News | October 20, 2008

Covenant House Toronto Relies On DataCore's SANmelody Storage Virtualization For Disaster Recovery

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--DataCore Software, the leading provider of storage virtualization software, today announced that its SANmelody software is providing peace of mind to Covenant House Toronto in the event that its IT systems undergo an unforeseen calamity. DataCore partner Interware Systems has deployed DataCore's SANmelody to deliver business continuity and disaster recovery (DR) via an affordable, yet highly available, virtual SAN solution, which provides the remote replication essential to safeguarding an organization's data. Covenant House Toronto is Canada's largest youth shelter and support service.

Meeting business objectives at Covenant House Toronto

The key business objective at Covenant House Toronto was uptime. As a 24/7 service, Covenant House Toronto's doors of opportunity and hope are always open for homeless youth. Therefore Covenant House Toronto staff need constant access to the organization's file servers to access information on the kids staying in the shelter. In particular, workers require continuous access to the charity's Blackbaud Raiser's Edge server, the fundraising application that the organization relies upon, as well as the email server. "By implementing DataCore, we are able to have true, no single point of failure, high availability at our head office as well as full disaster recovery and business continuity because we can now replicate to our DR site in case something happens," said Wendy Craig, IS Consultant, Covenant House Toronto. The disaster recovery portion of the implementation came to fruition by synchronizing Covenant House's data from its main office to its disaster recovery site at a co-location facility. Covenant House Toronto's data is transmitted to this remote site nightly.

"We are a charity," continued Craig. "The bottom-line for us is that we need to be up and running 24x7. If a disaster strikes, we must have our mission-critical applications up and running within a matter of minutes to hours so that we can take in donations and keep the funding coming in, thereby fulfilling our mission of helping those in need by providing crisis care. Now, if and when disaster strikes, we just turn the switch on at the co-location site and we are back up and running."

The solution – built on DataCore

Covenant House Toronto provides a range of programs to help homeless and runaway youth build independent lives. When DataCore partner Interware Systems first engaged with Covenant House and looked at the organization's environment it had no storage area network (SAN) solution nor had it embraced any aspect of virtualization technology at all. "We went in to help Covenant House Toronto consolidate its network and make it more efficient," stated Lak Gill, Senior Partner, Interware Systems. "We recommended that this client start off with a DataCore SAN so as to have its data located in one central location in order to better facilitate the disaster recovery solution. After centralizing the data, we then mirrored that data for high availability, thereby laying the groundwork for a full disaster recovery solution."

Prior to DataCore, Covenant House's mission-critical servers were running on an old set of storage arrays, which were filling up. Moreover, the organization had over-allocated storage on some application servers that were being underutilized. DataCore's thin provisioning functionality enabled Covenant House to consolidate its existing storage and thereby over-allocate on the applications-side and under-allocate on the storage-side. The IT team, with DataCore, was able to increase their database sizes, and have more space for backups. "Covenant House looked at solutions from DataCore's competitors," noted Craig. "However, DataCore fit the bill for Covenant House Toronto because of ease-of-use, simplicity and price point. Just as importantly, we were not being locked into any hardware that we couldn't move way from – if for some reason this was a path that we might ultimately choose not to take. DataCore saved us from hardware vendor lock-in."

A Compelling Example of Total Enterprise Virtualization (TEV)

Covenant House Toronto is now a perfect example of what Interware Systems espouses in terms of Total Enterprise Virtualization (TEV). DataCore serves as the foundation of Covenant House Toronto's virtualization infrastructure. Once the organization had DataCore up-and-running, Covenant House Toronto wanted to virtualize their servers as well and did so with VMware in a production environment. "Covenant House Toronto went full-force with DataCore first," explained Gill. "Then, they chose VMware Virtual Infrastructure once DataCore was in place, whereby DataCore is the underlying storage for VMware." What followed was embracing the full disaster recovery plan as designed by Interware. Currently, Covenant House Toronto is running a SANmelody configuration that encompasses 8TB of storage, with VMware ESX 3 running the asynchronous replication to the disaster recovery site. Two SANmelody nodes are running at the main site – delivering high availability, business continuity and disaster recovery. A third node is at the co-location site for replication.

Covenant House turned to DataCore for ease-of-use, simplicity, high availability, and, with VMware, full disaster recovery and business continuity. The last "module" of the TEV solution that Interware is deploying for Covenant House Toronto is desktop virtualization. "Once the desktops are virtualized, Covent House Toronto will have the whole Total Enterprise Virtualization package," summarized Stephen Beale Senior Partner, Interware Systems. "They will have done it all. Covenant House Toronto is a perfect case study in Total Enterprise Virtualization."

Total Enterprise Virtualization from Interware Systems

For a look at the TEV solution from Interware Systems and the modular approach that it offers, go to:

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About Covenant House Toronto

As Canada's largest youth shelter, Covenant House Toronto (CHT) opens doors of opportunity and hope to homeless youth. More than just a place to stay, CHT provides 24/7 crisis care and has the widest range of services under one roof, including education, counseling, health care and employment assistance. On average about 4,000 young people turn to CHT annually.

Covenant House Toronto is part of Covenant House International, the largest privately-funded agency in the Americas providing shelter and other services to homeless youth. Covenant House International has facilities in 21 cities throughout the United States, Canada, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua.

More information about Covenant House and resources for homeless youth can be found at

About Interware Systems

Interware Systems Inc. is a certified DataCore reseller. It has several DataCore Certified Implementation Engineers on staff and serves as the only authorized DataCore training center in Canada.

Interware is a fully integrated managed services provider. The company provides professional services and products to build, manage and enhance network infrastructures. Solutions and services include IT Support, Professional Services, Virtual Infrastructure, Storage Solutions, Application Delivery Solutions, Security, Migration of Services, IT Professional Training, IP Telephony, Portal Implementation & Document Management, Compliance and Privacy, and more. Visit for further detail.

About DataCore Software

DataCore Software, the leading provider of storage virtualization SAN software, fundamentally changes the economics of managing storage with innovative software that combines advanced functions and services with the agility and savings of hardware independence. DataCore lowers the cost and complexity of IT by making storage efficient, fast, flexible, fail-safe and virtual. DataCore's portable storage server software simplifies and automates capacity expansion and centralizes storage management for Windows, UNIX, Linux, MacOS, NetWare, VMware and other leading open system and virtual server platforms. DataCore is privately held and its corporate headquarters are in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. For more information, call (877) 780-5111 or visit

DataCore, the DataCore logo and SANmelody are trademarks or registered trademarks of DataCore Software Corporation. Other DataCore product or service names or logos referenced herein are trademarks of DataCore Software Corporation. All other products, services and company names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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