Symantec upgrades for SSD, Hyper-V

Admins can now reclaim unused data blocks, return them to a pool

Symantec Corp. today announced several enhancements to its storage management suite, its cluster file and cluster server system, including the ability to recognize solid state drives used in tiered storage as well as integration with Hyper-V.

Symantec made the enhancements to its Veritas Storage Foundation, Veritas Cluster File System and Veritas Cluster Server software. The technology enables the automatic discovery of solid state drives (SSD) in order to incorporate them into a tiered storage scheme as well as the full integration of Hyper-V, including thin provisioning support.

Symantec's Storage Foundation management software can now automatically discover SSDs from leading array and server vendors in order to allow administrators to non-disruptively migrate the most highly accessed data sets to SSD devices.

"Because we understand each individual array, and understand their volume types, we can identify the characteristics of an SSD volume," said Sean Derrington, director of storage management and high availability at Symantec. "So now storage administrators can manage SSD volumes differently because they've paid a premium for that disk."

Derrington said administrators can run Storage Foundation directly on a physical server in order to replicate or migrate data across multiple virtual servers over any distance to a single physical machine or any number of virtual machines.

Veritas Storage Foundation's SmartMove technology, together with Veritas Volume Replicator, now enables enterprises to migrate from typical data sets to thin storage over any distance asynchronously. The SmartMove software replicates only the storage that is being used by the application, increasing the efficiency of data and full array migrations.

Storage Foundation also enables central management of typical and thin volumes as well as automated storage reclamation. Storage Foundation for Windows extends those capabilities to Hyper-V environments for virtual storage environments.

"We can provide visibility to administrators managing to identify if this volume is thick, or that volume is thin, and this is what you can reclaim or allocate to SSD on Unix, Linux or Windows systems," Derrington said.

Symantec said it also worked with array vendors to develop a capacity reclamation API (application programming interface) so that any blocks no longer being used on systems running Storage Foundation are automatically migrated back to a central pool of storage for other servers to use.

To date, storage arrays from IBM, Hitachi Data Systems and 3Par are the only vendors supporting the Veritas Thin Reclamation API.

Derrington said the T10 Technical Committee of the International Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) is working to make the API a standard for the rest of the industry. "We led the development of the API for the past 18 months, but we want all hardware and software vendors to get behind the same standard."

With this software release, Symantec is adding enhancements to its Cluster File System and Cluster Server providing improved availability of Oracle environments.

Cluster File System and Cluster Server now provide concurrent access to information and require only the application to be moved. As a result, organizations can now fail-over applications running single-instance Oracle or single-instance IBM DB2 in seconds, the company said.

Storage Foundation, Veritas Cluster File System and Veritas Cluster Server are generally available. Pricing for Veritas Storage Foundation starts at $695 per server.

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