Top 20 Storage Products From VMworld

Storage vendors made up one of the largest groups of exhibitors and presenters at VMworld 2009, and used the conference to introduce new hardware, software and channel programs to the army of solution providers who attended the conference.

Akorri, Littleton, Mass., combined forces at VMworld 2009 with 3Par, Fremont, Calif., to unveil a new cooperative marketing, sales and support agreement.

Akorri is the developer of BalancePoint, an application for managing, optimizing and planning performance and utilization across data center infrastructures. 3Par is the developer of the InServ Storage Server series of clustered arrays for tiered storage applications.

With this agreement, solution providers can help customers leverage BalancePoint 3.0 to troubleshoot, optimize and plan performance and capacity in virtualized data centers running 3Par InServ solutions. BalancePoint 3.0 works with storage from all the major vendors.

Akorri recently hired two new channel executives -- Bill Simpson, vice president of worldwide sales, and Warren Mead, vice president of U.S. channels -- to beef up its PartnerPoint channel program, which was recently enhanced with new marketing and sales support and improved online education and certification, deal registration and margin protection.

Aptare, Campbell, Calif., enhanced its new Aptare StorageConsole 7.1 Virtualization Manager, which looks at the storage sitting on virtual machines to help customers with planning, management and optimization of storage environments.

Virtualization Manager helps reclaim underutilized storage capacity in VMware ESX environments by helping server and storage administrators account for and view each virtual server and its associated storage.

According to Aptare, Virtualization Manager shows overutilized and underutilized storage, identifies hot spots that consume excess storage resources and improves efficiency by measuring the storage environment's I/O, latency and snapshot situations.

Virtualization Manager also supports VMware vSphere 4.0 and ESX 4.0 with automated alerts to flag when a virtual machine has reached predetermined storage usage thresholds.

Aptare StorageConsole products are available through solution providers or managed service providers who can use it to offer storage-reporting services, storage health checks and ongoing storage management services, the company said.

Asigra, a Toronto-based developer of cloud computing-based data backup and recovery technology, used VMworld 2009 to introduce changes to its channel program.

The primary change was to move away from basing partner margins solely on sales volume. Instead, margins will be based on the commitment partners make to Asigra, including growth of sales, amount of training they take for technical support services and their contribution to marketing of the company, including whether or not they provide case studies and customer references.

The goal is to make it possible for solution providers to be eligible for the same margins regardless of the size of the partner.

"Asigra remains a 100 percent partner-focused cloud backup and recovery software leader and our new pro-rata partner criteria is a first of its kind in the backup and recovery space to solve the age-old dilemma of channel program fairness," wrote Eran Farajun, Asigra executive vice president, in a statement.

Brocade Communications Systems, San Jose, Calif., unveiled new features and capabilities to provide increased awareness and visibility of virtual machines to SANs and vice versa in order to ease the management of virtual machines on storage networks.

Among the new features is Brocade Data Center Fabric Manager 10.3 optimized for VMware, which provides the discovery of VMware virtual machines via APIs and serves as a comprehensive data center workload manager.

Also new is the Brocade Management Plug-In for VMware vCenter, which provides realtime network diagnostics, statistics and troubleshooting, as well as the ability to automatically trigger a virtual machine migration via VMware's VMotion feature to address critical issues.

Brocade also unveiled a new license pack for its Brocade Fabric Operating System that enables SAN administrators to extend application-based network services such as quality of service and security to virtual machines and to improve the mobility and performance of virtual machines on a SAN.

CommVault, Oceanport, N.J., introduced the latest version of its Simpana 8 data protection software with enhanced functionality for virtual server environments.

Simpana 8 includes the company's Universal Virtual Server Agent, which the company said offers customers simplified management with extensive auto-discovery and auto-protection capabilities for virtual servers, as well as the ability to reduce backup and archive storage footprints across disk and tape with its global, embedded content-aware deduplication and block-level incremental image backups.

Simpana also includes VMware VMotion awareness, which allows the automatic and transparent tracking of virtual servers, and enables data recovery from physical to virtual, virtual to virtual or virtual to physical servers.

The enhanced version of CommVault's Simpana 8 is already available through CommVault's solution provider network.

DataCore Software, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is using VMworld 2009 to highlight its new Advanced Site Recovery (ASR) solution, which provides customers the implementation of distributed disaster recovery, and which spreads disaster recovery responsibilities across several smaller sites.

ASR works with VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager to provide a common automated disaster recovery process for both physical and virtual infrastructures across multiple different sites.

It also builds on DataCore's universal storage virtualization software to move IT operations from a central site to one or more distributed contingency locations and back again.

For solution providers, DataCore also is offering a new "Quick Start" resource site to help them work with customers in virtualized environments. Resources at the site include an eight-minute "Get Acquainted with DataCore" Webinar; an overview of bundles, promotions and packaging updates; and sales reference cards, including tips for selling DataCore solutions in VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer environments.

The UltraStor RS IP and IP-4 Gbit Ethernet iSCSI RAID appliances from Enhance Technology, Santa Fe Springs, Calif., were verified by VMware for use with servers virtualized with VMware's ESX software, letting customers aggregate memory, storage and networking resources into multiple virtual machines.

By using Enhance Technology's Gbit Ethernet iSCSI RAID appliances with VMware's storage virtualization technology, customers can improve the utilization of existing storage capacity to reduce energy consumption, simplify management and increase the flexibility and scalability of networked storage, the company said.

Solution providers can deploy the storage appliances to add value to virtual environments across a wide range of applications, including e-mail archiving, database archiving, SAN virtualization, disk-to-disk backup, digital video recording and surveillance, Enhance Technology said.

FalconStor, Melville, N.Y., enhanced its FalconStor NSS storage virtualization software with the addition of its new Storage Manager for VMware vCenter.

FalconStor Storage Manager for VMware vCenter extends advanced storage management features into VMware vCenter as a plug-in tool, allowing users to create virtual machines with storage allocated from FalconStor-managed storage within vCenter's console.

It also enables access to features such as virtual machine replication, thin provisioning and storage migration.

FalconStor Storage Manager for VMware vCenter comes with FalconStor NSS at no additional cost.

Hewlett-Packard used its time at VMworld 2009 to introduce technology to improve the ability of its EVA arrays and LeftHand iSCSI SAN arrays to work in virtual environments.

On the EVA side, HP now supports the running of its HP StorageWorks Command View EVA management suite within a VMware-based virtual machine. By moving Command View from a physical server to a virtual machine, customers can reduce infrastructure costs and save rack space, HP said.

HP also is partnering with VMware on the use of the latter's vStorage APIs to better integrate virtual server and virtual storage solutions. This makes it easier for HP's solution provider partners to integrate HP's current storage products, such as its LeftHand iSCSI SAN arrays, as well as future storage products into virtual infrastructures, the company said.

Iomega, a business unit of EMC, used VMworld 2009 to introduce a new four-drive NAS, the StorCenter ix4-200d, which is aimed at small businesses, distributed offices and home offices that typically do not have dedicated IT staffs.

The ix4-200d NAS appliance provides up to 8 TB of networked storage, and can be up and running in just a few minutes with four mouse clicks, Iomega said.

The appliance is certified for use in VMware and XenServer virtual environments for both file-based and block-based data, and provides device-to-device replication to network targets for business continuity and file recovery. It is priced starting at less than $700.

Seattle-based Isilon Systems used VMworld 2009 to unveil four new channel-exclusive NAS bundles for VMware environments, and said its products are now certified for use with VMware's vSphere 4 virtualization software.

Isilon manufacturers scale-out NAS appliances that can be used to build file systems of up to 3.45 Petabytes using its OneFS operating system.

The new bundles include one optimized for high performance, one with higher capacity optimized for archiving, one that balances performance and I/O for midrange customers and an entry-level bundle.

Isilon has been moving to use the channel as its primary account generator, and about 85 percent of its new customers in the last quarter came from channel partners, said Leonard Iventosch, vice president of global channels and OEM at Isilon.

Isilon offers its partners margins of between 20 percent and 30 percent, and more than 90 percent of its business through the channel requires no special pricing, Iventosch said.

LSI, Milpitas, Calif., said at VMworld 2009 that its 3ware 9650SE and 9690SA series RAID controller cards now include drivers providing support for VMware virtual server environments.

As a result, customers can combine advanced data protection and high data throughput in virtual server environments using VMware ESX 4.0 and ESXi 4.0, LSI said.

LSI 3ware 9650SE and 9690SA series controllers provide internal and external connectivity for systems using either SATA or SAS hard drives and are available in a variety of port configurations. The controllers are available through the LSI worldwide network of distributors, integrators and VARs.

With the new drivers, solution providers and system builders can deploy LSI 3ware RAID controllers in VMware environments to offer scalable storage solutions for virtual and cloud computing environments, LSI said.

Neverfail, Austin, Texas, introduced a new version of its business continuity solution for delivering high availability and disaster recovery for VMware's vCenter Server platform.

The new Neverfail 6.0 software protects mission-critical applications across a combination of physical, virtual and cloud-based servers.

Neverfail 6.0 consists of three primary modules, including Neverfail Tertiary for deploying fully automated, three-tier failover business continuity support even if multiple software applications crash; Neverfail WANSmart for maximum WAN performance while minimizing the bandwidth requirements and impact on other WAN users; and Unified Management Console, a single interface for realtime control of local and remote application availability deployments.

Neverfail 6.0 lets solution providers help improve customer productivity by making sure their employees can keep working even if multiple software applications go down while helping cut bandwidth usage by nearly 30 percent, the company said.

Houston-based Pivot3, a developer of highly available iSCSI SAN platforms, used VMworld 2009 to unveil enhancements to its Serverless Computing product line, which consolidates server applications into an IP SAN platform while cutting the amount of power, cooling, rack space and related costs.

Pivot3 Serverless Computing combines server and storage virtualization to consolidate physical servers into a Pivot3 SAN by adding server virtualization into each scale-out SAN appliance. The software aggregates the storage resources of each SAN appliance, allowing hosted servers access to the resources of all the aggregated SAN appliances and protecting both data and applications from appliance failures.

The Pivot3 high-availability storage appliances include a free virtual server with failover, and lists for $1,000 per TB.

The new VMware-certified VessRAID storage system from Promise Technology, Milpitas, Calif., is aimed at SMBs with high-capacity storage applications such as video surveillance, unstructured data and disk-to-disk backup. It features SAS and iSCSI host interfaces, and can be configured with up to 16 hard drives, or up to 80 drives using an optional 3U 16-bay expansion shelf.

For solution providers, the VessRAID storage subsystem is shipped with no hard drives, giving them the opportunity to integrate the drives to their customers' orders, including SATA drives with capacity from 750 GB to 2 TB and SAS drives in capacities from 36 GB to 1 TB.

Solution providers also have access to Promise's design registration program.

StorMagic, Eden Prairie, Minn., said its StorMagic SvSAN storage virtual appliance now supports VMware vSphere 4 as well as VMware ESX and VMware ESXi server virtualization platforms.

StorMagic SvSAN allows the building of a shared storage environment using existing storage capacity instead of requiring the purchase of shared storage to provide typical enterprise-class SAN functions for virtual servers that can also take advantage of VMware functionality such as VMotion.

StorMagic SvSAN also works with VMware vCenter Server to allow administrators to manage data stores, the StorMagic iSCSI SAN and the internal RAID controller from within the VMware vSphere Client and VMware vCenter Server for building a disaster recovery solution.

The software lists for less than $2,000, but a free version for managing up to 2 TB of capacity with no expiration date is available to qualified users.

Solution providers can make the free versions available to prospective customers in order to demonstrate the technology.

Storwize, Los Gatos, Calif., showcased its new STN-6800 online data-reduction solution at VMworld 2008.

Storwize reduces data capacity by compressing primary storage data instead of deduplicating data for backup or archiving. The STN-6800 can compress data by up to 90 percent before it goes to be further optimized for archiving, tape backup, disk backup and moving across the WAN.

When used in VMware environments, the STN-6800 can deliver up to five times the number of VMware VMDK files, which include virtual machine images, when compared to noncompressed data, all with no performance degradation, Storwize said.

Storwize gets almost all its revenue from indirect sales, with the few direct customers holding on from the days when it first released its appliances in 2007.

Storwize plans eventually to take all its customers indirect by recruiting solution providers with experience in storage and data reduction.

VirtenSys, Beaverton, Ore., demonstrated its flagship I/O virtualization switches, the VirtenSys I/O 4000 series, based on PCI Express standards.

The company's VIO 4000 switches let solution providers help customers consolidate, virtualize and share the major types of server networking and storage connectivity, including Ethernet, Converged Unified Fabric (FCoE), SAS/SATA and Fibre Channel, without requiring changes be made to the servers, networks or I/O adapters.

The switches help pool, consolidate and dynamically allocate I/O resources based on the needs of customers' applications in order to eliminate networking hardware and components, reduce management expenses related to physical reconfiguration of the networks and protect investment in existing IT infrastructures.

VirtenSys said its switches are transparent to existing servers and data centers, and allow channel partners to deploy them in customers' existing environments to provide significant cost and power savings.

Vizioncore and iland Internet Solutions demonstrated live trans-Atlantic data replication and disaster recovery during VMworld 2009.

The companies used both live and flash-based presentations of actual Web servers failing over from the iland high-availability data center in Dallas, which for the demo served as the primary site, to the iland high-availability data center in London, which served as the disaster recovery site.

They also showed how the data was replicated using the vReplicator software from Vizioncore, Hoffman Estates, Ill.

Houston-based iland is the developer of the iland Continuity Cloud, which provides disaster recovery services using high-availability data centers in Boston, Washington D.C., Houston, Los Angeles, Dallas and London using Vizioncore software.

Vizioncore's vReplicator software replicates data from physical servers to physical servers, physical to virtual, virtual to physical and virtual to virtual.

Xiotech, Eden Prairie, Minn., is using VMworld 2009 to introduce its new VM Storage Solution Lite solution for simplifying storage management in virtual environments, and said it allows solution providers to target smaller customers with its ISE technology than in the past.

The solution pairs Xiotech's Emprise 7000 Edge array with its Virtual View management tool.

The Emprise 7000 features Xiotech's Intelligent Storage Element (ISE) storage modules consisting of single or dual sealed DataPacs, each with up to 8 TB of storage capacity, dual managed controllers, dual power and cooling units, and dual battery modules.

Virtual View offers storage monitoring, provisioning and management in virtual environments via a single-console view of storage at the array, physical server and virtual machine layers.

VM Storage Solution Lite supports up to 10 ISE modules, and can be upgraded to the full VM Storage Solution, which supports up to 64 ISE modules.