Several data backup and recovery and primary data storage product announcements were made at VMworld 2010 last week. Two of the biggest announcements were Veeam Software's release of its Instant VM Recovery and SureBackup Recovery Verification features, and Isilon's addition of iSCSI to its OneFS operating system. Other vendors that made product announcements include BlueArc Corp., EMC Corp., NetApp, Neverfail Ltd., WhipTail Technologies and Zetta Inc.
Dave Raffo, senior news director for TechTarget's Storage Media Group, discusses these data backup and recovery product announcements in detail in this Q&A. His answers are also available as an MP3 below.
Table of contents:
>> Can you explain Veeam Software's new features and why they are important to data backup and protection?
>> What other virtual machine backup announcements were made at VMworld 2010?
>> Can you explain Isilon's addition of iSCSI and why it's important?
>> Were there any other primary storage announcements at VMworld 2010?
Veeam Software announced the release of its Instant VM Recovery and SureBackup Recovery Verification features at VMworld. Can you explain what these are and how they can be important to data backup and data protection?
Instant VM Recovery and SureBackup Recovery are part of Veeam's Backup and Replication 5 previewed last year. Veeam claims Instant VM Recovery can restore an entire virtual machine (VM) from a backup file in minutes without any downtime. The way it does this is to allow VM images to boot directly to compressed backup repositories. Admins can then stand up a virtual machine image and users can work with that VM image immediately during a restore instead of waiting for the backup file to be uncompressed, converted to a virtual machine disk (VMDK) file, and then replicated back to the production storage. This obviously saves downtime if there's a problem with the server.
SureBackup automatically verifies the ability to recover every backup of all virtual machines. It also lets customers restore individual applications or objects. So this automates what has traditionally been a manual process and automates testing so organizations know for sure if they can restore specific files or applications if they need to.
So the importance of Instant VM Recovery is that it eliminates downtime if a virtual machine image needs to be restored from the backup. And SureBackup can provide a peace of mind -- this feature allows you to know your restores from backup will work if you have to do a restore.
Backup vendor Syncsort teamed up with NetApp to deliver an integrated backup bundle. That includes Syncsort's BEX backup software for physical and virtual machines, a NetApp data protection pack and NetApp's FAST 2040 storage system. That all comes as one integrated bundle from NetApp and their channel partners.
BlueArc also launched a suite of applications for managing VMware over NFS. These include a JetCenter GUI that integrates into vCenter and helps manage snapshot-based backup and recovery, a JetClone for space efficient writable VMDK file snapshots, and JetMirror for replicating file systems for disaster recovery.
Neverfail made a few data protection announcements along the lines of high availability (HA). It extended its OEM deal with VMware, which uses the Neverfail Continuous Availability Director in the VMware vCenter, Server Heartbeat 6.3 and VMware's vSphere 4.1 applications.
Also, Neverfail's vAppHA now uses a new API in vSphere 4.1 to maintain an application heartbeat between a virtual machine and the underlying host.
Zetta demonstrated its data protection solution, which uses a new mirror replication agent to replicate data to one of the data centers that Zetta uses for its cloud storage service.
Isilon started as a clustered NAS vendor, and has been doing that for about seven years now. Its customers are largely in fields like media and entertainment, gas and oil exploration and high-performance computing that deal with specialized large files. But a lot of its competitors have unified or multiprotocol systems that give customers block and file storage in the same box. So for Isilon to attract customers who also need block storage, they had to add either iSCSI or Fibre Channel (FC) connectivity. It went with iSCSI first because that's Ethernet-based, and it's a good fit to combine with NAS.
So the reason Isilon announced iSCSI at VMworld is that organizations using virtual machines tend to favor block-based network storage over file storage. And that's another reason why Isilon added the iSCSI capability -- because there are so many more customers out there now running virtual machines as well as physical servers.
This is all a part of Isilon's plan to become a part of mainstream applications as well as the large files that it handles now. So if someone buys an Isilon storage system for file use and wants to also use that system for email or general business documents, now that customer doesn't have to go add a block storage system or scrap Isilon from a multiprotocol system to get the best performance from databases or block-based storage.
The biggest primary storage story this week was outside of the show, and that was Hewlett-Packard (HP)'s acquisition of 3PAR for $2.35 billion after a bidding war with Dell. There was a lot of talk about that at the show. It wasn't technically a VMworld announcement, but there was some other primary storage news at VMworld.
BlueArc announced an OEM deal with Permabit to use Perambit's primary deduplication software. That software will be embedded in all of BlueArc's NAS storage and will be available at some point next year.
EMC said its Ionix Unified Infrastructure Manager version 2 is in beta. EMC said the new version will automate the Vblock infrastructure, which combines technologies from EMC, VMware and Cisco systems.
WhipTail Technologies previewed an upgrade of its Racerunner Operating System for XLR8r Virtual Desktop and Datacenter solid-state SAN appliances. These appliances will be available in the fourth quarter.