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Symantec releases Veritas Storage Foundation 5.0 High Availability

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Symantec Corp. has released Veritas Storage Foundation 5.0 High Availability (HA) for Windows, a comprehensive solution that delivers data and application availability for Microsoft Windows environments. Veritas Storage Foundation 5.0 High Availability combines two industry-leading solutions-Storage Foundation for Windows and Veritas Cluster Server-together with enhanced usability tools to simplify storage management, high availability and disaster recovery for mission-critical Windows applications such as Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server, and SharePoint Portal Server.

According to IDC, customers are placing more of their mission critical applications on the Windows platform. They need storage management solutions that provide higher availability and better disaster recovery than ever before. Storage Foundation HA for Windows offers enterprises unique capabilities in non-disruptive storage operations, scalable high availability, and disaster recovery solutions-along with centralised storage visibility and control that are must-have requirements for Windows environments.

Software infrastructure standardisation for the data centre

Veritas Storage Foundation helps manage explosive data growth, optimise storage hardware investments, provide unparalleled application availability and drive down operational costs via a set of standard tools for Windows, Linux, and UNIX environments. Storage Foundation for Windows introduces new capabilities to help users standardise their storage and high availability software infrastructure.

New to this release is Veritas Storage Foundation Basic for Windows, a free version of Storage Foundation for Windows, designed for edge-tier and infrastructure workloads, enabling customers to leverage Storage Foundation for Windows and capitalise on the benefits of a standard infrastructure solution across every server in their data centre.

Storage Foundation Basic for Windows includes Dynamic Multi-pathing (DMP) and runs on physical and virtual servers with system configurations that do not exceed 4 volumes or 2 physical processors in a single physical system.

Customers standardising on Storage Foundation for Windows and DMP can leverage a broad storage array support of any multi-pathing solution-including support for leading array families from EMC, HP, HDS, IBM, Network Appliance, and Sun-to achieve agility and high return on their storage hardware investments. Customers also have the flexibility to choose the storage network infrastructure that fits their needs.
 
Symantec is a vendor fully certified with Microsoft's MPIO framework for both Fibre Channel HBA StorPort and Microsoft iSCSI software. Additionally, Storage Foundation for Windows introduces advanced iSCSI SAN management capabilities including automated discovery, management, and configuration of IP-based SANs.

According to Symantec's Storage Foundation Group, standardisation on Storage Foundation HA for Windows allows customers to have more flexibility in their storage hardware decisions and drives down operational costs by enabling them to use a single tool. This release has furthered the ROI of standardisation by reducing the cost of deploying Storage Foundation on every server and enabling customers to have visibility and centralised control of storage management, high availability, and disaster recovery capabilities across their entire data centre.

Improved storage manageability and performance

Storage Foundation for Windows enables customers to drive down operational cost while improving mission critical application service level agreements by introducing a set of new capabilities for improving manageability and performance. Symantec will add support for Storage Foundation Management Server, which provides comprehensive visibility and control throughout the data centre infrastructure.

This multi-host management capability enables IT organisations to centrally manage their application, server, and storage environments, leading to rapid problem resolution, simplified data migrations, higher service levels, and reduced risk of human error. Storage Foundation Management Server will support Storage Foundation for Windows 4.x and 5.0, Veritas Volume Replicator Option, and Storage Foundation for Windows Basic, which means customers can view and manage all such instances of Storage Foundation across their entire data centre through a single, unified tool.

Administration costs are also reduced by a set of new configuration wizards, which make storage, cluster, and replication installation set up times more than 50 percent faster and allow administrators to use a simple GUI to schedule point-in-time copies when using the FlashSnap Option.

To ensure that customers can realise high levels of performance, Storage Foundation for Windows adds a set of new application performance enhancing capabilities including:

  • Dynamic optimisation of storage volume layout improves performance by up to 40 percent with its automated track aligned volume capability;
  • Four new load-balancing algorithms for DMP allow granular performance tuning for Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server applications; and
  • Veritas FlashSnap Option offers up to 60 percent better snapshot performance

Ease-of-use is imperative when settings up clusters, taking point-in-time copies, recovering disk space and ensuring proper server configurations. The wizards introduced in Veritas Storage Foundation 5.0 HA for Windows will help my team save time and reduce errors, while taking the guesswork out of traditionally resource-intensive, yet critical storage management tasks.

Simplified clustering with Veritas Cluster Server

Veritas Cluster Server, a sophisticated high availability and disaster recovery solution for Windows environments also introduces new features designed to improve manageability and reduce administration burden of providing high availability.

Cluster Server's secure, web-based Cluster Management Console simplifies the task of managing, monitoring, and configuring multiple clusters for Windows, Linux, and Unix, running in multiple data centres. Cluster Server significantly reduces operational costs by providing the same comprehensive protection across physical and virtual server environments including Windows, VMware, and Microsoft Virtual Server.

Cluster Server also includes Fire Drill, which enables organisations to regularly test disaster recovery scenarios without exposing production applications to risk and downtime. The new step-by-step wizard-driven workflow simplifies the task of configuring Fire Drill, data replication, and high availability/disaster recovery solutions for Exchange, SQL Server, Oracle, and other applications.
 
Cluster Server also reduces risk to the business by preemptively and proactively identifying potential configuration issues before they occur by monitoring any configuration drift among cluster nodes.

For mission-critical applications that require coordination of application clustering and remote data protection, the Veritas Volume Replicator (VVR) Option has added the ability to coordinate snapshots at both the primary and/or a remote secondary location for consistent backup or disk-based disaster recovery solutions.

Additionally, with the new bunker replication feature of the VVR Option, organisations can elect a data replication strategy of replicating data over any distance without losing a single transaction-a recovery point objective of zero over any distance. Symantec provides protection for heterogeneous server and storage environments.

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