Vendors Spout Virtual in San Francisco

Virtualization takes on many different forms at industry conference

December 5, 2007

3 Min Read
Network Computing logo

SAN FRANCISCO -- Virtualization is high on the agenda at the Storage Decisions show in San Francisco this week, as vendors attempt to prove that the mainframe is alive and kicking, and hitch virtual servers to storage.

Sun Makes Mainframe Virtualization Move

Sun added some more flesh to the bones of its virtualization strategy today, overhauling its Virtual Storage Manager (VSM) mainframe VTL product.

The vendor claims that the souped-up VSM offers 53 percent more throughput than the previous version of the system, which was released last year. VSM is now capable of transferring data at up to 613 Mbytes/sec, according to the vendor.

Based on technology acquired when Sun bought StorageTek for $4.1 billion in 2005, VSM is a virtual tape system, which competes with IBM's recently enhanced TS7740.Sun, which has struggled to get its storage business back on track in the aftermath of the StorageTek acquisition, claims to be enjoying solid growth in the mainframe side of its storage operation.

One user was quite gushy. "It has got to be good news for customers in terms of productivity," says Dave Shearer, chairman of the U.K.-based Sun User Group, explaining that, contrary to rumors, the mainframe is alive and well. "The mainframe has supposedly been dying for the last 10 years or longer but people are still building data centers with mainframes in them."

"I think that Sun is being quite aggressive in terms of getting a foothold in the virtualization market," added the exec, alluding to the vendor's recent announcements around its open source xVM hypervisor.

The enhanced VSM is available now, according to Sun spokesman Alex Plant. "It's essentially a free upgrade -- all existing VSM5 systems can get the new microcode load at no charge," he says, adding that users with an earlier version of VSM can also get the free upgrade.

NetApp Tangoes With Virtual IronIn yet another example of the converging worlds of server and storage virtualization, NetApp has certified its storage solutions to work with Virtual Iron's server virtualization software.

"This allows much easier management of shared storage from the Virtual Iron environment," says Mike Grandinetti, Virtual Iron's chief marketing officer. Virtual Iron has similar deals in place with IBM, HP, LeftHand Networks, Compellent, and EqualLogic.

Under the terms of the NetApp deal, both firms' resellers will reference sell the two vendors' products, although Grandinetti would not reveal whether joint product offerings will be on the market. "There's an opportunity to do some bundles in the future, but there's nothing today that we're ready to announce," he says.

EqualLogic Scales Up

SAN specialist EqualLogic, which was recently acquired by Dell for $1.4 billion, today expanded its PS Series line of iSCSI arrays, taking the wraps off the 6.4-Tbyte PS3700X.Available now, pricing for the PS3700X starts at $60,000.

Netezza Notches Performance Hike

Another vendor looking to boost its performance in San Francisco this week is data warehousing vendor Netezza, which added a compression engine to its Performance Server appliance today.

The Compress Engine feature is a software upgrade, available in May 2008, which the vendor claims will double the performance of its appliance, enabling the device to query twice as much data.

Attune Teams With Data DomainFile virtualization specialist Attune unveiled a partnership with de-dupe vendor Data Domain today. Attune's Maestro File Manager product will now be integrated with Data Domain's de-dupe systems. The two firms also announced that content management specialist Interwoven is their first joint customer.

Other vendors announcing a partnership today are SAN bridging supplier Bridgeworks and VTL specialist Cofio. The two U.K.-based firms have signed an OEM agreement to incorporate Bridgeworks' iSCSI and Fibre Channel software drivers into Cofio's ViStor VTL software.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Byte and Switch's editors directly, send us a message.

  • Attune Systems Inc.

  • Bridgeworks

  • Compellent Technologies Inc.

  • Data Domain Inc. (Nasdaq: DDUP)

  • Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL)

  • EqualLogic Inc.

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)

  • IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)

  • LeftHand Networks Inc.

  • Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP)

  • Netezza Corp.

  • Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW)

  • Virtual Iron Software Inc.

Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox

You May Also Like

More Insights