Product highlights from VMworld

By the InfoStor staff

—Over the past several days we've been reporting on some of the storage-related product announcements at, and immediately prior to, the VMworld show in San Francisco this week. For example, VMware unveiled several additions to its server virtualization platform, including an automated disaster recovery tool, a virtual desktop infrastructure manager, and a revamped hypervisor for VMware ESX Server 3i that will be embedded in server hardware (see "VMware beefs up DR management"").

Prior to the show, EMC announced a pair of products designed to simplify the management of backups in virtual server environments, including Avamar Virtual Edition for VMware (a version of its data de-duplication backup-and-recovery software) and the Avamar Data Store, a pre-configured system consisting of Avamar software running on EMC hardware (see "EMC extends de-dupe to VMware").

Also prior to VMworld, FalconStor Software introduced its Continuous Data Protection Virtual Appliance for VMware, a pre-configured software application packaged with the operating system inside a virtual machine (see "FalconStor unveils virtual CDP for VMware").

LeftHand Networks demonstrated its Virtual SAN Appliance (VSA) for VMware ESX Server, which is based on the company's SAN/iQ software platform (see "LeftHand demos virtual iSCSI SAN").

We wrap up our VMworld coverage with announcements regarding other storage-related VMware products and partnerships.

Acronis announced that its new True Image Echo application enables IT managers to back up and restore both physical and virtual servers. True Image Echo is the latest addition to Acronis' portfolio of backup and recovery, migration, and virtualization products. The software is compatible with Windows and Linux-based servers, and supports virtual server platforms from vendors such as VMware, Microsoft, XenSource and Parallels.

DataCore Software announced support for implementing its storage virtualization and SAN management solutions as 'virtual servers' that can run on server virtualization platforms from vendors such as VMware, XenSource, Microsoft and Virtual Iron, enabling users to create a virtual SAN storage server on VMs. The software includes DataCore's SANmelody, Traveller and SANsymphony.

InMage Systems and iStor Networks announced a strategic partnership at VMworld. The combination of iStor's iS325 Storage System and InMage's DR-Scout continuous data protection (CDP) software is designed for resellers and OEMs. Under the terms of the agreement, iStor will bundle a "lite" version of InMage's DR-Scout disaster recovery and CDP solutions with all of its iS325 systems.

EqualLogic will collaborate with VMware by integrating its PS Series IP SAN systems with VMware's Site Recovery Manager. Joint customers will be able to automate recovery processes and test full recovery of VMware Infrastructure environments that have been replicated between two EqualLogic SANs. The company's auto-replication capability is a standard feature in its PS Series arrays.

Emulex announced that its HBAnyware now supports VMware Infrastructure environments. HBAnyware controls Emulex LightPulse HBAs within a centralized, cross-platform framework, which combines remote-management options with secure access control. HBAnyware enables control of local and remote HBAs within a centralized management framework. Emulex also announced that it will partner with Cisco for a storage solution that runs on VMware environments.

QLogic focused on data migration at VMworld, claiming that its virtual HBAs eliminate the need to reconfigure SAN functions after live VM migrations. Live migrations allow IT managers to take down a working server, upgrade the operating system or apply patches, and then bring the server back up again while users continue to access applications on the server.

Pillar Data Systems announced that it has joined VMware's Technology Alliance Partner Program. Pillar's Axiom platform is designed to help users consolidate their storage resources, while simplifying management.

STORServer announced an agent for VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB) at VMworld. The agent includes a GUI for centralized management, scheduling, and reporting of virtual machine backups.

Onaro plans to extend its storage resource management (SRM) and capacity planning software with the upcoming launch of VM Insight 1.0, the latest addition to the company's SANscreen software suite. VM Insight takes the existing path awareness and change management capabilities of SANscreen and applies them where networked storage meets VMs.

The software displays real-time information on CPU, memory, I/O, network bandwidth, SAN bandwidth and array performance. According to Onaro, VM administrators can use the information to more efficiently deploy the correct ratio of VMs per physical server. The software also provides administrators with a common view of network storage service paths and changes.

"The roll out of virtual machines has presented the challenge of mapping virtual storage and virtual servers. It presents a whole new class of management challenges," says Onaro vice president of marketing Bryan Semple.

VM Insight 1.0 will address management issues in virtual environments by providing users with a cross-functional view of the resources being used by virtual machines to enable optimization of the underlying infrastructure.

Semple says that most VM management applications are focused on managing the VMs themselves and their associated images, while storage management and SRM application vendors have been building agents to read file-level data for the VMs. He claims VM Insight is the first cross-domain application that serves up a consolidated view of an organization's virtual infrastructure for both VM system administrators and storage administrators.

Pricing for SANscreen VM Insight will be announced when the product becomes generally available in December.

This article was originally published on September 12, 2007