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LeftHand Networks to Support Microsoft Virtualization
LeftHand SANs Optimize Virtualized Environments with Simplified Storage Management

LeftHand Networks announced support for Microsoft's virtualization strategy and set of virtualization solutions. LeftHand Networks iSCSI SAN solutions provide high availability and non-disruptive storage management, capabilities that become vital as customers seek to optimize the efficiencies and cost advantages of virtualized infrastructures.

With more than 3,000 customers, many running Microsoft applications, LeftHand Networks delivers SAN solutions that complement and extend the power of Microsoft's new group of virtualization solutions, including Microsoft's Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 and Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5. Microsoft's full set of technologies enables a compatible, end-to-end virtualized infrastructure. When combined with LeftHand Networks' storage solutions customers have the ability to deploy a desktop-to-data center virtualization and storage strategy that is easy to manage and provides a compelling total cost of ownership.

"Virtualization drives substantial efficiencies and creates considerable flexibility within an IT infrastructure. Customers who deploy Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V can provision new applications and simplify storage management significantly with LeftHand SANs," said Karl Chen, vice president of business development and alliances, LeftHand Networks. "Microsoft's desktop and data center virtualization solutions with LeftHand Networks iSCSI SANs deliver a dynamic, virtualized infrastructure that helps customers achieve significant savings."

"LeftHand Networks' SAN solutions allow customers to achieve resource utilization and cost reduction through consolidation, also providing them with high manageability, agility and flexibility in their operations," said Zane Adam, senior director of integrated virtualization at Microsoft. "LeftHand Networks' SANs provide simplified management capabilities that work seamlessly with Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V and the System Center offerings, helping to enable customers to maximize their virtualization infrastructure investments and keep pace with the ever-changing needs of their business."

Server virtualization and consolidation create a dynamic application environment that requires an increasingly flexible and dynamic storage solution. In these environments, storage capabilities such as high availability, simplified management, and non-disruptive configuration changes and scaling become critical. With its clustered architecture and SAN/iQ storage software, LeftHand Networks provides advanced storage management as well as key advantages in storage system performance, efficiency and disaster recovery.

"Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V delivered a reliable virtualization platform optimized for our Windows applications, but to maximize the power of our virtualized environment, we needed storage that was equally flexible and dynamic," said Michael Johnson, vice president of information technology at Jackson Energy. "LeftHand Networks' iSCSI SAN delivered an ideal storage solution that provided high availability and flexible, easy-to-use storage management, enabling us to reduce cost and complexity at the same time. With a few simple clicks of the mouse we can reconfigure our storage, provision additional capacity, and boost performance levels -- all without any disruption to the system."

Innovative Approach Delivers Simplified Management and High Availability
LeftHand Networks' innovative storage approach provides advantages in virtualized environments. Based on its SAN/iQ storage software, LeftHand Networks is able to cluster together multiple storage nodes into a single, scalable pool of shared storage that delivers high availability, agility and simplified management.

LeftHand Networks SANs are designed to accommodate the frequent changes required in virtualized environments, including features such as automated volume provisioning, which allows administrators to grow, shrink, or move an iSCSI volume with just a few mouse clicks and no downtime. The classic re-provisioning tasks of finding additional space, load balancing the new volume across available resources, and ensuring the proper allocation of blocks to implement desired availability is all done automatically. Thin provisioning of the volumes avoids the tasks associated with re-sizing file systems without wasting capacity on the SAN. For IT personnel, this means that changes within the SAN can be easily and immediately accommodated without days of pre-planning and re-provisioning LUNs.

Planned and unplanned downtime is more impactful in a virtual environment due to the increased number of applications in virtual machines dependent on a set number of physical connections into the SAN. LeftHand SANs are highly available by design and are architected to keep volumes available both during administrative activities as well as during component or environmental outages. For multi-site environments, LeftHand Networks SANs can provide single volumes with multiple copies of data across sites delivering always-on data even in the event of site failure. This complements the high availability and Quick Migration features of Windows Server 2008 to deliver a complete highly available environment across applications and storage.

LeftHand Networks and Microsoft's Strategic Relationship
LeftHand Networks and Microsoft have a strong history of working together to provide scalable IT and business solutions for the mid-tier and enterprise markets. LeftHand is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, a managed ISV partner, and a Microsoft certified Virtualization and Storage Partner.

About Virtualization News
SYS-CON's Virtualization News Desk trawls the news sources of the world for the latest details of virtualization technologies, products, and market trends, and provides breaking news updates from the Virtualization Conference & Expo.

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