Storage For Virtualized Environments Spotlighted At VMware Partner Exchange

Highlighting Storage For Virtual Environments

Storage vendors are out in force at the VMware Partner Exchange, held this week in Orlando, Fla.

And with good reason. Storage is a keystone of a virtualized IT environment and the move towards cloud computing. Choosing the right storage architecture can make or break a virtualization implementation given storage's central in backing up, restoring, and migrating virtual machines and their associated data.

A solution provider's customers will not know where their virtual machines and data are located in a virtualized environment. The right storage infrastructure makes sure that does not become an issue.

What follows is a first look at a variety of ways vendors are dealing with storage in virtual environments.

Acronis: Disaster Recovery With vCloud Hybrid Clouds

Acronis, a Woburn, Mass.-based developer of backup and disaster recovery solutions for physical and virtual IT environments, is going to the cloud with its Acronis Backup and Recovery 10 Advanced Server Virtual Edition. The software is one of the first in the backup and disaster recovery market to be listed as "Tested" with VMware's vCloud Director, which is the last step before getting fully certified. MSPs can use the software with vCloud Director to handle backup and recovery in physical, virtual, and cloud environments. Acronis also introduced a new monthly pricing model making it easier for MSPs to take to clients.

BlueArc: Adding Efficient Cloning, Replication To Scalable Storage

BlueArc, a San Jose, Calif.-based provider of scalable file storage, used the VMware Partner Exchange to unveil its new BlueArc System Software 8, the latest iteration of its hardware-accelerated file system for massive performance and scalability. BlueArc System Software 8 introduces new cloning and high-speed replication features. With JetClone, multiple copies or clones of single files are made by taking snapshots of that file and storing subsequent differences separately. JetMirror reduces the time needed to replicate large, complex file systems via an object-based file system to more efficiently replicate file- or block-based solutions.

DataCore: Repurposing Redundant Servers Into As Virtual Storage Pool

DataCore Software, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is showing its new SANsymphony-V data protection software with a new focus on helping customers repurpose redundant servers as virtual storage appliances. SANsymphony-V lets solution providers take advantage of surplus servers which are no longer needed after customers consolidate with server virtualization software by turning them into virtual storage appliances which can use their internal hard drives as part of a virtual storage pool. It also provides mirroring, cache-based application acceleration, load balancing, thin provisioning, continuous data protection, and disaster recovery features.

Dell-EqualLogic: Data Protection In VMware vCenter Environments

Dell introduced new EqualLogic Host Integration Tools for VMware, an expanded suite of EqualLogic data protection and management features integrated into vCenter. The package adds such new capabilities as simplified Datastore provisioning and management with the EqualLogic Datastore Manager, which also monitors storage usage from vCenter. It also includes the EqualLogic Virtual Desktop Deployment Tool, a VMware View-aware desktop provisioning wizard which deploys virtual desktop pools using array-based thin clones; and the use of EqualLogic Auto-Snapshot Manager/VMware Edition from the vCenter console for multi-tiered data protection in vSphere environments with hypervisor-consistent snapshots, replication, cloning, and recovery of virtual machines.

Drobo: Dropping "Cute" In Favor Of "Business-Friendly"

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Data Robotics, better known by the Drobo brand name on its line of shiny black consumer storage appliances, is using the conference to introduce its first storage arrays designed from the ground up for SMBs and channel partners. The company's new 8-bay and 12-bay storage appliances include such high-end features as auto tiering between SSDs and hard drives, automatic thing provisioning, and application-aware performance down to the byte level, with a full-featured, 12-TB configuration list priced at $9,999.

F5 Networks: Streamlining And Accelerating Virtual Desktops

Seattle-based F5 Networks is showing a new scalable solution for streamlining and accelerating VMware View virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployments. The company's F5 Big-IP Access Policy Manager (APM) module is now licensable on BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM Virtual Edition (VE). APM for LTM VE is a high-performance access and security solution offering an authentication, authorization, and accounting module for virtual Application Delivery Controllers. APM for LTM VE can be deployed on existing hardware alongside virtual servers that host VMware View desktops to help organizations control infrastructure costs.

FalconStor: Emphasizing The "Recovery" In Disaster Recovery

FalconStor Software, Melville, N.Y., used the VMware Partner Exchange to unveil RecoverTrac, a new feature within its FalconStor Continuous Data Protector (CDP) and FalconStor Network Storage Server (NSS) offerings aimed at making sure that business operations can recover after a disaster. RecoverTrac sits at the disaster recovery site to automate complex, time-consuming, and error-prone data protection and recovery processes. According to FalconStor, it can bring an entire data center, including servers, storage, applications, and networking, back online after a disaster strikes the main data center, and works in any physical and virtual environment.

Neverfail: OEM Program For Disaster Recovery Tech

Neverfail Group, an Austin, Texas-based provider of high-availability and disaster recovery solutions, unveiled a new OEM partner program allows ISVs to customize, market, implement, and support such solutions for their customers. ISV members of the partner program can integrate Neverfail’s ready-made continuous availability technology into their products instead of developing that technology in-house. Neverfail also provides OEM partners with technical training, product support, license integration, and joint marketing and sales activities.

Nexsan: Emphasizing The Management

In addition to showcasing its suite of next-generation mid-market storage solutions, Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based Nexsan will use the VMware Partner Exchange to introduce how its storage appliances offer partners and customers a choice between managing at the array level or at the hypervisor and storage resource management level, Randy Chalfant, vice president of strategy for Nexsan, said the storage vendor expects its arrays to be qualified with all the major hypervisor vendors soon after the conference.

Pancetera: Streamlining Storage Migrations In Virtualized Environments

Pancetera, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based developer of virtual storage appliances, is showing Pancetera Unite 2.1, a new version of its technology for improving management and streamlining performance in virtualized environments. Unite 2.1 features improved efficiency with seamless interoperability and storage migration capabilities. It also includes SmartMotion technology for simplifying and reducing the time required to copy, move, or replicate virtual machines from hours to minutes. It also features improved efficiency, easy integration with VMware and Microsoft environments, interoperation and manageability enhancements for IBM Tivoli Storage Manager, and enhanced deduplication support.

VKernel: Helping Scale Virtualization

VKernel, an Andover, Mass.-based provider of capacity management products for virtualized data centers and cloud environments, is showing its new VKernel Capacity Management Suite 2.2

Zmanda: Virtual Machine Backup Regardless Of Location Or Migration

Zmanda, a Sunnyvale, Calif. developer of open source backup and cloud backup software, is demonstrating its next generation VMware backup software. This release adds support for the VMware vCenter Server so that a user can specify which virtual machine they want to back up and point the backup server to the vCenter Server without worrying about which specific vSphere or ESX host the virtual machine is running on. Once scheduled, the backup will run uninterrupted even if the specified virtual machine is moved by VMware VMotion or VMware High Availability. The virtual machine can be recovered to the original location or on any specified hypervisor.