Symantec, Citrix Unveil New VI Package

Symantec's data center management chief sees XenSource as a way to capture new data center customers.

LAS VEGAS-Symantec introduced its new Veritas Virtual Infrastructure enterprise product, developed in concert with Citrix Systems, at its Vision user conference June 10 here at the Venetian Hotel.
Veritas Virtual Infrastructure combines Symantec's Veritas Storage Foundation storage management capabilities with the server operations of Citrix XenServer.

This combination of technologies will give data center managers centralized control of both physical and virtual assets in the data center, said Rob Soderbery, senior vice president of the Data Center Management Group at Symantec.
The product is Symantec's first step toward extending storage management to other virtual environments.
Key features of Storage Foundation 5.0, based on Veritas' own Volume Manager and file system, include online storage management with heterogeneous operating system support (Solaris, Linux, HP-UX and AIX) and a broad set of qualified storage devices and arrays; centralized management of diverse applications, servers and storage; dynamic multipathing that enables I/O to be efficiently spread across multiple paths for path failure protection and fast failover; and dynamic storage tiering that enables data to be dynamically moved to different storage tiers to rapidly respond to changing business needs.
Citrix XenServer allows companies to deploy high-performance virtual machines rapidly and manage them and their related storage and networking resources from a single management console. Customized development is also possible because it is an open-source platform.
The new Veritas Virtual Infrastructure product will compete directly with similar products from VMware and Microsoft.
"Xen is a very interesting platform for virtualization, because it is a bare-metal virtualization," Soderbery told eWEEK. "It's also highly scalable. It's a great solution for the data center workloads. We're betting big on Xen here as a virtualization platform for integrating our own storage and virtualization technology. We can also offer complete Xen-based solutions for both Linux and Windows."
He continued, "Look, we're playing across the space of VMware, Xen, all the Unix flavors of virtualization, but we see Xen as a rising star."
This is because Xen is an open-source platform that allows Symantec engineers to deeply integrate their own storage technology into it, Soderbery said. This stands as opposed to the tightly proprietary VMware ESX and Microsoft Hyper-V.
"This gives us the opportunity to use all the infrastructure you'd use in the physical environment-high availability, high-performance storage access, etc.-all the features that are required for a real production-scale data center deployment," he said.
There are just so many things one can do with a closed, proprietary platform, Soderbery said.
"In fact, VMware hasn't been able to add functionality to their own platform as fast as they would like," he said with a smile.
Prior to Citrix's acquisition of XenSource in 2007, Symantec had a longstanding partnership with the open-source virtual server company.
"Symantec and XenSource share a common belief that customers want unified server and storage virtualization," Soderbery said.
Veritas Virtual Infrastructure is expected to be generally available in the fall of 2008 with pricing starting at $4,595 per two-socket server, Soderbery said.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he has...