Storage highlights from VMworld

Posted on September 03, 2009

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By Dave Simpson

September 4, 2009 – Storage vendors were out in force at this week's VMworld show in San Francisco, with a number of vendors using the show as a launch pad for new product introductions and others running demos of storage products tuned for VMware environments.

In addition to announcements from Brocade (see "Brocade adds VM visibility to SAN management software" ) and FalconStor Software ( "FalconStor extends virtual appliance line for VMware" ), here's a quick roundup of the show highlights.

Hewlett-Packard announced that its StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) Command View (CV) management suite can now operate within a VMware virtual machine (VM), a move that is intended to simplify management and increase resource utilization by allowing users to monitor and configure EVAs from the same platform used to manage their virtual server infrastructure.

HP also rolled out a SAN Readiness Assessment for Server Virtualization service that includes evaluation of the entire storage infrastructure in virtualization environments and provides reviews and report to help end users tune their virtual server/storage configurations. Pricing for the service starts at $18,500. (HP claims to have 768 VMware Certified Professionals.)

QLogic announced that its 8100 series of single-chip Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) converged network adapters (CNAs) have been EMC E-Lab Qualified with Symmetrix V-Max, DMX and Clariion CX4 disk arrays, as well as the Celerra NS line of unified storage systems. The CNAs are available through the EMC Select program.

A number of storage vendors announced compatibility with various VMware platforms and components. For example, Isilon announced that its IQ line of storage systems has achieved VMware Ready status and is compatible with vSphere 4. Isilon also demonstrated two bundled configurations of its 5400S and 12000 nodes -- with SnapshotIQ, SmartConnect and SmartQuotas software applications -- that are designed specifically for virtual server environments and the company's channel partners.

LSI announced that its 3ware 9650SE and 9690SA series of hardware-based RAID controllers now support VMware ESX and ESXi 4.0 via new drivers. The controllers support SAS and SATA drives.

Adaptec demonstrated its new Unified Serial Storage Controllers with support for solid-state disk (SSD) drives, hard disk drives (HDDs) and High-Performance Hybrid Arrays (HPHAs) in VMware environments.

Infortrend used VMworld to debut its new line of Enterprise Scalable Virtualized Architecture (ESVA) SAN arrays, which support Fibre Channel or iSCSI SAN connections. Other features include storage virtualization, thin provisioning, load balancing, array-based snapshots, replication, and an architecture based on a scale-out storage pool.

Symantec became one of the first vendors to achieve VMware Ready Data Protection status for its Backup Exec, NetBackup and NetBackup PureDisk software on the vSphere 4.0 platform.

Data Robotics announced that its "self-managing" DroboPro RAID arrays are certified with VMware, and are listed on the VMware Hardware Compatibility List.

Xiotech introduced the VM Storage Solution Lite bundle at VMworld, which consists of the company's Emprise 7000 Edge disk array, Intelligent Storage Element (IS) technology and Virtual View software. The configuration supports up to 10 ISE modules (160TB) and can be upgraded to the VM Storage Solution, which supports up to 64 ISE modules for 1,024TB of capacity. The bundled configuration is designed to simplify storage management in virtualization environments.

Pivot 3 announced that its Serverless Computing platform, which combines storage functionality and virtual server technology, now supports the Intel Core microarchitecture ("Nehalem"). The Serverless Computing platform works in IP SAN environments, and consolidates physical servers via server virtualization in scale-out SAN appliances. The storage appliances are priced at about $1,000 per TB, including a virtual server with failover support.

WAN optimization specialist NetEx announced that its software-only HyperIP for VMware now supports the migration and acceleration of live VMotion images between VMs over IP WAN connections. NetEx claims throughput increases of up to 600%.

Xsigo demonstrated its virtual I/O technology at VMworld, including a demo with 20Gbps throughput (Fibre Channel and Ethernet) over a single server cable. For more info on the company's technology, take The I/O Challenge.

I/O virtualization vendor NextIO demonstrated its Express Connect and next-generation Top of Rack architecture and appliances. In its "Bandwidth-on-Demand" demo, NextIO added 10Gbps Intel I/O cards without impacting the LAN fabric or VMware servers. The company also demonstrated the ability to pool solid-state disk (SSD) drives in the Top of Rack architecture.

Atto showcased its 8Gbps Fibre Channel HBAs (Celerity) and 8Gbps Fibre Channel RAID Storage Controller (FastStream SC 8500) in a VMware environment. The HBAs are available with one, two or four PCIe channels, and the FastStream controllers attach workstations and SANs. The company also demonstrated its 6Gbps SAS HBAs, which also support SATA drives.

Double-Take Software released Double-Take Move version 5.2, as well as VMware Ready certification for its Double-Take Flex Storage Server. The company's software enables P2P, P2V, V2P and V2V migration. Double-Take Move now supports vSphere 4, and VMware certification of the Flex product enables it to work with components such as VMotion and VMware HA.

Neverfail introduced vAppHA, which integrates the company's core application-aware data protection technology with the VMware High Availability (HA) and VMware VMotion components of vSphere 4.0. vAppHA continuously monitors Tier-1 applications running in VMs. Working with vSphere, vAppHA automatically switches application service over to other servers when failures are detected.

The company also unveiled Neverfail 6.0, which now supports tertiary (three-tier) data protection and WANSmart technology for minimizing bandwidth requirements over WANs.

Tek-Tools unveiled a pre-release version of its vProfiler software for virtualization management, which is designed for early-stage virtualization implementations. A free trial version (for up to seven months) is available from Tek-Tools' Web site. The software provides analysis, reporting and monitoring tools for up to three ESX hosts. As their virtualization environments scale, users can upgrade to the company's Profiler for VMware software.

DataCore Software announced a variety of programs for its channel partners, including a Business Continuity Starter SAN package and new software features such as Advanced Site Recovery (ASR) for vSphere, which enable remote-site IT resources to take over in the case of failures in the primary data center. Separately, DataCore recently announced support for Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE).

Storwize showcased its online data reduction technology, which is based on real-time compression, at VMworld. The tests demonstrated reduced filer CPU and disk utilization, shorter backup and restore times, and the ability to consolidate more VMs per storage array. The company claims that its STN-6000 appliance can deliver up to a 5X increase in available storage capacity.

For news and features on virtualization from a storage perspective, visit InfoStor's Virtualization Topic Center.


 

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