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Virtual machine backup plays prominent role at VMworld 2010

Storage product news leans heavily toward data protection on first day of VMworld 2010, with Veeam previewing virtual machine backup upgrades and Neverfail extending continuous availability OEM deal with VMware.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Data protection dominated storage product news on the first day of VMworld 2010, with virtual machine backup specialist Veeam Software demonstrating and pledging limited release next month of its Instant VM recovery and SureBackup Recovery Verification features.

Veeam first previewed parts of Veeam Backup and Replication 5 in March. Veeam senior director of product strategy Doug Hazelman said version 5 with Instant VM recovery and SureBackup is due for general release in October with a limited release in September. The timing could be crucial because Veeam rival Vizioncore Inc. (acquired by Quest Software Inc.) is also working on an instant restore feature for virtual machine data backup.

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Besides its Instant VM recovery and SureBackup, Veeam will include Universal Application-Item Recovery (U-AIR) and instant file-level recovery for any file system or operating system in version 5.

Veeam claims its Instant VM recovery can restore an entire virtual machine from a backup file in minutes without downtime. SureBackup automatically verifies the ability to recover every backup of all virtual machines. U-AIR provides administrators with wizards to recover individual items from Microsoft Active Directory, Exchange and SQL Server.

Hazelman said Veeam's ability to run a VM directly from a backup file enables the new features.

Backup is sticky technology and isn't something the large enterprise will replace on a whim.
Chris Wolf
Gartner analyst Chris Wolf said Instant VM recovery gives Veeam a competitive advantage. "Enterprises are reaching a point to where they expect data protection and recovery to be just as dynamic as their virtual infrastructures," he said. "Veeam's archive and recovery architecture supports this level of flexibility. Recovery verification is unique in the space. With Veeam, I'm not just verifying that the backup archive is good, I'm validating that the application data itself is good. In the end, that's what matters."

While Veeam customers typically still use traditional data backup software for physical servers, Hazelman said he hopes version 5 will prompt many to switch to Veeam for certain applications.

"We replace backup software on the virtual side, not the physical side," Hazelman said. "Customers were still using traditional backup for applications because they could get more granularity but with version 5, we offer universal recovery for applications."

Wolf said it's unlikely that products such as Veeam, Vizioncore and PHD Virtual Technologies' esXpress will replace traditional backup products, but Veeam's new release adds value in virtual environments. "The large enterprise is going to continue to use application-specific agents to properly quiesce databases prior to backup," he said. "Backup is sticky technology and isn't something the large enterprise will replace on a whim."

Neverfail extends VMware OEM deal; upgrades application high availability

High availability software vendor Neverfail Ltd. extended its OEM licensing agreement for VMware Center Server Heartbeat and added vSphere 4.1 integration to its VAppHA software.

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VMware vCenter Server Heartbeat has used Neverfail technology since 2009. The OEM extension allow VMware vSphere 4.1 and vCenter Server Heartbeat 6.3 to include the Neverfail Continuous Availability Director centralized management console to manage multiple vCenter Server instances and associated SQL databases.

Neverfail also said vAppHA now uses a new API in vSphere 4.1 to maintain an application heartbeat between a virtual machine and underlying host.

Zetta launches replication service for disaster recovery

Storage service provider Zetta Inc. launched the Zetta Data Protect Solution, and demonstrated it at VMworld. Zetta Data Protect combines a ZettaMirror replication agent and the Zetta Storage Service. Zetta Data Protect includes a seven-year version history, encryption at rest, and native POSIX compliance with industry-leading performance. The service makes replicated data available in a mountable and viewable file system format at all times, accessible via NFS, rsync, FTP, WebDAV and other standard enterprise protocols. Zetta can further replicate data between its West Coast and East Coast data centers. Zetta Data Protection pricing starts at $256 per TB per month.

Egnyte ships NAS cloud on virtual appliance

Egnyte Inc. rolled out its Enterprise Local Cloud (ELC), which makes a local file storage cloud available as a virtual appliance on an ESXi server. The ELC is priced at $3,999 per virtual appliance instance, plus $90 per month for 1 TB of storage.

Infortrend rolls out Fibre Channel, iSCSI SANs

Infortrend Technology Inc. is launching new Fibre Channel and iSCSI models of its Enterprise Scalable Virtualized Architecture (ESVA) storage arrays. The SVA F70 is a 3U system with 8 Gbps Fibre Channel and four Ethernet iSCSI hosts. It holds 16 drives per system and supports solid-state drives (SSDs) along with SAS and SATA. The E10 is also a 3U system with 16 internal drives and four Gigabit Ethernet iSCSI ports.

Survey: Most CommVault customers run critical apps on virtual machines

A CommVault customer survey revealed that 46% of 479 respondents said they virtualize between 51% and 86% of their total servers, 21% virtualize all or nearly all servers, and 77% are running mission-critical applications on virtual machines. The survey also found nearly 50% are running between 50 and 250 virtual machines, with 36% generating between 1 TB and 5 TB of data, and 23% are generating between 6 TB to 10 TB through virtual machines or virtual machine-based applications. Respondents listed the top challenge of managing virtual server environments as an inability to complete reliable backups.

Coraid says buy 1 PB, get one free

Coraid is offering customers 2 PB of its EtherDrive storage arrays for the price of 1 PB, just under $1 million. Coraid said the U.S. Department of Defense took advantage of the offer for a VMware private cloud project.

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