VMware Puts Storage in Motion

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VMware is adding even more storage features to its market-leading Virtualizationsoftware (see VMware Gives Storage Virtualization a Boost and Making Sense of VMware Storage Options).

The company, owned by storage giant EMC, today announced updates to its mainstay VMware Infrastructure software, including VMware ESX Server 3.5 and VirtualCenter 2.5. Set to be available sometime “later this year,” the software will include new features that VMware says will make life easier for data center managers.

According to Bogomil Balkansky, VMware’s senior director of product marketing, the latest iteration takes virtualization to the next level by simplifying the process of moving data from one storage array to another in the data center.

“For the past four years, VMotion has been the lynchpin or cornerstone of our software,” he said. “It migrates live, running virtual machines from one physical machine to another, giving users degrees of flexibility they’ve never had before. Now we’re doing the same thing for storage.”

The new release adds Storage VMotion, which Balkansky said will do the exact same thing for storage arrays, allowing data center managers to seamlessly transfer data from one storage array to a new storage array, and eliminate the planned downtime that companies have to deal with every time they return a leased array or replace it with a new one. More important, it means all applications and operating systems will continue to update and store data throughout the process, ensuring none of the data is lost whether you make a storage transfer at 2 a.m. Saturday or 9 a.m. on Monday.

“The planned downtime for this used to be several hours,” he said. “Sometimes it would be done in phases over a couple of weeks. Now it can be done in 20 minutes in most cases.”

Storage VMotion will let administrators dynamically balance their storage workloads and resolve performance bottlenecks by migrating their virtual machines to the best available storage devices.

The new version also includes expanded storage and networking choices, such as support for SATAlocal storage, 10 Gig Ethernet and InfiniBand.

Update Manager, another new feature, will automate patch and update management for all the ESX server hosts and virtual machines in your data center.

“Patching is always a big headache for IT departments,” Balkansky said. “Nobody wants to do them but you have to.”

VMware will announce pricing particulars “before December 31,” when it makes the new version available to customers.

In May, Gartner reported more than 500,000 virtual machines were already online and predicted that figure to grow to more than 3 million machines by 2009.

Article courtesy of InternetNews.com

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