Build a high performance, highly reliable Storage Area Network with DataCore SANsymphony-V
Real-time, High Availability Mirroring with Automatic Failover
Thin Provisioning - Allocate Now, Only Pay for the Disk Space Used
Instantly snapshot your data - Ready for rollback and backup
Replicate Your Data to a Remote Site using the Internet
Boost Performance using RAM and Processors
Create Tiered Storage and Get the Best Value from your Storage
SANsymphony-V is licensed by the size of storage you want to use and the
features you actually need.
Additional capacity can be licensed by the TeraByte. New features
such as CDP or fibre channel can be added at any point.
You only pay the difference between the license you have now and
the license you want!
If your organisation delivers nationally recognised qualifications
you can purchase SANsymphony-V licences with a 50% discount.
Government organisations, local councils, etc. benefit from a 15%
discount on the cost of licences.
Frequently Asked Questions about DataCore SANmelody, SANsymphony & SANsymphony-V
What is a SAN / Storage Area Network?
For an introduction to SANs please have a look at our Guide to Storage
What is SANmelody? What is SANsymphony? What is SANsymphony-V?
SANmelody, SANsymphony or SANsymphony-V is software that turns a PC into a high-powered, feature
rich Storage Area Network (SAN). SANmelody, SANsymphony & SANsymphony-V
use low cost commodity PC
hardware to deliver outstanding performance and enterprise class functionality and
A SANmelody storage area network is limited to 32 TeraBytes with up to 2 PCs
(often called nodes) working together to deliver high availability.
SANmelody is also DR (disaster recovery) capable allowing to stream data from
a pair of SANmelody servers to another pair of SANmelody servers across the
Internet or private link.
A SANsymphony storage area network is designed for larger enterprise systems and
can manage an unlimited amount of storage, supports multiple nodes for N +1 levels
of availability, performance allocation, deliver advanced I/O metrics, etc.
SANsymphony-V is brand new (released February 2011) and will eventually unify SANmelody
and SANsymphony into a single product line. It comes with new features, such as
Continuous Data Protection, and major improvements to old favourites like AIM (Asynchronous
What is Thin Provisioning?
Thin Provisioning lets you create a disk of up to 1 PB (1024 TB) that doesn’t
actually consume any physical space i.e. it’s a virtual disk. It only starts
to consume space when data is copied to it. Thin Provisioning keeps your
costs down as it allows you to add storage to your SAN as it’s required and
removes the need to move data between servers, repartition, etc.
What's the Largest Disk Size SANmelody, SANsymphony & SANsymphony-V Support?
1 PB (1,024 TB).
Are SANmelody, SANsymphony & SANsymphony-V Reliable?
Yes. We wouldn’t recommend or use them if they weren’t. We have DataCore
powered SAN systems in use that have been running non-stop for over 2 years
without any interruption or reboot.
Do SANmelody, SANsymphony & SANsymphony-V offer True High Availability?
Yes. SANmelody, SANsymphony & SANsymphony-V can create “multi-pathed” (MPIO) volumes and
your servers can use either SAN node to read and write data.
As data is written to the SAN it’s held in 2 places simultaneously to ensure
that even if one of the SAN units is lost unexpectedly (or as part of
maintenance, upgrades, etc.) no data is lost, there is no interruption and
your servers can continue to operate as normal. This is called “fail-over”.
When the missing SAN unit is restarted the mirrored data will be
resynchronised and your servers can “fail-back” automatically i.e. read and
write from their preferred node. The ability to fail-back to a preferred
path is especially useful when your SAN units are in different buildings or
sites and you want to control how much traffic is passed along inter-site links.
Do I need identical hardware for High Availability?
No. The CPUs, amount of RAM, network cards and fibre channel HBAs do not need to match.
SANmelody, SANsymphony and SANsymphony-V "virtualise" your physical storage and present
virtual storage to your servers in much the same way as ESX or Hyper-V presents hardware to a virtual machine.
So you can have expensive SAS disks attached to one DataCore server that are mirroring to low-cost SATA disks
in another DataCore server - often with no performance loss. You should talk to your DataCore reseller before
deploying this type of set-up in a production environment.
Can I use SANmelody, SANsymphony or SANsymphony-V with an existing SAN?
Yes. SANmelody, SANsymphony and SANsymphony-V are often deploy in "front" of an existing SAN to boost its
performance and add new features such as a High Availability and Snapshot.
Multiple existing SANs can be brought under DataCore's control to give you a unified, single point of storage management.
The existing SAN equipment can be attached to the DataCore server using iSCSI or Fibre Channel.
What Virtualisation platforms can I use SANmelody, SANsymphony & SANsymphony-V
SANmelody and SANsymphony are certified for use with:
SANsymphony-V is currently going through the certification process with Microsoft, VMware and Citrix.
Do SANmelody, SANsymphony & SANsymphony-V support iSCSI, Fibre Channel and Fibre Channel over Ethernet?
Yes. You can use any combination of iSCSI, Fibre Channel (FC) or Fibre Channel
over Ethernet (FCOE). If you want to use FC you may need to be licensed for it.
Check with your DataCore partner.
What is a Snapshot?
Snapshots are an instant, “point-in-time” copy of a disk. They are normally
used as a staging area for backups or as roll-back points. If you wish you
can take multiple snapshots of the same disk.
A snapshot consists of a source disk and a destination disk. When you’ve
taken a snapshot, the destination disk can be allocated to a backup server.
This is very useful if you’re running out of time when backing up to tape
overnight. The snapshot can “exist” as long as you need it to and it doesn’t
interfere with the normal operation of your servers so your backup can run
for as long as it needs to.
What is a VSS Snapshot?
A VSS Snapshot uses Microsoft’s Volume Shadow Copy to synchronise data and
trigger a snapshot at exactly the right moment. Using VSS, SANmelody or
SANsymphony can quiesce applications on your server (Exchange Server, SQL
Server, Active Directory e.g. anything that is VSS / Shadow Copy aware) and
its data and then take a snapshot. This means that the data, transaction
logs, etc. on your snapshot destination disk is ready for backup and restore.
Can a Snapshot really be taken in an Instant?
Yes. It doesn’t matter whether there is only a few GB of data or TB the
snapshot will be taken instantly. Snapshots that are VSS synchronised will
need a few seconds for your server to synchronise its’ databases and
What is a Complete Image Snapshot?
A Complete Image snapshot creates an identical copy of the source disk on
the destination disk. This has performance benefits but the destination
disk will consume as much disk space as the source disk.
In SANsymphony-V "Complete Image" is now called "Full".
What does a Snapshot Source Update do?
Source Update makes the source disk look like the destination i.e. it rolls
back all the changes that have happened since the snapshot was taken.
This is really useful when you’re making changes or upgrading software.
Creating and taking a snapshot only takes a few seconds but it could
save you hours.
In SANsymphony-V a "Source Update" is now called a "Revert to Snapshot".
What kind of Storage can I use with SANmelody, SANsymphony & SANsymphony-V?
You can use just about any kind of storage that you can attach or present
to the PC; SATA, SAS, SSD or storage provided by iSCSI and fibre channel.
This is one of the things that SANmelody and SANsymphony so much more flexible
and powerful that a traditional hardware based SAN.
What is SANsymphony-V?
SANsymphony-V was released at the beginning of February 2011. It's a new, unified platform that will
replace SANmelody and SANsymphony.
At launch it has "feature parity" with SANmelody.
Feature Parity? What does that mean?
In essence, SANsymphony-V has at least the same feature set (and some of the same limitations)
as SANmelody. Right now SANsymphony-V is limited to two nodes and VSS initiated snapshots and remote / CLI snapshot commands are unavailable.
A service pack (we're expecting it in Q3) will be available that will bring SANsymphony-V up to "feature parity" with
SANsymphony i.e. more than 2 nodes, etc.
What's new in SANsymphony-V?
- Support for Windows 2008 R2 Server Core
- Remote management - a Windows XP or better desktop can be used to administer your SANsymphony-V nodes
- AIM (Asynchronous IP Mirroring) on Steroids - AIM is now called "Replication" and includes on-the-wire compression
(5 to 20 times throughput improvement seen in the lab) and the ability to "reverse the flow" (the DR site can start
sending data back to the production site without all the messing about that was previously required) at the click of a button.
- Continuous Data Protection or CDP - this allows you to rollback a volume back to almost any point in time in the past 2 or 48
hours. Depending on the "level" of SANsymphony-V license purchased 2 or 48 hours of CDP may be included. License levels
1 and 2 do not include CDP but it may be purchased as an option.
- DataCore MPIO for Windows and DataCore VSS are free!
- PowerShell & API - This is coming soon but it promises tight integration with 3rd party products, hypervisors and powerful scripting
- User based management and administration - you can now create user accounts to control access to SANsymphony-V's configuration
and audit the changes they made. This can integrate with Active Directory but we still recommend that SANsymphony-V servers are not joined
to a domain.
Can I Buy SANsymphony-V now?
Yes. It's licensed a little differently to SANmelody and SANsymphony. SANsymphony-V licensed by "levels". For example, Level 1
can manage a maximum of 3TB and 2 hours of CDP is an option. Level 3 can manage a maximum of 64TB and CDP is included. When you've
chosen the "level" that's right for you purchase capacity licences in 1TB chunks. For example, you could purchase a Level 3
SANsymphony-V license and two 1TB licences. Support and maintenance is now priced according to the license "level" and not the
amount of capacity being managed by SANsymphony-7. All the usual promotions are still in place i.e. 50% off for education, 15% off
for public sector organisations, 3 for 2 on support and maintenance, etc.
Can I mix different SANsymphony-V levels?
No, not within the same server group. You cannot have a Level 3 license on one server and a Level 2 on another. When using Replication (asynchronous IP mirroring or AIM)
the SANsymphony-V servers can use different license levels.
Can I Upgrade to SANsymphony-V now?
No. SANsymphony-V can only be used with new installations. If you really wanted to you could back-up
all the data on your SAN, replace SANmelody with SANsymphony-V and then restore your data. It's unlikely
that all this effort and downtime could be justified.
Will I be able to Upgrade to SANsymphony-V?
Yes. DataCore are developing the upgrade processes and we expect to see them in Q3 2011. When complete
it will be possible to upgrade without causing downtime.
I'm an existing DataCore customer - do I get SANsymphony-V for free?
Yes if you have an active support and maintenance contract.
Are the hardware requirements for SANsymphony-V the same as SANmelody or SANsymphony?
No. Firstly, SANsymphony-V requires Windows 2008 R2 as its base operating system so you'll need
to make sure you have x64 drivers for all the hardware. Secondly you'll need the following
- 2 CPUs (either 2 single core CPUs, or a single dual core CPU) or more
- 4 GB RAM - the more the merrier as it gets used as high performance cache.
- 20 GB disk space, 1024 x 768 display
- 1 GB network connection
What kind of Support will I get from DataCore?
Your first point of contact should be your reseller. They’ll know your
system and your requirements and can probably solve any problems you have
DataCore provide support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and
operate several technical support centres around the world that "follow
the sun". Support is provided by e-mail, web site and phone and most
countries have a free phone DataCore technical support number.
More information is available here.
I Don't Have a DataCore Reseller! Who Should I Contact?
If you're in the UK you can contact us! We're always looking for new customers.
We're one of the top UK DataCore partners and support a wide range of DataCore users,
including banks, charities, schools, colleges, small and large businesses and
If you’re outside the UK please visit the DataCore Partners page.
What does SANmelody, SANsymphony or SANsymphony-V Cost?
It varies according to your requirements. SANmelody, SANsymphony and SANsymphony-V are
licensed by the features you want and the amount of storage you want to
For example, if you don’t want the DR or Snapshot features, don’t pay for
them. If you aren’t sure how much space your SAN will eventually need, only
licence what you need right now.
All DataCore licences include "Carry Forward" Value Protection. When you
need to licence more storage or add new features you only pay the
difference between the licence you bought originally and the one you’re moving to. You
don’t get penalised for starting small.
If you'd like a quote please contact us and tell us how much space you want,
the kinds of things you’ll be using a SAN for and we’ll create a tailored