VMware Data Protection Is Big Business for Storage Vendors

Judging from the number of announcements at virtualization events this week and last, storage vendors are finding plenty of business protecting virtual server environments (see Virtual Machines Pose E-Discovery Risk, Vendor Says).

EMC (NYSE: EMC), Dell (NASDAQ: DELL), HP (NYSE: HPQ), Hitachi Data Systems, Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC) and NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) are just some of the vendors rolling out data protection solutions for Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Hyper-V and VMware (NYSE: VMW) environments, and with VMworld getting under way today, more announcements will be coming over the next few days.

StorageIO Group founder and senior analyst Greg Schulz said VMware itself has been leading the charge by providing “frameworks and opportunities for ecosystem vendors … to plug their solutions into the VMware infrastructure and enable it. So while VMware provides the framework, it also relies on third-party data movers and replication tools, media management and scheduling for backup and data protection tools, data protection management tools, and a host of others to enable the ecosystem.”

VMware added to that framework today with vStorage, a set of new capabilities and APIs to help users manage storage infrastructures in their virtual environments.

The vStorage APIs offer “tight integration of advanced capabilities from storage partners” with the Virtual Datacenter OS from VMware, boosting snapshot, thin provisioning, replication and restore capabilities. The Storage Virtual Appliances “deliver key storage functions from storage partners in the form of VMware Ready virtual appliances,” and are aimed at offering small offices and business features such as shared storage, data protection and data de-duplication.

Storage Vendors Trot Out VM Wares

Mike Inkrott, Symantec’s senior product manager for Backup Exec, said virtual machines “seem to pop up like weeds,” creating “a lot of complexity for the IT administrator.”

To help, Symantec has added a number of features to its Backup Exec products to protect virtual server environments. The company has simplified the backup process so that an unlimited number of guest machines within a VMware ESX or Microsoft Hyper-V host environment can be backed up to disk or tape from a single agent, and the software also supports individual file-level and image-level recovery from a single pass backup.

Symantec has also added more support for Windows 2008 and Linux.

Dell’s EqualLogic line and HP have also added new features to provide VM-level restores, while EMC, NetApp and HDS have added new features and support for VMware. And there’s more virtualization news on the way this week.

Meanwhile, Mark Bowker, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, said users shouldn’t ignore another virtualization vendor.

“What’s even more interesting is the integration Citrix XenCenter has with Dell and NetApp,” said Bowker. “Basically, make it as simple as possible to provision and manage storage and let the storage vendor continue to provide all its value without laying in a proprietary file system.”

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Paul Shread
Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for Time.com, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.

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