LeftHand demos virtual iSCSI SAN

By Ann Silverthorn

—Continuing the stream of storage-related announcements at the VMworld show in San Francisco this week (which we'll recap on Wednesday), LeftHand Networks demonstrated its Virtual SAN Appliance (VSA) for VMware ESX Server, which is targeted at companies that are deploying or planning to deploy VMware Virtual Infrastructure 3 (VI3).

Powered by LeftHand's SAN/iQ software platform, the VSA converts internal storage on or across x86-based VI3 servers into a clustered iSCSI SAN and allows users to take advantage of features such as snapshots, thin provisioning, synchronous and asynchronous replication, automatic fail-over, and failback.

Production shipments aren't expected until November, but trial versions are available at www.vmware.com or www.lefthandnetworks.com.

Addressing data availability and recovery needs, LeftHand officials say server virtualization can create issues such as downtime in the event of a hardware failure. These issues include the disabling of multiple applications, which have been consolidated onto fewer physical servers. In addition, the company asserts that although virtualization increases utilization of the CPU, memory, and network resources, it often leaves out the storage element.

LeftHand's vice president of marketing, John Fanelli, says there are two predominant barriers to SAN adoption. Some smaller companies think they cannot afford a SAN, and larger companies have stranded storage and are paying for more power and cooling than they need.

LeftHand officials claim that the VSA enables companies to deploy a virtualized SAN environment in a remote/branch office for less than 50% of the cost of a physical SAN.

With LeftHand's Virtual SAN Appliance for VMware ESX, users can create a cluster out of two nodes. The appliance allows capacity integration so a virtual pool can consist of six disks. In addition, the storage won't go offline if a system fails, making the data on the virtual SAN highly available.

The Virtual SAN Appliance for VMware ESX Server is expected to be priced at $4,995.

For more VMware-related news:

VMware beefs up DR management

EMC extends de-dupe to VMware

FalconStor unveils virtual CDP for VMware

This article was originally published on September 11, 2007