EMC Ships New Bundle for VMware

New middleware simplifies backup and recovery for Exchange and SQL Server running on VMware.

EMC announced May 27 that it has begun shipping a new middleware bundle designed to simplify data backup and recovery on the two most ubiquitous business servers in the world-Microsoft Exchange Server and SQL Server-when they are deployed on the VMware platform.
The bundle includes backup/recovery support for the new EMC Clariion AX4; backup and recovery that features de-duplication from EMC Avamar; data protection enabled by EMC RecoverPoint across multiple application environments; and increased application availability enabled by VMware VMotion.
The new releases help speed up recovery from unplanned outages and enable backup and migration of entire virtual environments with no interruption in service, an EMC spokesperson said.
EMC is able to put all these together thanks to the 2003 purchase of VMware and the 2006 acquisition of Avamar.
"It's a nice package for companies to look at," Henry Baltazar, an analyst at The 451 Group, told eWEEK. "But it's nothing new. Second-generation storage companies, such as Lefthand Networks, Compellent, Xiotech and EqualLogic (which has since been acquired by Dell), have offered these capabilities for the last few years."
EMC customers have asked specifically for this, Parag Patel, VMware's vice president of alliances, said.
"Our customers are virtualizing more and more Microsoft Exchange Server deployments and transitioning to Exchange 2007 on the VMware platform in order to increase the reliability, scalability and availability of e-mail," Patel said.
This announcement is notable for a couple of reasons, Charles King, an analyst at Pund-IT, told eWEEK.
"EMC's new VMware-focused offerings provide customers well-designed solutions to some key storage challenges associated with virtualized server environments," King said. "In aggregate, they should help customers better manage and protect the information used in and generated with VMware solutions."
First, it addresses an increasing, if fundamental, issue around virtualized environments, King said: How best to ensure that data associated with virtual servers is as efficiently backed up, secured and protected as data associated with physical servers.
"This is a critical point, since most conventional backup/recovery solutions are optimized for physical server environments. Second, the announcement illuminates VMware's long-term value to EMC. It's not just about driving increasing revenues through the sale of virtualization solutions," King said.
In essence, King said, VMware is allowing EMC to step well beyond its storage roots to become a key player across numerous virtualized infrastructure markets.
EMC also announced the results of joint scalability testing with VMware that enables customers to deploy a large-scale (16,000-plus users), virtualized Exchange 2007 environment running on a single VMware ESX host, Patel said.
"Given the scope of these new solutions, IT managers and CxOs would probably be well-advised to investigate the solutions they have in place and evaluate them compared to EMC's offerings. They may be perfectly happy, but they may also find ways to significantly enhance their VMware and storage infrastructures," King said.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...