XenSource, Symantec Strike OEM Deal

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2007-07-23
 
 
 
Server virtualization software provider XenSource bolstered both its front-line product and overall company credibility July 23 by signing an OEM agreement to embed Symantecs storage and data security software in its enterprise platform.

As a result, Veritas Storage Foundation—Symantecs highly regarded enterprise storage management software—will be integrated into XenEnterprise by this fall, a XenSource spokesperson said.

Using this advanced functionality, XenEnterprise now will provide single-administrator storage management for every major branded server and storage array, and will include as new features utilization optimization, dynamic multipathing and point-in-time copies, the spokesperson said.

XenEnterprise customers also will have a single point of contact for support for server and storage virtualization software, and will be able to obtain upgrades more quickly and easily, since retesting and recertification of independent software packages isnt required, the spokesperson said. XenEnterprise customers on full maintenance agreements will benefit from Storage Foundation as a no-cost upgrade, the spokesperson added.

As the final part of the partnership, XenSource will develop a new product called XenEnterprise HighAvailability, which will provide failover for virtual machines, the spokesperson said. A timetable on that project was not made available.

XenSource, based in Palo Alto, Calif., is the originator and main sponsor of the open-source Xen hypervisor project, but the small, privately owned company has been overshadowed by virtualization market leader VMware—now owned by EMC—for several years.

Click here to read about the latest update to XenSources open-source hypervisor.

Existing Veritas users evaluating the Xen hypervisor will be affected immediately by the OEM agreement, because it gives XenSource a "significant credibility boost," Forrester Research analyst James Staten told eWEEK.

"The partnership aligns this server virtualization upstart with a strong enterprise market leader and provides a widely adopted storage management layer into its XenEnterprise product. With this move, XenSource is starting to look like a more serious contender in the x86 server virtualization market," Staten said.

The agreement between XenSource and Symantec will enhance XenSources position primarily by increasing XenEnterprises marketable features and giving it another avenue by which to reach new customers, Melissa Grady, an analyst at Technology Business Research, told eWEEK.

"XenSources market share is small (but growing), so it might be some time before Symantec sees any noticeable benefits from accessing new customers through XenSource. I dont think XenSource and Symantec need a closer relationship or level of integration for now," Grady said.

EMC and VMware have been loosely coupled so as to not compromise VMwares opportunities with companies such as IBM and Hewlett-Packard, Grady noted. "However, it will be mutually beneficial to both companies that they can now point customers to another server/storage virtualization source other than VMware and EMC," she said.

"Symantec has been focusing on building an end-to-end systems management solution, so tacking on a server virtualization piece might not have been at the top of the list. The partnership and terms of agreement may just be the right fit at the right time," Grady said.

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