Virtualization: Product highlights from VMworld

Posted on November 08, 2006

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By Ann Silverthorn

—At the VMworld 2006 conference in Los Angeles this week, a number of storage vendors demonstrated products that integrate with a variety of VMware offerings, such as VMware ESX Server, Virtual Infrastructure, VMotion, Virtual Machine Importer, and Distributed Resource Scheduler. Here are some highlights of the storage-related activity at VMworld:

Symantec unveiled Veritas Cluster Server (VCS) 5.0 for VMware ESX, which is designed to bring high availability and disaster recovery to heterogeneous data centers that run virtual server software. VCS for VMware ESX manages clustered virtual and physical servers and automates remote fail-over for disaster recovery. The software can centralize cluster management for a single ESX server or across a campus or WAN to prevent downtime due to application, virtual machine, network link, or server failures.

VCS for VMware ESX integrates with VMware's VMotion, recognizing movement of virtual servers and updating the cluster status. The software also integrates with VMware's Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS)—a workload optimization feature.

Symantec's VCS is part of Veritas Server Foundation, a software suite that enables users to discover what is running on their servers, to manage and administer the servers, and ensure high availability.

In addition to supporting VMware ESX, VCS complements Symantec's clustering solutions for Windows, Linux, and Unix platforms. VCS for VMware ESX is scheduled for release in Q1 2007. Pricing starts at $1,995 per server.

Showcasing its SANmelody SAN software, which supports VMware virtual infrastructures, DataCore introduced its Virtual Infrastructure Foundation software priced at less than $1,000. The entry-level software includes SANmotion data-migration services and thin provisioning. Virtual Infrastructure Foundation is designed for VMware proof of concept (POC) deployments and small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and workgroups to automate storage resource use over IP networks.

Double-Take Software demonstrated a pre-release of Double-Take for VMware Infrastructure at VMworld. The software runs outside the virtual-machine context on a VMware ESX Server host, replicating virtual machines to a secondary VMware ESX Server host and protecting the operating system, applications, and data. Double-Take also announced support for VMware's new Virtual Machine Importer 2. Users can leverage the software along with Double-Take's continuous data replication to move physical servers to virtual machines with minimal system downtime.

Emulex announced the availability of its LightPulse Virtual Host Bus Adapter (Virtual HBA) technology for VMware Infrastructure environments. The LightPulse Virtual HBA technology is available for use with the company's 4Gbps Fibre Channel HBAs and is interoperable with fabric switches from Brocade, Cisco, and McData. The technology enables each virtual machine or guest operating system to own and access a dedicated virtual HBA or worldwide port name (WWPN) even when several virtual machines share the same physical configuration management.

By implementing N-Port ID Virtualization, Emulex's Virtual HBA technology enables server-virtualization solutions to deliver zoning and LUN mapping, simplifying storage administration and lowering cost of ownership. LightPulse Virtual HBA technology is expected to be generally available for VMware Infrastructure in the first half of 2007.

Other storage-related vendors exhibiting at VMworld this week include Avamar (which is being acquired by EMC), CommVault, Compellent, FalconStor Software, LeftHand Networks, Network Appliance, and Xiotech.


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