XenSource OEMs Veritas To Unify Server/Storage Virtualization

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Under the deal, terms of which were not unveiled, XenSource will embed Veritas Storage Foundation into XenEnterprise for all customers in order to provide integrated data protection and data management capabilities for their virtual servers, said John Bara, vice president of marketing for XenSource, Palo Alto, Calif. Availability is expected some time in the second half of the year, Bara said.

"XenSource gets the benefit of the Veritas brand, and we save time-to-market and R&D costs," Bara said. "For Symantec, they see an opportunity to fuse their produce with XenSource."

Veritas Storage Foundation offers a complete solution for heterogeneous online storage management based on Veritas Volume Manager and Veritas File System, with a set of integrated tools to centrally manage data growth and provide data protection. It allows centralized management of diverse applications in heterogeneous operating environments, including Solaris, Linux, HP-UX, and AIX.

XenSource is also developing a new product, XenEnterprise High Availability, which provides virtual server failover for business continuity purposes, Bara said. The new product is in the process of being tested and certified by Symantec for its Veritas Storage Foundation, he said.

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While live migration of virtual servers is a feature expected to be available in XenEnterprise next month, Bara said server consolidation into virtual machines is now a common feature. "But customers discover when collapsing 10 servers onto one server with virtualization now creates a single point of failure," he said. "So we developed this solution for the virtual server market."

XenEnterprise High Availability will eventually work with other data protection applications beside Veritas Storage Foundation because of the heterogeneous nature of working with virtual servers, Bara said.

XenEnterprise has also been certified as working with Symantec's NetBackup 6.5 data protection software. As a result, any critical Windows-based application working on a virtual server will work with NetBackup 6.5 as if it were running on a physical server, he said.

Sean Derrington, director of storage management for Symantec, said that the OEM deal with XenSource will benefit any solution providers currently working in the XenEnterprise environment by giving them the ability to offer Veritas Storage Foundation as an integrated part of the server virtualization application.

However, existing Symantec storage solution providers with no XenEnterprise capabilities will be able to offer the vendor's products to their customers as before, Derrington said.

"The deal is very complimentary to VARs with XenEnterprise customers because they also have other non-XenEnterprise servers," he said. "So VARs can sell Veritas Storage Foundation, NetBackup, and other similar applications into those environments."

Carl Rizzo, sales manager for R&D Data Products, a Monmouth Junction, NJ-based solution provider which works with both vendors, called the OEM deal a brilliant move by XenSource that gives the company great server virtualization technology with integrated storage.

"XenSource needed the deal," Rizzo said. "Veritas Storage Foundation is so hardware-independent that it enables a wide variety of storage hardware to interoperate with XenSource virtual machines."

Veritas Storage Foundation allows any storage device to connect to XenEnterprise applications in a non-proprietary way, Rizzo said. "So, for instance, you can put a Hewlett-Packard array one side of a wide-area storage network and connect to, say, an Equallogic array on the other," he said. "This eliminates compatibility issues when doing data replication and management."

Symantec currently has somewhat similar arrangements with its Veritas Storage Foundation and other vendors, Derrington said.

Sun Microsystems, for instance, resells Veritas Storage Foundation to its direct and indirect customers. HP includes Veritas Cluster File System, part of Storage Foundation, in its HP-UX operating system, he said.

Symantec also has a storage relationship with XenSource arch-rival and server virtualization market leader VMware, Derrington said. In this case, Symantec sells Cluster Server for VMware ESX Server, and last month certified its new Veritas NetBackup 6.5 data protection software with VMware, he said. The software allows full backups and incremental recovery of data on virtual servers with a single pass, as opposed to other applications which require multiple passes through the data, he said.