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The Patents that Power Cirrus Data Solutions
1. U.S. Patent No. 8,255,538: Systems and methods for intercepting data relating to storage volume access – Issued: August 28, 2012
This Cirrus Data Solutions patent is a powerful, comprehensive protection for CDS’s Transparent Data Interception (TDI) technology. TDI is a novel and ingenious invention which involves a unique architecture and design and which uses standard storage HBA ports to create a transparent data path as a virtual cable. The technology provides the capability to insert an appliance in-band between the host and the storage without causing downtime and without requiring any changes to the host, the switch, and the storage. The appliance automatically discovers the WWPN of each storage target port and host initiator port once connected, thus allowing it to be totally transparent. The result is a true plug-and-play technology that provides the basis for a number of solutions including data migration, data caching, and data replication.
2. U.S. Patent No. 8,417,818: Systems and methods for intercepting data relating to storage volume access – Issued April 9, 2013
The second Cirrus Data Solutions patent extends the coverage of the TDI invention to additional storage protocols, such as iSCSI, SATA, Infiniband, and others. While specific technical details of TDI may vary from protocol to protocol, the same transparent datapath insertion results can be achieved using clever manipulation of these existing storage connectivity protocols to seamlessly insert this “virtual cable” into the data path. In the end, the TDI technology is once again transparently and stealthily embedded into production environments, and the same desirable storage services can be added to existing storage configurations using many other storage protocols.
3. U.S. Patent No. 9,077,752: Systems, apparatus, and methods for identifying stored data that may be accessed by a host entity and providing data management services – Issued July 7, 2015
This Cirrus Data Solutions patent extends the coverage of the TDI invention to host-side intercept, with all the protocols covered in the previous patents. In addition, this patent also covers the configuration where vSAN, or Virtual Fabric capable switches can be used for increasing the fan-in/fan-out ratio. This increases the efficiency of the Nexus to allow one-to-many intercept, meaning a single nexus can be used to intercept multiple links. With the host-side intercept, and the one-to-many configuration, a single pair of CDS appliances with few Nexus can be used to intercept a large environment with many storage links. Frequently the number of storage paths provided by these links are not present for performance reasons, but rather appear due to simplified redundancy configuration. By consolidating the paths transparently, the system can be intercepted by reducing the over redundant paths without performance degradation and without introducing risk.
4. U.S. Patent No. 9,229,647: Systems, Methods, and Apparatus for Spoofing a Port of a Host Entity to Identify Data that is Stored in a Storage System and May be Accessed by the Port of the Host Entity – Issued January 5, 2016
The fourth Cirrus Data Solutions patent extends the protection of the host side intercept technique, which allows selected interception of storage links and limits the scope of exposure. The enhanced technique provides greater flexibility and scope in supported configurations and topologies in enterprise storage environments. The added flexibility and control significantly increases the range and variety of applications using the intercept mechanism. In addition to data migration and centralized data caching, the technology can also be extended to data protection with backup, archiving, as well as malware detection, and possible data intrusion, thus making it possible to enable a complete line of advanced network storage functions.
5. U.S. Patent No. 9,298,390: Systems and methods for copying data maintained in a dynamic storage volume and verifying the copied data – Issued March 29, 2016
U.S. Patent No. 9,298,390 is the 5th patent granted to Cirrus Data Solutions Inc. This invention is a mechanism implemented to dynamically track data images migrated for integrity verification. The Cirrus Data migration appliance performs data migration on a live production environment where the data continues to change during the migration process. The Cirrus Data migration operation is asynchronous, and is performed in a multi-pass manner. Time slots are customized for weekdays, weekends, or holidays, each with specified aggressiveness. This flexible migration system allows data to be migrated efficiently, yet with minimal impact to production traffic. The dynamic data image tracking mechanism is created to enable verification of the data under this kind of dynamic operating environment. With this invention, the migrated data can be verified whenever a consistent intermediate image is achieved, independent of the capricious nature of the source data as well as the potentially elaborate migration schedule, therefore ensuring the fidelity of the migrated data.
6. U.S. Patent No. 9,495,113: Systems, devices, apparatus, and methods for identifying stored data by a device located in a path between virtual Fibre channel switches and performing a data management service – Issued November 15, 2016
U.S. Patent No. 9,495,113 is the 6th patent granted to Cirrus Data Solutions Inc. It covers the logical insertion technique for both host side and storage side configurations. With the logical insertion technique, storage links can be transparently inserted using switch commands either manually, or via the DMS insertion wizard. The current wizard supports most popular switch models, including Brocade and Cisco. Using the technique described in this patent, DMS appliances are inserted into active data paths without touching any physical cables in the storage environment. DMS appliances are simply connected into the production switches and logically inserted into data paths in a completely transparent manner, with zero disruption to the data I/O. Selected data volumes can then be migrated with minimal or no impact to production. This insertion technique also provides the most flexibility and scalability for planning and execution of mass data migration. In large environments, hosts can be selectively migrated, leaving the rest of the storage environment untouched an unaffected by migration.
7. U.S. Patent No. 9,542,120: Systems and methods for processing instructions while repairing and providing access to a copied volume of data – Issued January 10, 2017
U.S. Patent No. 9,542,120 is the 7th patent granted to Cirrus Data Solutions Inc. It covers the test view device method. During data migration, new destination LUNs are kept in a crash consistent state, which allows the application servers to test mount and review the data on the LUNs before the final cut-over occurs. During this time, the source and destination LUNs data differences are tracked, so each newly changed block in the source LUNs can be resynchronized to the destination LUNs as long as the LUNs are not yet cut-over. However mounting the intermediate images may change the data in the destination LUNs, which will disrupt the data relationship. The invention covered by this patent is a method to protect the destination data image while allowing unlimited access to the LUNs, ensuring the data relationship is maintained while the intermediate data images are reviewed and tested.
8. U.S. Patent No. 9,740,649: Systems, devices, apparatus, and methods for identifying stored data by a device located in a path between virtual Fibre Channel switches and performing a data management service – Issued August 22, 2017
U.S. Patent No. 9,740,649 is the 8th patent granted to Cirrus Data Solutions Inc. It extends the coverage of the logical insertion technique for both host side and storage side configurations. While most switches can be controlled and manipulated via standard commands, many variations in different switches – including those from the same manufacturers – can have different syntax and conventions that cause difficulties in the logical insertion process. The extended patent ensures that other techniques employed to accomplish insertion are included so the original method is protected.
9. U.S. Patent No. 9,792,076: Systems, devices, apparatus, and methods for transparently inserting a virtual storage layer in a fibre channel based storage area network while maintaining continuous input/output operations – Issued October 17, 2017
U.S. Patent No. 9,792,076 is the 9th patent granted to Cirrus Data Solutions Inc. This patent covers the invention of an unique method for transparent virtualization of storage. In this case, the storage being transparently intercepted can be dynamically virtualized, ensuring no interruption to client applications during the virtualization process. The technique involves extensive storage device identity and state impersonation to maintain the façade of the original storage even if this hardware has already been taken offline, and new, virtualized storage already put in its place. The first application is the so called “pMotion” feature in the widely deployed and successful enterprise data migration product, DMS.
10. U.S. Patent No. 10,013,215: Systems, devices, apparatus, and methods for transparently inserting a virtual storage layer in a fibre channel based storage area network while maintaining continuous input/output operations – Issued July 3, 2018
U.S. Patent No. 10,013,215 is the 10th patent granted to Cirrus Data Solutions Inc. This patent extends the coverage of the transparent virtualization method by adding another 11 claims to the original. This solidifies the protection over the novel scheme with more intercept configurations, including the alternate initiator WWPN method and the selective path method, each of which greatly expands the supported environment and application scenarios. These intercept configurations provide unprecedented virtualization platforms and create a new virtualization paradigm for many possibilities.
11. U.S. Patent No. 10,152,281: Systems, devices, apparatus, and methods for transparently inserting a virtual storage layer in a fibre channel based storage area network while maintaining continuous input/output operations – Issued December 11, 2018
U.S. Patent No. 10,152,281 is the 11th patent granted to Cirrus Data Solutions Inc. This patent extends the coverage of the transparent virtualization method by adding another 21 claims to the original. The new methods protect the novel and innovative ideas used to provide better server cluster configuration support – which preserves and enforces storage fencing – and allow for end-to-end zero-downtime cluster migration and cutover to new storage, an industry first.
12. European Patent No. 2795454: Systems and methods for providing data management services – Issued May 2, 2018
European Patent No. 2795454 is the first patent granted to Cirrus Data Solutions in the EU – the company’s twelfth overall – and encompasses systems and methods for storing and managing data, more specifically systems and methods for providing data management services with respect to data maintained in a storage system. It also makes reference to our TDI technology which allows addition of services such as copy data management, snapshots, backups, and replication without disruption to the one or more host servers attached to a SAN. By taking advantage of WWPN spoofing and Fibre Channel VSAN technology, host-storage pathing information can remain unchanged as the original physical storage port’s WWPN’s are spoofed by the virtual storage port, allowing the hosts to believe they are writing to original storage, when they are actually writing to new storage. The object of this patent is to tie the method of providing data management services to ease of implementation using Cirrus Data’s Transparent Datapath Intercept technology.
Additional Patents Pending
Same or additional patents are filed, or prepared to be filed in other regions, including the European Union, China, Japan, and/or other jurisdictions applicable for intellectual property protection.