SANgate migrates data

Startup SANgate Systems Inc. has announced the first of its data migration products, which migrate open systems and mainframe storage data from one vendor’s array to another.

The company is introducing the SANblaster S1000 portable appliance, a hardware platform with software that automatically manages the migration of data from direct-attached or Fibre Channel storage arrays and Windows NT/2000 or Unix host computers.

Analysts says the product will probably get a work-out from large data centres and service professionals who install many new storage systems, perform multiple data migrations per year or are reorganizing or upgrading their data centres.

“Large data centres who have lots of changes, will probably be some of SANgate’s best customers – they are moving machines in and out, they are doing migrations, they are geographically dispersed and need to fly someone in to do the work because they don’t have local IT staff,” IDC Vice President John McArthur says.

“SANgate will also probably get some traction from [customers] the professsional services side because if the claims around efficiency in terms of data migration are anywhere close to true that’s a big payback, especially if you have professional services folks you are paying (US)$100,000 a year,”

SANgate claims that its approach to data migration is fast: the SANblade can move one terabyte an hour from the source to target storage device.

The SANblaster S1000 will migrate data between HP StorageWorks, IBM ‘Shark’ Enterprise Storage Server, Hitachi Lightning and EMC Symmetrix and Clariion arrays, among others.

To perform a data migration, software is run in the host servers that discovers the features of the storage attached to them. The S1000 appliance is then attached to the storage array data will be migrated to, where it discovers its physical and logical characteristics and plans the migration. The S1000 is then attached to the source storage array and the migration is performed. When finished, the target arrays can be connected to the host computers. The company claims it can move one terabyte an hour from the source to target storage device.

SANgate’s appliance is not unlike other approaches to data migration. Its closest competitors are software companies NSI Software and Fujitsu-Softek. NSI markets DoubleTake; Fujitsu-Softek TDMF, Open Edition. Fujitsu’s Transparent Data Migration Facility packages are, however, available for mainframe, as well as open systems environments and are non-disruptive. With SANgate’s SANblade, IT managers must take systems out of operation to perform the migration.

SANgate also plans to migrate mainframe data to open systems in future releases.

The SANblaster S1000 starts at US$60,000 and is available now.