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Managing storage as part of the virtual strategy

As virtual environments grow in companies, how enterprise IT managers approach storage must evolve. With VMware updating its products to address storage, third-party management also see the opportunity to manage storage more efficiently in the virtual realm.

Virtual systems management software maker Veeam announced updated features in its backup and replication product that include native support for VMware’s vSphere 4 vStorage technology. The vendor will showcase Backup & Replication 4.0 at VMworld 2009 and company executives say the product will make managing storage and restoring virtual machines faster and easier for IT managers.

“The product takes advantage of VMware APIs to enable enterprise IT managers to manage storage across virtual machines without required as much effort or resources,” says Ratmir Timashev, Veeam president and CEO. “This release also enables centralized management but with the option to delegate management out based on tasks, which can be critical depending on the virtual environment.”

This release providers support for thin-provisioned disks, which the company says enables faster, full backup and restore processes on virtual machines. The product is also able to “leverage ESX$ changed block tracking,” which Veeam officials says enables “much faster incremental backups.” And additional support for virtual applications provides more flexibility when setting up backup jobs and native support for the vStorage API enables local-area network-free backups directly from SAN storage, without impacting production hosts.

“Normally in a lot of cases, backing up storage would require a lot of time, but with full native support we are ahead of our competitors,” Timashev says, adding that Vizioncore and Symantec most often come up as direct competitors in the back and recovery market.

Scheduled to be available in early October, Veeam Backup & Replication 4.0 will be priced at $499 per socket until Dec. 31, 2009. Beginning Jan. 1, 2010, the software will cost $599 per socket.

Interested in freeware and shareware, open source applications and scaled down versions of commercial software and services? In the coming weeks, Network World will devote an online forum to the topic of free techie stuff, which I will compile and present for your review and potential download.

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