Symantec partners with Citrix on virtualisation

Server and storage virtualisation can be managed through one console

Symantec is updating its line of backup products and releasing a virtualisation package combining its own storage management software with Citrix's Xen hypervisor.

Symantec's Veritas Virtual Infrastructure integrates the vendor's storage management with Citrix XenServer, letting administrators manage both server and storage virtualisation through a single web-based console, Symantec officials say.

Virtualisation of servers and storage are complementary technologies, but can sometimes be difficult for IT shops to coordinate, Symantec says.

"Server virtualisation makes storage management more complex and in many cases does not support capabilities available today in physical environments," a Symantec press release claims. "Current x86 virtualisation solutions have tried to solve this problem using a file system-based approach, but this architecture forces users to give up many of the advanced storage management capabilities they rely on today."

It can be difficult to manage the storage available to virtual machines when administrators lack failover capabilities and mirroring of application data across separate storage arrays, says Sean Derrington, Symantec's senior director of storage management.

"There are a number of core capabilities that most organisations take for granted in the physical world," but aren't able to do with virtual servers, he says.

Features of Veritas Virtual Infrastructure include direct control of block storage from guest virtual servers, sharing of boot images across multiple virtual servers to reduce storage costs, and load-balancing capabilities.

Rather than build its own server virtualisation software, Symantec is relying on Citrix, which began challenging VMware with the purchase of XenSource last year.

Symantec has also announced several updates to its Netbackup suite of backup software. NetBackup RealTime has been updated with a continuous data protection feature which helps recover from failure by recording data at all times.

RealTime is best suited for mission-critical applications in which loss of data or downtime cannot be tolerated, says Marty Ward, marketing director for Symantec's data protection product group. The idea is to record data as it changes in real time, and save those images for a few days or a couple of weeks. "The good thing about recording continuously is you can recover at any second of time," Ward says.

Symantec also added what it calls Granular Recovery Technology to NetBackup, allowing "quick recovery of an entire system of individual files, emails, documents and virtual machines from single-pass image backups of Microsoft Windows, Exchange, SharePoint and VMware servers."

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Tags technologyvirtualisationCitrixsymantec

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