VMworld product wrap-up

By Dave Simpson and Kevin Komiega

-- Rounding out our coverage of announcements from the VMworld show this week (for other articles about the show, see LeftHand streamlines virtual desktop deployment, EMC brings Symmetrix thin provisioning to VMware, Cisco blitzes VMworld with SAN products, and FalconStor virtualizes SANs, replication for VMware ) . . .

In addition to making a number of announcements centered on managing VMware environments, EMC introduced new data-protection functionality for VMware in its Replication Manager software, which automates the management of EMC array-based replicas and accelerates backups. With the latest release of Replication Manager, management of copies and recovery of both physical and virtual environments can be handled through a single console. The software integrates with VMware ESX servers and Virtual Center APIs, as well as VMFS, to ensure virtual machine (VM) consistency.

IBM introduced the Virtual Storage Optimizer (VSO) for its Virtual Infrastructure Access (VIA) services, which is designed to optimize users' virtual desktop environments and reduce the capacity requirements for storing virtual images. IBM officials claim that VSO can provide a 75% reduction in the time required to create and deploy new virtual machines.

Emulex announced that its Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE)-based converged network adapters (CNAs) have been certified for use in VMware ESX environments. The adapters support NPIV, which allows users to virtualize SAN connections so that each VM has independent access to its own protected storage. Emulex also demonstrated migration of virtual machines over Fibre Channel and FCoE topologies using VMotion and Emulex's Virtual Adapter technology, as well as its HBAnyware management software for VMware. In addition, Emulex announced that it has joined the VMware Alliance Affiliate Initiative, and that its 8Gbps Fibre Channel HBAs have been certified for use with Citrix XenServer 5 virtualization software.

QLogic announced that its 8000 Series of 10GbE FCoE CNAs have been certified for use with VMware ESX hypervisors and demonstrated migration of VMs over FCoE and Fibre Channel platforms. QLogic's CNAs provide features such as port virtualization and hardware offload for FCoE protocol processing (vs. NICs that rely on software initiators). Also at VMworld, QLogic announced that its 2500 Series of 8Gbps Fibre Channel HBAs have been added to Sun's storage portfolio.

NetEx introduced Virtual HyperIP bandwidth optimization solutions for VMware environments that the company claims can deliver up to a 10× performance boost in data replication and file transfers over WANs. The "data-transport optimizer" software works with replication software from vendors such as EMC, NetApp, Symantec, IBM, Data Domain, and FalconStor. In a VMware environment, Virtual HyperIP becomes a software "instance" in the ESX operating platform. Features include 90% bandwidth utilization, performance from 1.5Mbps to 800Mbps, and block-level compression ranging from 2:1 to 10:1.

UltraBac Software announced that its UBDR Gold software can now create a VMware Virtual Machine Disk (VMDK) file while capturing a live system snapshot backup. The goal is to simplify disaster recovery by eliminating the conversion required by a typical physical-to-virtual (P2V) operation. The new software option is due in the fourth quarter. UBDR Gold 4.0 currently supports VMware, including P2V, P2P, V2P, and V2V functionality.

BakBone Software demonstrated its NetVault: Backup VMware Plugin, which provides data protection for VMware environments via the NetVault: Backup user interface, and integrates with VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB) without the need for scripting.

AMCC demonstrated its 3ware 9690SA SAS RAID controllers in a configuration that included 16 Seagate SAS drives, a Supermicro 836EL1 enclosure and two virtual machines: a Windows VM running an SQL I/O stress database simulator to generate I/O activity while performing snapshot backups of the data with a Linux VM independently performing Web-hosting operations.

iStor Networks used VMworld to showcase its 8-port 1Gbps and single-port 10Gbps iSCSI systems, as well as a new release of its integraSuite/MC Management Center software. The demo included Neterion's 10Gbps Xframe II adapters. Software functionality included storage virtualization, provisioning, and allocation, and real-time volume expansion and data migration.

Wasabi unveiled a new operating system and VMX iSCSI SAN appliances at VMworld. New features included thin provisioning, snapshots, and 10GbE ports. Wasabi's booth demo included two VMware-certified VMX 2000sx storage platforms, two VMware ESX servers, and a VMware VMotion server connected via 10Gbps Ethernet routed through a Fujitsu switch.

iQstor Networks announced that its iQ2850 iSCSI array has been certified for use in VMware Infrastructure 3 environments. Features of the iQ2850 include storage virtualization, snapshots, volume copy, remote replication, storage provisioning, and policy-based capacity growth.

Coraid, the developer of the ATA-over-Ethernet (AoE) protocol, made the following announcements at the show: a free AoE drive for VMware ESX hypervisors; the EtherDrive VS21 VirtualStorage Appliance, which puts array-based virtualization on the storage network; and the EtherDrive LD2461 Storage Appliance, a RAID array that attaches to 10GbE networks via the AoE protocol. Coraid also announced a new price for its EtherDrive SR2421: $12,000 for a configuration with 24 1TB drives, or $4,995 without disks.

STORServer debuted its V-Series Data Protection Appliance for VMware ESX, which provides backup, archive, and disaster recovery in both disk-to-disk (D2D) and disk-to-disk-to-tape (D2D2T) configurations. STORServer's data-protection appliances have historically required users to deploy a physical server to take advantage of the appliances' storage features and services, but company officials say that virtual servers eliminate that need.

The appliances are based on IBM's TSM software. Additional storage services such as remote replication, continuous data protection (CDP), and data de-duplication can be added using additional VMware virtual appliances.

A typical configuration of the STORServer V-Series appliance, which will be available in the fourth quarter, is priced from about $40,000. The appliances can scale from 100GB to more than 1PB.

DataCore Software demonstrated its SANsymphony software in a multi-vendor SAN with partners such as VMware, Microsoft, Cisco, QLogic, AMD, Promise, Xiotech, and Pano Logic (desktop virtualization platforms). Software functionality included thin provisioning of virtual disks, online recovery via snapshots, automatic fail-over, and real-time synchronous mirroring. The demo included 12 VMware ESX VMs running Windows Server 2008 spread across three Sun Fire X4100 M2 servers.

Xiotech announced integration with VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM), enabling users to accelerate disaster-recovery processes in virtual environments. Xiotech also supports VMware Infrastructure environments with the Virtual View add-on for its ICON Manager software, which simplifies storage monitoring, management, and provisioning tasks in virtual environments.

Server Engines demonstrated its converged storage/network platform, BladeEngine, with features such as policy-based I/O virtualization using 10GbE, pre-boot configuration of network and storage identities, vMaestro management software (which plugs into VMware VirtualCenter), and Desktop eXperience Redirection (DXR) software for virtual desktops.

GlassHouse Technologies introduced a suite of Managed Services for Virtual Environments that uses Tek-Tools Software's Profiler for VMware software.

Asigra, which provides agent-less information recovery management platforms, said that it has joined the VMware Technology Alliance Partner (TAP) program.

Compellent announced that it will integrate its Storage Center SAN technology and block-based thin-replication software with VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) for disaster recovery. Compellent's enabling SRM Storage Adapter software will be available in the fourth quarter.

This article was originally published on September 19, 2008