Symantec announces virtual server and storage platform

Posted on June 10, 2008

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By Kevin Komiega

—Symantec announced today that it has joined forces with Citrix Systems to offer customers a virtual server and storage infrastructure that the companies claim are more than the sum of its parts.

The two companies are combining Symantec's Veritas Storage Foundation management software with the Citrix XenServer server virtualization platform to create a new product called Veritas Virtual Infrastructure (VxVI), which is capable of managing thousands of virtual machines and their associated storage from a single interface in large-scale, x86-based environments.

Veritas Virtual Infrastructure brings storage management technology from the physical world to the virtual world, offering direct control of block storage from a guest virtual server, block storage functionality, including mirroring across heterogeneous arrays, and SAN-based multi-pathing for data availability.

Citrix XenServer brings server virtualization to the mix to enable sharing of common boot images across multiple virtual servers and streamline the provisioning process. The VxVI client/server architecture establishes unique, individual relationships between each virtual server and its underlying storage, as if it were a physical server.

"We worked with Citrix at the engineering level to make VxVI more than just a collection of bundled stand-alone products," says Sean Derrington, Symantec's director of storage management and high availability.

Storage Foundation manages storage across Windows, Linux, and Unix platforms with multi-pathing across Fibre Channel and iSCSI. Derrington says VxVI allows users to manage servers and storage from one screen by performing advanced management tasks, including mirroring and striping LUNs, dynamic reconfiguration of layouts, or copying and moving volumes around from subsystem to subsystem.

Matt Fairbanks, vice president of product marketing at Citrix, says virtualization is all about consolidation, but the storage infrastructure has been a hindrance to realizing the benefits of a virtual server infrastructure.

"Combining XenServer with the Veritas software will enable users to get up and running with virtual machines and storage in about 15 minutes," Fairbanks claims.

Citrix research shows that approximately 60% of the problems related to deploying server virtualization technology are caused by storage.

Veritas Virtual Infrastructure is expected to be generally available this fall, with proposed pricing starting at $4,595 per 2-socket server.

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