Prepare For A Storage Explosion

We have the good fortune of having opportunities to contribute our insights to readers of popular online editorials like We have been featured by for everything from how web development businesses use our products to the challenges to disaster recovery and even the power of partitioning.

This is the most recent article that we were able to contribute to. We were asked to respond to a series of questions related to storage and the growing trend of virtualization.

Strategies For Growth

Without knowing where to start, it’s impossible to determine an effective and efficient strategy for growth. A key to gaining that knowledge is determining current storage requirements, says Aaron Van Velsir, senior account executive at Abtech Systems ( Van Velsir recommends that administrators perform a trend analysis, which consists of current information plus any new applications, projects, and new users to be added. With this data, future growth patterns can be extrapolated; assuming a three- to five-year life expectancy for a storage array means administrators should develop total storage requirements for three to five years, says Van Velsir.

Enterprise growth requires scalability in the data center; with storage technology that doesn’t scale well, enterprise growth will be, at best, difficult to manage. At worst, the lack of scalability could hinder business growth when it’s needed most.

Koka Sexton, manager of business development for Paragon Software Group (, says administrators should be sure to use solutions that scale easily to growing storage demands. Consolidating free space with software can reduce new hardware expenses and maximize existing storage infrastructure, Sexton says; however, when new virtual machines or virtual storage is deployed, administrators should look for tools that can manage different virtual platforms.

Read the entire article here

Partition Manager 11 – A Data Center’s Best Friend

Paragon is about to release the latest version of Partition Manager and has built in technologies that have again made this product the leader in server optimization. Any server environment can use a tool like Partition Manager. The real power of the software can be seen when used in a data center. Partition Manager’s ability to redistribute free space across a large storage environment is a cost saving beast. Just ask RackSpace.

With this new release we are also introducing a virtual edition of the product that is ideal for companies using virtual machines to run applications and virtual storage space. We are going to be holding a webinar on Partition Manager 11. Register at the bottom of this post.

10 licenses of Partition Manager 11 Server will be given away to some lucky attendees.

Maximize performance of physical Windows® Server!

Partition Manager 11 Server includes all the functionality to maximize the use of storage while minimizing downtime and the required technical applications used when optimizing and administering a physical Windows Server.
· Partition alignment to boost performance of storage
· Drive re-partitioning and system optimization
· Comprehensive bootable environments
· Backup and disaster recovery options
· Disk Editor and Boot Corrector…

PM for Virtual Server
Manage hosts running virtual Windows® environments!

Partition Manager for Virtual Server bundles Partition Manager Server and Virtualization Manager to provide a cost-effective storage management for virtual machines that run on a single physical host

* License per physical system hosting up to 99 virtual machines
* Management of virtual machines
* Partition alignment to boost performance of storage
* P2V, V2V, V2P, and P2P migration for Windows OS
* Exclusive system reconfiguration and disaster recovery tools…

Continue reading Partition Manager 11 – A Data Center’s Best Friend

ChannelWeb 2010 Storage Channel Chief Award

Paragon Software Group (PSG), the technology leader in innovative data security and data management solutions, today announced that Koka Sexton, Manager, Business Development – Americas, has been named a 2010 Channel Chief by Everything Channel’s CRN.  Channel Chiefs are leaders in creating effective channel programs for solution providers and consistently defend, promote and execute effective channel partner programs and strategies.

In his role at Paragon, Sexton focuses on recruiting VAR partners, training Paragon partners on existing and new applications, building a positive partner experience, and implementing best practices for channel success.  He has more than a decade of experience in the channel and has proven his ability to adapt to the changing industry while continuing to build successful channel programs.

“When I began at Paragon, I was excited to see they already had a channel-centric sales model in place, so I was able to step in and build upon the good work,” remarked Sexton.  “2009 was a tremendous year for Paragon, with the signing of more than 100 new partners and the introduction of many new or updated products, which lead to the growth of the average deal size for our existing partners.  I am extremely honored to receive this award and thank my co-workers and VAR partners for their hard work and support, for without them this success would not have been possible.”

Partition Manager for Virtual Computers

Partition Manager 10 for Virtual Machines is a special version of our Linux/DOS bootable environment that contains fully functional Partition Manager 10 Professional.


It’s optimized to work with virtual disks of any virtualization software vendor – backup/restore virtualized systems, re-partition and clone virtual disks, fix boot problems, optimize performance of NTFS and FAT file systems, etc. If you do care about effective data organization and speed of your virtual disks – this very tool is exactly what you need.

Key Features

Support for GPT Enjoy support of GPT (GUID Partition Table) disks, used now in Windows 7/Vista, Server 2008, Mac OS X and Linux.
Merge partitions Consolidate the disk space, which originally belongs to two adjacent partitions (NTFS, FAT16/FAT32), into a single, larger partition.
Redistribute free space Increase free space on one partition by up-taking the unused space of an adjacent partition of your hard disk (including partitions of Apple Boot Camp).
Backup/Restore Back up separate partitions or entire virtual disks of any virtualization software vendor to get everything back on track in minutes when a disaster strikes.
Smart Defrag 27 defragmentation strategies available to defragment FAT and NTFS file systems.
Support for GPT Enjoy support of GPT (GUID Partition Table) disks, used now in Windows 7/Vista, Server 2008, Mac OS X and Linux.
Boot Corrector Fix most of the system boot problems that can be a result of a human factor, program error, or a boot virus activity.
File Transfer Wizard Replace corrupted data from a previously created image in case of an operating system failure as well as transfer data between virtual and physical environments.
Virtual Operations Preview changes before they are applied and chain multiple operations into one job.
Change cluster size Control the waste space factor and performance of the files input-output activity.
View/Edit sectors Directly access and modify sectors on virtual disks, save and restore sectors from specified files, navigate through the system metadata, etc.

Partition Manager 10 for Virtual Machines is currently offered for FREE on our website. If you are working in desktop virtualization infrastructures, this is a must have tool!

The Power Of Partitioning

10/9/09 By: Christian Perry

A segment of storage in almost every data center skirts by every day without doing much work. But through the use of partitioning, it’s possible to get that storage back to work and keep it there.

“Properly partitioned hard disks will allow the data center to maximize its storage investments by reallocating unused disk space and consolidating data, resulting in the need to purchase less new storage,” says Jim Thomas, technical services manager for Paragon Software Group ( “Increased system performance can also be noticed through defragmentation of partition contents and the MFT [Master File Table].”

Key Points

• Partitioning can help data centers deploy previously unused storage space for applications, testing, and other tasks by dividing hard drives into separate storage areas.

• Although the actual partitioning process is simple, experts recommend planning before conducting partitioning sessions to determine the best use for the technology and prepare for potential changes.

• Partitioning can force drive letter assignment changes, conflict with existing file system problems, and cause other issues, so data center personnel should expect the possibility of some problems with the technology.

Division Lesson

At its core, partitioning is the process of dividing hard drives into separate storage areas, or partitions, to make use of previously unused disk space. According to Curtis Breville, data storage evangelist for Crossroads Systems (, partitioning was originally designed to dedicate part of a disk drive to a specific purpose to allow the data to be physically close together and speed up access to data on a device that used random-access searching.

“Partitioning also allowed for better use of disk space and kept one application from taking away space needed by another. With astute planning and accurate growth prediction, each application would have the right amount of storage, and there would be less wasted disk [space],” Breville says.

Today’s flexible partitioning technologies continue to build on that performance-enhancing tradition, delivering automated and unattended operations, RAID support, dynamic disk support, Windows-based tools for on-the-fly partitioning, and even bootable recovery media to enable partitioning operations while systems are offline. Also relatively new is thin provisioning, which allows partitioning without the need to physically allocate storage at initial setup.

Partition Plan

Data center managers who neglect to implement partitioning for fear of disrupting delicate system environments might be pleased to learn that partitioning can occur while systems are online. However, before moving ahead with partitioning, experts recommend some basic planning procedures to ensure that the technology is working to its full potential.

“Typically, after the goals and business case for partitioning have been established, history performance data on existing servers and applications is collected to assist in the planning process as well as information on the importance of each application to the business,” explains Gary Thome, director of strategy and architecture for Infrastructure Software and Blades at HP ( “Architectures and partitioning software are chosen based on the goals of the project, along with plans for management, high availability and disaster recovery, and backup and security procedures.”

Thome also recommends determining the metrics the data center uses (or will use) to measure success. For example, is IT judged based on response time to end users? On percent of unplanned downtime? On costs of capital expenditures or of the power bill? Also, data centers planning to implement partitioning should gather utilization data from their existing servers, storage, and applications, Thome says.

The actual process of partitioning new or existing drives is surprisingly simple. “Most partitioning utilities show each hard drive in the system with graphic representation of the partition layout. After installing the partitioning software, an operation such as resizing partitions is usually as easy as dragging the border of a partition to the desired size or entering the desired size of the partition in numerical form, before allowing the application to carry out the partitioning operations behind the scenes,” Paragon’s Thomas says.

Rolling partitioning into production—that is, moving programs and data into a partitioned environment—can be accomplished with tools that automate the transfer of applications from physical servers to virtual servers, Thome says. From there, data centers can use ongoing monitoring and capacity planning to ensure the optimal distribution of workload and resources.

Tread Carefully

Although partitioning is generally a safe process, it’s not without pitfalls. For example, Thomas warns that when booting a server from recovery media, drive letter assignments might display differently than how they appeared in the host operating system. Further, he warns that file system errors and bad sectors can cause numerous problems, so it’s wise to check for physical errors and file system errors before creating or modifying partitions.

James Wilson, product manager for HP StorageWorks, says that another concern with storage cache partitioning is that the time required to move cache is variable and does not address short-term hot spots or sudden changes in workload. Further, the cache being moved is not available to any partition from the start of the move until the cache is reassigned to the new partition.

Despite these potential drawbacks, partitioning is here to stay in data center environments as an effective method for increasing operational efficiency. “Partitioning is like cutting a child’s birthday cake,” Thome says. “As long as you plan ahead and measure carefully, everybody is going to be happy.”

Partition Manager For Data Centers

Make Short Work Of A Long Task

By : Julie Sartain

Rackspace, located in San Antonio, Texas, is a global, enterprise-level hosting service. It needed a reliable product to repartition its hosting servers, so the company could find and reallocate free disk space without reinstalling the operating systems of its 70,000-plus clients.

Paragon Software Group (, located in Irvine, Calif., had the product Rackspace needed: Partition Manager 10, a program that not only repartitions servers but also provides a number of other partitioning and hard disk management tasks, all driven by a simple and user-friendly interface.
The Big Task

“Repartitioning a server’s partitions is a common request that we receive often,” says Trey Fischer, senior systems engineer at Rackspace ( “Our customers often want to move their free space around, and we don’t want to have to reinstall the operating system with each of these requests.”

According to Fischer, this process could be very costly and consume a large chunk of time. In addition to reinstalling the operating system, Rackspace would also have to migrate the client’s data and deploy new hardware. All these tasks result in extended downtime for Rackspace’s clients and its clients’ customers.

Because Rackspace designed and built the zero-downtime network (for its customers’ hosting needs only), it promises to reduce or eliminate client downtime, ensuring that promise with a money-back guarantee, notes Fischer. “That’s why we purchased the Paragon Partition Manager,” says Fischer, “to equip our rackers with a tool that can be used to repartition servers with minimum downtime.”

How It Works

“Partition Manager 10 combines common partitioning functions such as create, delete, format, and move with advanced capabilities such as resize, split, undelete, defragment, backup, restore, and more,” says Jim Thomas, technical services manager at Paragon Software. “Partition Manager’s interface provides virtual operations, which allows clients to visualize how the disk layout will appear once these operations are performed. Clients can also daisy-chain multiple operations before executing them as a single task.”

According to Thomas, Partition Manager can assist with common partitioning tasks such as formatting a partition with a FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, EXT2, EXT3, HPFS, or an Apple HFS file system, but it can also perform advanced tasks such as Power Shield protection. For example, if there is a power outage or system issue during the use of Partition Manager that causes the unexpected shutdown of the system during critical operations, Power Shield helps clients resume their tasks once power has been restored or the system is repaired, which eliminates any possible data loss.

The software also supports dynamic disks, letting clients convert from a dynamic disk back to a basic disk in order to carry out operations without loss of data. Drives can then be converted back to dynamic disks when all the necessary tasks are complete, notes Thomas. In addition, clients can manage partitions on RAID volumes as a single disk, repartition SANs to maximize storage efficiency, and/or perform partition alignment to optimize performance.

The built-in, universal file system drivers allow the software to browse almost any file system, including hidden or unmounted partitions, and to copy files and folders that would otherwise be inaccessible. Partition Manager also supports MBR (master boot record) and GPT (GUID partition table) partitioning schemes; IDE, SCSI, SATA, USB 1/2.0, and FireWire 400 and 800 hard drives; and CD-R/RW, DVD+/-R/RW, DL, and Blu-ray formats, Thomas adds.

Additional options are available for technician license subscribers. These add-on options include the Partition Manager Infrastructure, which offers operations scheduling and remote tasking. Because the software provides backup and restore capabilities, this add-on can also perform image-based deployments, and it includes an option for users to generate scripts that assist in queuing multiple operations for single-task execution. Other additional services assist clients with scripting and customization, Thomas says.

The Competition

According to Fischer, Rackspace reviewed several other products, including open-source software, before choosing Paragon’s Partition Manager. “After evaluating the product for ease of use, speed of repartitioning, cost, and support, we determined that this product best fit our requirements,” Fischer says. “The competitors’ products were either too costly, lacked support, or just did not work with all our operating systems.”

Fischer says Rackspace also chose Partition Manager because the program provides support for the latest hardware advances and current operating system releases. For example, Paragon offered early support of Windows 7 and Windows 2008 Server, in addition to support for Blu-ray media and GPT disks. The software also is regularly maintained with patches and updates, which are available for all registered users.

One other key selling point is Paragon’s support team, which is available by Web site, email, or phone at any time to assist with any problems encountered. “But the product was so intuitive, product training was not required,” says Fischer. “Our support teams had used a competing product before we evaluated Paragon’s Partition Manager, and the interfaces were quite similar.” The program also scales well into environments of all sizes, says Fischer.

Intuitive & Easy To Use

Fischer says that Partition Manager definitely fulfills the company’s needs. It functions as expected, and the interface is quite intuitive and easy to use. “We have no regrets whatsoever, except that we didn’t find this product sooner,” says Fischer.

Another plus for Partition Manager is that it is designed to address the needs of both users and system administrators, and it comes in Personal, Professional, and Server editions. According to Paragon, basic users generally prefer Partition Manager over the native partitioning tools provided by their operating systems, which often lack the functionality of the Paragon products. And most system administrators have advanced requirements for functions that are not provided by an OS.

Partition Manager’s range of useful functions makes it ideal for either situation. “And the cost savings from switching from the competing product has really lowered our costs substantially. In terms of performance, we are pleased with the results of repartitioning, and we would recommend it as a tool in any technician’s toolbox,” Fischer says.

Fischer says Rackspace plans to continue offering the Partition Manager benefits to its customers. Because redistributing free disk space is a Rackspace feature and a client benefit, it is their right to request it. “So as long as Rackspace has customers that request relocation of their free disk space, i.e., reallocation to other partitions, we will continue to have and use a tool to meet those clients’ needs,” says Fischer.