Symantec Unveils New VMware-Ready Cluster Server

Cluster Server 5.0 for VMware ESX automates remote failover for disaster recovery, provides management of clustered virtual and physical servers, and runs on Windows, Linux or Unix.

Because running several virtual servers on one physical machine can be tricky for administrators, data storage and security provider Symantec introduced on Nov. 7 a new server designed to work in clusters and supply native support to data centers running VMwares trendy virtual-server software.

Veritas Cluster Server 5.0 for VMware ESX automates remote failover for disaster recovery and provides management of clustered virtual and physical servers, a company spokesperson said. It runs on Windows, Linux and Unix platforms.

The new Veritas product aims to prevent downtime in case of application, virtual machine, network link or server failures, the spokesperson said. It also centralizes cluster management in a single ESX server.

Cluster Server 5.0 is a part of what Veritas calls its Server Foundation, a suite of products that enable enterprise users to monitor what is running on the servers in their data centers, actively manage and administer all their servers, and ensure that critical applications running on those servers are always available.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Symantec will be demonstrating Cluster Server 5.0 for VMware ESX at the VMworld 2006 conference in Los Angeles in early November.

Cluster Server 5.0, according to the company spokesperson, also provides application and resource monitoring—as well as server monitoring, which provides a higher level of availability.

It also features comprehensive testing for disaster recovery by integrating both application failover and data replication to enable organizations to test disaster recovery without disrupting production environments.

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"As IT managers try to rein in server sprawl and improve resource utilization across the enterprise, they are faced with the challenge of deploying multiple data availability and management solutions to control and protect an ever-growing population of virtual servers," said Brian Babineau, analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group.

"With VCS for VMware ESX, Symantec has simplified the task for VMware customers by providing a single platform that can prevent downtime of mission-critical applications running in virtual and physical server environments across any distance and any platform."

Cluster Server 5.0 also allows customers to maximize the advanced features of VMware by interoperating with VMwares VMotion and Distributed Resource Scheduler.

If a virtual machine is moved from one server to another for planned maintenance using VMotion, the movement will be recognized by Cluster Server 5.0, and it will automatically update the cluster status, the spokesperson said.

Cluster Server 5.0 also includes Fire Drill, a unique feature that provides an added layer of protection for virtual servers.

With Fire Drill, organizations can verify a disaster recovery plan and configuration without impacting the production environment, the spokesperson said.

In virtual environments where server locations change frequently, Fire Drill helps monitor and track mobile servers, their configuration and dependency links, the spokesperson said.

Price and availability

Veritas Cluster Server 5.0 for VMware ESX is scheduled to be released in the first quarter of 2007. Pricing for VCS for VMware ESX starts at $1,995 per server.

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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...