NEC Adds Server Virtualization, iSCSI To Storage Clustering Software

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The company's ExpressCluster family of high-availability clustering software comes in three versions. They include ExpressCluster SAN for shared data networks, ExpressCluster LAN for stand-alone mission-critical servers not attached to a SAN, and ExpressCluster WAN with synchronous data mirroring for between remote sites for disaster recovery.

ExpressCluster SAN now supports SANs built using servers virtualized with the three leading hypervisor-based virtualization applications, said George Wu, director of the software business of NEC Corp. of America, Santa Clara, Calif.

Those three include ESX from VMware, Palo Alto, Calif.; XenServer from Citrix Systems, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and Hyper-V from Microsoft, Redmond, Wash.

The new version of ExpressCluster WAN now supports both remote and local data protection to provide high-speed local access to data for quick restores and remote data protection for high availability, Wu said.

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All three versions of ExpressCluster also now support iSCSI storage devices, he said.

Future versions will include performance scalability across the different products as well as dynamic resource management, Wu said. "We'll be able to take resources like CPUs, disks, and memory, and then allocate workloads or migrate resources according to performance requirements," he said.

Licenses for the ExpressCluster applications start at $1,995 per physical server, or about 50 percent less that the cost of competing applications, Wu said. There are no additional licenses needed for virtual servers sitting on the physical servers, he said.

Dan Tracy, vice president of Team 1 Systems, a New Kensington, Penn.-based custom server builder specializing in building high-end Unix and Windows servers for other solution providers, said his company has been looking to get involved with server virtualization.

"We like having the hypervisor support built into the ExpressCluster," Tracy said. "It will be a big help with virtualization, and is something our customers have been asking for."

Team 1 Systems has been working with the ExpressCluster line for three or four years, and a lot of its resellers want to get involved with disaster recovery but do not understand that latency is an issue when doing disaster recovery between data centers separated by several miles, Tracy said. "NEC ExpressCluster overcomes this problem by offering both synchronous and asynchronous mirroring," he said.