners position data centre solutions with SSDs as a performance enhancer over traditional storage area networks (SAN). For example, through SSD users will pay $3.41 for every transaction per minute compared SAN costs which is $15. Symantec is saying customers will realize these performance improvements with Storage Foundations no matter what type of hardware they use or operating system. It will also take into account SSDs in mixed use with Direct Attached Storage (DAS) and SAN.

Balakrishnan told CDN that the trend today is away from spinning disk storage because for the last 15 years the technology can’t spin any faster. It has been through the breakthroughs of software that customers have been able to reach new productivity gains with thin provisioning and de-duplication as two examples of this.

“The market is stagnant and we are looking at a new age of technology with SSD and flash. Even Intel is entering this area and there is a lot of activity now,” Balakrishnan said.

For the channel, Balakrishnan said that solution providers should know that all existing Storage Foundations customers who hold a current maintenance contract will get the new version for free as an upgrade.

Balakrishnan said that Symantec has no plans on selling Storage Foundations as a subscription in an Opex model. It will be sold as an on-premise product because it is considered enterprise software.

“Enterprise software is sold on-premise with maintenance. That’s how the industry works. It’s not in the cloud. It’s not a switch on or switch off type of product,” he said.

One Symantec partner told CDN recently that Symantec needs to change its go-to-market strategy and adopt more Opex consumption models because the market is asking for it especially in Canada.

Another executive formerly with Symantec Canada told CDN that the company is struggling to understand the new subscription and Opex revenue models but added the new Symantec president and CEO Steve Bennett will eventually get the company there.

Other features of Storage Foundations are:

  • an intuitive caching layer, enabled by Symantec’s SmartIO technology. SmartIO detects critical application workloads and caches only the hot data on local SSDs; and
  • Flexible Storage Sharing technology enables servers to access remote data as if it were from local storage.