Compellent today introduced a new piece of software, Server Instant Replay,
that automatically boots servers from the company’s Storage Center storage
area network (SAN) system, saving customers time and money.
Typically, servers are manually configured and booted by IT administrators
going from rack to rack to load operating systems and applications.
After a server is configured with an operating system, applications and
other data, Server Instant Replay lets an administrator copy the server’s
“gold image,” or configuration, in six steps through the Storage Center
management console. This allows customers to quickly recover failed servers
or redeploy servers.
Server Instant Replay saves IT administrators a lot of time, according to
Bob Fine, director of product marketing for Compellent.
“In the traditional model, bringing a server online, powering it and loading
the OS images and application images and the patches can easily take an
admin eight hours,” Fine said. “By booting over the SAN with Server Instant
Replay, an administrator can do that in 15 minutes or less.”
Server Instant Replay also cuts costs that typically prohibit organizations
from booting servers from a SAN because it doesn’t require server disk
drives, server-based software or third-party applications.
Citing internal case studies, Fine said customers using Server Instant
Replay can save some $2,800 in hardware and administrative costs per server
in the first year of operation, and save more than $166,000 on 25 servers
over three years.
Reducing infrastructure management time and paring costs in administrative
resources and infrastructure are two commonly stated goals of many
organizations looking to rein in IT budgets.
Compellent hopes its Server Instant Replay utility and Storage Center system
will appeal to new customers or even those tired of incumbent storage
providers IBM (Quote), EMC (Quote), HP (Quote),
(Quote) and Sun Microsystems (Quote).
Fine said those vendors don’t offer capabilities that let IT administrators
boot servers straight from SANs with a few mouse clicks.
“While most SAN vendors are focused purely on the storage, we’re branching
out and adding additional support to reduce some of the server management
challenges,” Fine said in an interview.