Symantec Spews Software In Vegas

Vendors uses Symantec Vision as the launchpad for a product refresh

June 10, 2008

5 Min Read
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Symantec will turn on the fire-hose at its annual Vision event in Las Vegas today, announcing a storage virtualization combo with Citrix, an overhaul of NetBackup, and a CDP offering based on technology from its Revivio acquisition.

First up is Veritas Virtual Infrastructure, which essentially ties Citrixs XenServer hypervisor to Symantec‘s Storage Foundation management software.

”This is a bundle for end-users,” says Rob Soderbery, senior vice president of Symantec’s storage availability and management group. “We provide a management layer that integrates these two pieces together in a single management console.”

The exec explained that Symantec is attempting to plug a gap in the market with Veritas Virtual Infrastructure (which the vendor is describing as VxVI -- for some reason adding an extra "x").

”Existing server virtualization, whether it’s XenServer or VMware, does a pretty poor job of providing block storage functionality,” he says. “We have taken all the know-how in Storage Foundation and integrated that with Xen to provide that capability.”Symantec’s broader strategy is, of course, to challenge EMC’s storage dominance by teaming up with VMware’s archrival. The first seeds of this effort were planted last year when Symantec inked a deal to embed its Storage Foundation offering into XenSource's XenEnterprise software.

XenSource was snapped up by Citrix for $500 million shortly after signing the OEM deal, although Symantec is clearly keen to continue its relationship with a key EMC/VMware rival.

Symantec’s Soderbery tells Byte and Switch that his firm is also taking a very different approach to VMware when it comes to storage management, highlighting a key difference between the VMware Virtual Machine File System (VMFS) and Volume Manager, which is part of the VxVI bundle.

VMFS, as its name suggests, is a file-based offering for storing VM files on physical SCSI disks and partitions. Symantec’s Volume Manager also controls workloads on virtual servers and storage, although it is focused on block, as opposed to file-based data.

“Most data center storage today is block-based, so this makes it easy to take that physical infrastructure and move it to a virtual environment,” says Soderbery, arguing that enterprise users are much more comfortable with block, rather than file-based storage.VxVI is currently in beta, although Soderbery tells Byte and Switch the software will be available in the fall, priced from $4,595 for a two-socket server.

Symantec also overhauled its data protection story this week, unveiling souped-up versions of NetBackup and version 6.5 of its PureDisk de-dupe offering.

Underlining the somewhat schizophrenic nature of the storage market, NetBackup 6.5.2 and 6.5.3 will offer, respectively, extended support for Windows and VMware.

Symantec also announced that PureDisk 6.5 is tied much more closely to NetBackup. “PureDisk has been selling as an independent option, but we have now integrated it with NetBackup,” says Marty Ward, Symantec’s director of product marketing, explaining that users no longer need to tinker with two separate pieces of software.

A fresh offering from Symantec is RealTime 6.5, based on technology from the vendor’s 2006 acquisition of Revivio.“This is the first offering based on Revivio technology,” says Ward, explaining that, Symantec has turned the startup’s appliance-based IP into software. “This is a true CDP solution [and] we have also integrated it with NetBackup.”

RealTime, which competes with EMC’s RecoverPoint, can perform CDP on commodity storage, according to Ward.

NetBackup 6.5.2, including PureDisk and RealTime, is available now, priced at $3,995 for a five-system starter pack. Version 6.5.3. will be out in August.

To Page 2: Sepaton, FalconStor, NEC

Symantec is not the only vendor busy in Sin City this week. Sepaton, for example, used the Las Vegas event to launch its Series 1000 VTL, which is the successor to its Series 750 offerings. Unlike the 750, which used 750-Gbyte disks, the Series 1000 contains 1-Tbyte disks, pushing the system’s total capacity up to 1.6 Pbytes, compared to the 750’s 1.2 Pbytes.Sepaton also unveiled version 5.0 of its DeltaStor software this week, which includes enhanced de-dupe features. This enables users to choose specifically which file, email, and database data they want de-duped, according to the vendor.

Other enhancements to DeltaStor include the ability to run the software over four VTL nodes, compared to just one node on the previous version of the software.

“This is a big performance bump for us, it’s more than four times the performance of the previous version,” says Miki Sandorfi, Sepaton’s CTO, explaining that the vendor will add an eight-node capability next quarter.

The Series 1000, which competes with EMC’s Clariion Disk Library (CDL), now known as the EMC Disk Library (EDL), will be available at the end of June. Pricing for an entry-level configuration with 10-Tbytes of usable capacity starts at $69,000.

DeltaStor 5.0 will also be launched later this month, priced at $2,500 per usable Tbyte.Another VTL vendor at Symantec Vision is FalconStor, which today announced support for Symantec’s Open Storage initiative, an API that lets NetBackup communicate with storage devices to speed up backups.

”This lets NetBackup control some of the functions that were done on the storage device,” says Peter Eicher, FalconStor’s director of product marketing, explaining that this includes functions such as de-dupe, replication, and copying data to tape. “Rather than going to the management console of the storage device, you’re going through NetBackup -- it’s more direct.”

NEC has also jumped on the Symantec bandwagon, announcing that its HydraStor grid product has been certified for Enterprise Vault.

“It’s a target for Enterprise Vault,” says Gideon Senderov, director of technical marketing for NEC’s advanced storage division. “If you have Enterprise Vault in your environment, you’re assured that there will be no issues and that Hydrastor will fit in -- you can plug it in, point Enterprise Vault at it, and get it set up in less than an hour.”

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  • Citrix Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CTXS)

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • FalconStor Software Inc. (Nasdaq: FALC)

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)

  • NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701)

  • Sepaton Inc.

  • Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC)

  • VMware Inc.0

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