VMware claims vSphere 4 has reached more than 350,000 downloads in the first 12 weeks of general availability. vSphere 4 is heavy on data storage updates, including thin provisioning and hot extension for virtual disks, support for third-party multipathing software and a low-end data protection tool that competes with Microsoft Corp.'s Data Protection Manager (DPM).
New APIs opened to storage vendors in conjunction with vSphere 4 will also lead to the proliferation of vCenter plug-ins for storage management systems. These plug-ins can give VMware administrators visibility into the underlying storage infrastructure, or manage replication and failover for disaster recovery through Site Recovery Manager.
FalconStor, Neverfail boost VMware disaster recovery
FalconStor Software Inc. is updating its IPStor software suite to Site Recovery Manager and vCenter, as well as a new virtual appliance for its data deduplication software.
A new set of features for FalconStor's Network Storage Server (NSS) storage virtualization software lets customers failback following an SRM failover by using NSS and FalconStor replication to reverse replication from the DR site, re-register virtual machines at the primary site and power them on. Another update lets NSS take snapshots of physical servers, stand them up as virtual machines at the DR site in the event of a failover, and fail them back along with virtual servers for recovery.
FalconStor is also making a new plug-in available that will allow for storage management of NSS through vCenter. This means VMware administrators won't have to contact storage administrators every time they have to carve out a new logical unit number (LUN), said Fadi Albatal, FalconStor's vice president of product marketing. Storage managers can pre-configure a storage pool within NSS to keep VMware provisioning from interfering with the rest of the storage environment.
FalconStor's File-interface Deduplication System (FDS) will now be available in a virtual appliance for organizations looking to deploy dedupe in remote offices or branch offices (ROBOs) with a minimum of server hardware. The FDS appliance will use vSphere 4's new hypervisor pass-through feature for improved performance, but is currently being limited in scale to 1 TB or 2 TB, Albatal said.
The Neverfail Group is adding support for vSphere 4 in Neverfail Version 6, which also adds three-way server failover and bandwidth optimization. Neverfail vAppHA, another new product launched at the show this week from the company, adds Neverfail's ability to see an application's "heartbeat" into VMware's high-availability (HA) utilities.
Brocade, Mellanox and QLogic focus on network optimization for virtual servers
Brocade Communications Systems Inc.'s Data Center Fabric Manager (DCFM) 10.3 adds visibility into the network infrastructure from the virtual machine through the switch to the storage LUN. Previously, DCFM tracked resources according to physical server. If customers have deployed Brocade's host bus adapters (HBAs) and switches, the Brocade fabric can now provide Quality of Service (QoS) network traffic throttling for individual virtual machine workloads. Brocade is also adding a vCenter plug-in.
Vendors are also strongly aligning Data Center Ethernet (DCE) and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) product pitches with VMware infrastructure support at this year's show. Mellanox Technologies Ltd. will demonstrate its new vSphere 4-certified 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) switch and the second generation of its ConnectX architecture. The ConnectX-2 architecture will allow customers to run InfiniBand, FCoE and DCE networks on the same infrastructure.
QLogic Corp. said VMware parent EMC Corp. has qualified QLogic's host-side 8100 Series FCoE Converged Network Adapters (CNAs) for use with EMC storage systems. EMC will sell the CNAs through the EMC Select program.
Sybase teams with Symantec and VMware on database clustering
Sybase Inc. said the latest version of its Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE) software supports Symantec Corp.'s Veritas Storage Foundation and Veritas Cluster Server storage management software to provide shared-storage database server failover in VMware or cloud computing environments.
Citrix unveils new Xen cloud infrastructure project
Cloud computing will be another theme at this year's show, and VMware rival Citrix Systems Inc. (the maker of Citrix XenServer) is launching a new open-source project for developers around the Xen hypervisor. The goal is to develop new cloud data storage management extensions and other infrastructure management services that will make up the Xen Cloud Platform.
EMC adds VMware's application performance management to Ionix
EMC will resell and bundle VMware's vCenter AppSpeed application with its Ionix data center management software suite. vCenter AppSpeed shows IT administrators an end-user's view of application performance attached to a virtual server environment. vCenter AppSpeed will alert administrators of performance problems in the VMware environment. Ionix, formerly known as Smarts and rebranded a few weeks ago, will then perform root-cause analysis for a data center manager. If the performance problem is found to be in the storage infrastructure, the storage administrator would use the EMC Ionix ControlCenter Performance Manager to correct the problem.
IBM to offer VDI in the cloud
IT pros experiencing headaches over hosting the storage and networking infrastructure for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environments now have the option of deploying virtual desktops from the cloud through a new partnership between IBM, Citrix Systems, Desktone Inc., VMware and Wyse. The new IBM Business Desktop Cloud will become available in October.
Virtually every storage vendor you can name will have a product demo on the show floor. Here are a few of the selections available:
Storage software vendors officially support vSphere 4
Adaptec Corp. will showcase its Unified Serial Controllers with solid-state drives (SSDs). Atto Technology Inc. will demonstrate 8 Gbps FC Celerity FC-82EN HBAs and FastStream SC 8500 RAID storage controllers running with VMware virtual machines. Emulex Corp. and IBM will demo a new virtual network interface card (NIC). Hewlett-Packard Co. / LeftHand will have a large VMware demo running on the show floor. NetEx Inc. will demonstrate its HyperIP WAN optimization software for VMware applications. Promise Technology Inc. will demo its new VessRAID disk array with drive spin-down.
Seanodes will demonstrate its Exanodes iSCSI software as part of a nine-blade system featuring hard drives and solid-state drives jointly with NCS Technologies Inc. Exanodes presents all disks embedded in VMware ESX application servers as a shared storage pool that any server can access. Storwize Inc. will show off its STN-6000 data reduction product running with VMware virtualized servers.
VMware, Cisco Systems Inc. and EMC (VCE) will have a massive VDI infrastructure demo set up using EMC storage and Cisco's Unified Computing System.
Other vendors announcing new product integration and/or certification with vSphere 4 include:
Double-Take Software with Double-Take Move 5.2 StorMagic Inc. with its StorMagic SvSAN iSCSI storage virtualization software Veeam Software Inc. - Veeam Backup & Replication