Symantec Goes For VMware's Jugular - InformationWeek

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6/10/2008
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Symantec Goes For VMware's Jugular

The company teams with Citrix to carve out a chunk of the server virtualization market.

The company teams with Citrix to carve out a chunk of the server virtualization market.Server virtualization is the New World on the technology map: virgin territory, ripe for exploitation, and stretching to an unknown horizon. VMware has planted its flag, but the land grab is on.

Symantec today announced the Veritas Virtual Infrastructure (VVI), a virtualization platform that lets IT spin up and manage virtual machines running on Citrix's XenServer, which is built on the open-source Xen hypervisor. From the VVI console, IT can create and control VMs and assign and provision storage for them.

VVI is Symantec's attempt to stake out its own virtualization territory. The hypervisor is replacing the operating system as the key interface layer in the data center for management and storage. Symantec doesn't have its own hypervisor to compete with, so it's done the next best thing: leverage its strength in a key technological arena -- storage -- and partner with the runner-up in the virtualization race.

VVI includes Veritas Storage Foundation software, which has been tweaked for the virtual environment. Symantec sees storage problems as a major hurdle for widespread deployment of virtualization in the data center, especially given the ability of VMs to hop from one physical server to another.

With Storage Foundation in the VVI platform, IT can manage storage resources for VMs just as they would in a traditional single-server, single-OS configuration. It allows for block control of storage from a guest VM, and can provision SAN storage on the fly for individual VMs.

At present, VVI can control up to 16 physical x86 servers under a single management console. If you want more than 16 physical machines, you'll have to license a separate instance of VVI and run those additional machines under a separate management console. Symantec says it's working to address this issue.

The software is expected to ship in September, with pricing at $4,595 per 2-socket server.

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