Nexenta upgrades open-source software for VMs

By Kevin Komiega

-- In an effort to tap into the growing pool of budget-conscious storage buyers, Nexenta Systems today announced the release of NexentaStor 2.1, an open-source unified storage system based on the ZFS file system.

NexentaStor virtualizes underlying storage and can present logical capacity to virtual servers via NFS, iSCSI or Fibre Channel in Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware virtual machine (VM) environments.

NexentaStor 2.1 adds a number of capabilities to NexentaStor 2.0, including StorageLink integration for the management of storage for XenServer and Hyper-V environments. In addition, Nexenta is including Fibre Channel support to the Target block-level management target as well as additional improvements to both block-level and file-level replication.

Nexenta also offers an optional module called VM Data Center that allows for one-click storage provisioning and VM cloning. 

NexentaStor is available as a software appliance, meaning that it installs as a bare metal install on standard x86 servers.

Evan Powell, Nexenta's CEO, calls storage the "last bastion" of vendor lock-in. However, he says, the walls around proprietary systems and software are starting to come down.

"Storage has been held back by proprietary file systems and disk formats and dominated by vendor lock-in and proprietary technologies and for some very good reasons. You can get fired for losing your company's data," says Powell. "That creates an innate conservatism when it comes to storage."

But change is afoot as economic pressures and more reliable, inexpensive open-source products make their way to market, according to Powell.

"The reality is adoption is going pretty quickly as customers realize that tapping into the commodity hardware market saves a lot of money over time," says Powell.

Nexenta claims to have more than 11,000 end users and 500 paid customers.

Nexenta is also beefing up its sales channels. The company announced new deals with several new channel partners last week, including Core Micro Systems, Datasys, Enigma Networks, next-IQ Systems, Nitech, Nemco and TrustIT.

Related articles:
Vendors join forces for ZFS-based NexentaStor unified storage with AoE
LSI to buy ONStor
ONStor ships open-source unified storage for SMBs

This article was originally published on August 17, 2009