But don't assume Symantec's new technology is a replacement for VMware HA. Instead it should be seen as a complementary technology. While VMware HA focuses its high availability attention on physical server failures and making sure the virtual machine stays running, Symantec ApplicationHA does the same thing but at the application layer. The two technologies complement each other very well, and Symantec provides an additional layer of availability and confidence to the virtualization stack.
At the time of launch, Symantec said ApplicationHA would provide support for a number of different business-critical application workloads, including Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft IIS, Oracle, and SAP, and said it was fully compatible with VMware vMotion and VMware Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS).
Symantec VirtualStore is based on Symantec's Veritas Storage Foundation technology and is said to address the storage challenges that organizations face within their virtual infrastructures. Specifically, Symantec says it will provide VMware environments with reduced storage costs, improved performance, and better management.
VirtualStore is a scalable, high-performance clustered NAS solution that runs on Solaris, Solaris x86, or Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5. It supports major storage platforms on the back end to enable commodity or multiple vendor storage strategies, and it supports storage solutions from vendors such as 3PAR, EMC, Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP, IBM, and NetApp. Being able to repurpose existing storage investments or use inexpensive or commodity storage can help an organization dramatically reduce their cost per virtual machine.
IT organizations can also drive down costs by taking advantage of thin provisioning (not having to pre-allocate storage for an application before it is needed), storage tiering, and space-optimized snapshots (only capturing iterations of the original VM/virtual desktop image).
VirtualStore is also integrated with VMware vCenter Server, and therefore provides VMware administrators with a storage management view from within vCenter itself and eliminating, according to Symantec, the need for additional management tools.
Symantec said that it can also help manage virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environments more efficiently. The VirtualStore FileSnap feature lets administrators easily clone and provision thousands of virtual machines in minutes through its VMware vCenter Server integration. And by leveraging the company's patented page caching optimization technology, VirtualStore can also eliminate performance bottlenecks that are created when multiple users simultaneously boot up their virtual machines in a VDI environment, a problem commonly known as "Bootstorm."
Symantec's ApplicationHA will be launched at VMworld 2010, and it will carry a list price of $350 per virtual machine. Symantec VirtualStore, on the other hand, will become available sometime in the fourth quarter of this year and is expected to have a per-server pricing model. Both products support Windows, VMware, and Linux.
This story, "Symantec boosts VMware with high availability and storage optimization," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in virtualization and cloud computing at InfoWorld.com.