EMC (NYSE: EMC) is rolling out new data protection capabilities for Microsoft SQL Server and Exchange in VMware (NYSE: VMW) environments, the latest sign of growing development activity for VMware by storage vendors.
"It should be no surprise to see data and storage management vendors jumping on and adding support for VMware given its popularity," said Greg Schulz, senior analyst and founder of StorageIO.
"However, what's interesting to watch is that vendors are moving from simply waving the 'VMware Supported' banner to adding application-aware data protection to fill the gaps in the VMware infrastructure and enable data movement, replication and VMware Consolidated Backup-based backups for high availability, business continuity and disaster recovery."
Schulz cited IBM (NYSE: IBM), NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) and vendors offering Windows Storage Server-powered solutions as among those offering greater support for Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) applications in VMware environments.
"Where EMC has a different story than many other vendors is that EMC has a wide portfolio of different backup software, backup target devices, storage system and software-based replication and the tools to tie it all together, not to mention an ownership share in VMware, which does not hurt," he said.
EMC says its new offerings make it easier to protect Exchange and SQL Server running on the VMware platform. Reference architectures and best practices help ease deployment and boost data protection, the company says.
The new capabilities, which EMC said have been tested and validated for the VMware platform, include expanded tiered storage options such as support for lower-cost Clariion AX4 devices; backup and recovery featuring de-duplication, courtesy of EMC Avamar; continuous data protection (CDP) from EMC RecoverPoint; and application availability enabled by VMware VMotion.
EMC also announced the results of joint scalability testing with VMware that lets customers deploy a large-scale (16,000 or more users) virtualized Exchange 2007 environment running on a single VMware ESX host. EMC and VMware have also demonstrated recovery capabilities to consolidate, backup and secure a large-scale virtualized Exchange environment using EMC Replication Manager and data security utilizing RSA technologies.
"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," Parag Patel, VMware's vice president for alliances, said in a statement.
"EMC's new Exchange solutions, with new benchmarks for scalability as well as backup and recovery options, provide customers with rigorously tested reference architectures for applications running in VMware virtualized environments," he said.