Symantec today announced an update for Veritas Cluster Server for VMware ESX. I spoke with company reps last week about the product, which aims to do for ESX what other versions of cluster server do for other hardware platforms and operating systems, namely add overall manageability and high availability. The wizardry that VMware pulled off and continues to build upon with the x86 processor is somewhat old hat in the climbs that Veritas knows best. Virtualization under AIX on IBM's PowerPC based servers or on Solaris or HP-UX has existed in one form or another for a long time. What Veritas brought to those systems in very large data centers - holistic management, high availability, disaster recovery and application level awareness - it now brings to the x86. Specifically the cluster server line provides both high availability and disaster recovery capabilities to the operating environments that it supports and a companion product, Veritas Application Director provides the app awareness.
Looking at it that way, VMware is another virtualization layer and the x86 is another hardware environment for Symantec / Veritas to support. In production environments, Veritas has the experience both in availability and disaster recovery and application awareness that can make the use of virtualization practical.
Features that Veritas provides include one-click failover, centralized management, non disruptive disaster recovery testing and expanded role based management of both physical server and virtual machines.
Application performance management comes with the addition of Veritas Application Director. As you might expect, the suite of applications manageable includes the usual x86 apps, such the Microsoft back office suite and other popular apps. Since Veritas delves into managing the both the virtualization layer and the OS layer, OS support is an issue. However the list is extensive including 64 and 32 bit versions of Windows, Linux and Solaris.
The Veritas tools are robust and they're priced like it. Expect to pay more for Veritas Cluster Server than you did for VMware itself.Art Wittmann is a former editor for InformationWeek. View Full Bio