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For the 3rd year in a row, VMware has given us the honors by hosting their Site Recovery Manager (SRM) Hands-on-lab (HOL) using our own FalconStor Storage Replication Adapter (SRA) for SRM, and our FalconStor Network Storage Server Virtual Appliance (NSS VA), which is a VMware-certified Storage Virtual Appliance for vSphere v4.1 and v5.0. 

The VMware HCL listing for our NSS VA can be viewed here:
Published in VMworld 2011 USA
Tuesday, 02 November 2010 17:08

Breaking the Barriers to Virtualization


Now that server virtualization technologies have been proven in many environments, more people are looking at virtualization to improve the efficiency of their primary workloads in the data center. Despite the realized benefits from virtualizing non-mission-critical applications, two questions remain on the minds of IT professionals. One, since traditional backup doesn’t work in virtual environments, how can I effectively protect virtualized workloads? We are talking mission-critical applications here! Two, I know how I reduced my server infrastructure with virtualization, but I also know how my storage cost went way up as a result. So how can I reduce my storage costs while implementing server virtualization?

In a recent report from ESG on the “Impact of Server Virtualization on Data Protection,” when asked about top server virtualization initiatives for 2010, most respondents placed backup, recovery, and replication right after virtualizing more workloads. It is very well understood that server virtualization breaks traditional backup processes. The consolidation of servers and workloads is leaving very little resources for backup applications to perform data copies. In virtual server environments, CPU utilization climbs to more than 60 to 70 percent, up from an average of 20 percent in physical environments, leaving very little for the most demanding job of them all, backup. In addition network resource utilization is increased to such a degree that very little bandwidth remains for massive data transfers required by backup operations.

Published in Data Backup
Monday, 01 November 2010 20:53

The Top Five Benefits of Virtual Storage

When VMware took a look at how virtual shops were approaching data protection back in 2008, the responses from data centers indicated that, for all the benefits of virtualization, the shift away from physical machines was coming with some significant growing pains.  Eighty percent of respondents to the survey said they were backing up to tape and failing to meet their backup windows.  The traditional back-up challenges they faced before going virtual were magnified in their new environments, and they faced shrinking CPU, I/O and networking resources.

And over the past two years, companies have hunted for a solution that would deliver on the promise of virtualization and meet internal expectations for always-available, easily accessible data.  Most of those attempts were variations on traditional back-up methods with virtualized Band-Aids on top.

Today, we know that the key to success in protecting data in these environments does not lie in tweaking traditional backup methods to fit virtualized enterprises.  Rather, the foundation of the solution starts with storage.

Published in Storage Virtualization

vSphere is the platform which can host a self-sufficient Virtual Data Center, complete with Backup and Recovery, and DR...   Maybe it is not quite there yet, but that is probably what VMware would like to achieve.  And in my opinion, it is certainly heading towards the right direction, more so than other Server Virtualization solutions. To that end, VMware has done a very good job with their partner ecosystem, and 3rd party vendors are now constantly designing and developing solutions to complement vSphere's own built-in features.

Published in VMworld 2010 USA
Monday, 30 August 2010 22:13

VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager Lab


Looking for a DR solution for you VMware environments? I can comfortably say that VMware has developed one of the best DR automation tools I’ve ever seen. It’s intuitive, comprehensive, and allows you to execute DR plans efficiently, and DR tests and rehearsals with no disruption to your production environment. vCenter Site Recovery Manager - we’ll use the abbreviation SRM for this post, not to be confused with Storage Resource Management – leverages the storage infrastructure to replicate data between the primary and DR sites. This integration allows for a full execution of DR processes and a seamless operational failover. In the labs you’ll learn how to set up you SRM environment, execute a DR test, trouble shoot and resolve issues that you may encounter. How to find them? Here they are: ALT3001, LAB11, and LAB12. You can also see the schedule at FalconStor @ VMworld 2010 website.

Published in VMworld 2010 USA
Monday, 30 August 2010 18:08

Reporting live from VMworld


Ok here we are in beautiful San Fran for four days of virtualization frenzy, from virtual servers to virtual desktops, to virtual networks to virtual storage to virtual roads to actual clouds! it’s all things virtual week! Apparently except for the clouds, well after all we are in San Francisco.

Published in VMworld 2010 USA

VMware has delivered a virtualization option to businesses that might otherwise have missed out on the move away from physical data storage.  These companies – small and large, in a wide range of industries – have benefited from the many advantages of virtualized environments.  However, as these data centers mature, they are quickly realizing that they are ill-equipped for effective data backup and recovery.  For continuous data protection and recoverability, third-party tools are essential.

And there are plenty of vendors eager to provide those tools.  Of course, not all solutions are created equal, so how should VMware shops go about selecting data protection and DR technology?  First, they should think about their work environments, their resources, and their ultimate goals.

Published in VMworld 2010 USA
Thursday, 26 August 2010 18:12

VDI Virtual Reality, how protected are you?


In my previous post, I addressed how we can mitigate the impact of I/O storms on storage performance and the overall VDI end user experience. Today we are going to focus on how FalconStor solutions for VMware View can improve the data protection and recovery experience of IT administrators and end users. Through consolidation, VDIs have tremendously improved data protection of end user environments already: now all your system and user data resides in the datacenter on SAN or NAS infrastructure, which by itself prevents any data loss due to a laptop left on the train or a disk crashing (not that this ever happens, right!). This consolidation opens the way for great innovation when it comes to data protection and recovery processes and extends business continuity plans more effectively and in a scalable manner to desktop environments, which have always been a sore spot in business continuity planning.

Published in VMworld 2010 USA
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 16:04

Weathering VDI I/O Storms

Welcome to virtual reality! Now that virtualization is real, it’s time for us to talk about the reality behind its application. We are all excited about how virtualization is changing the IT world – providing better resource utilization, cost reductions, faster provisioning, automation, higher availability, and better mobility. It all sounds good – no it actually sounds great – and the technology is completely transforming the way we design data centers and define business processes. Now that we’ve seen the benefits that server virtualization brought to the table, the next logical application is desktop virtualization. The concept is bringing a new approach to enterprise-wide desktop deployments that is aimed at providing a better end-user and administrator experience than physical desktops: lowering the cost of acquisition and management while offering a highly scalable, easy to deploy, and fully protected desktop environment. Nevertheless, this consolidation raises new challenges in terms of compute resource allocation and granular data protection and recovery processes – this is where virtual reality starts.

Published in VMworld 2010 USA
Tuesday, 30 September 2008 16:33

Real Independence: Virtual Servers & Storage

It’s been a while since my last post, and with summer officially over (I know most people think summer ends on Labor Day in the US, but the weathermen insist the official end is late September), it seems like a good time to look at a recent announcement. Among the flurry of press releases at the recent VMworld 2008 in Las Vegas, there was one in particular I’d like to discuss.

Published in VMware
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