In the not to distant past, I posted The dynamic duo of virtual storage and virtual processing that commented on a piece written by Ed Walsh, CEO of Virtual Iron. It's now clear that the paper was foreshadowing a partnership with FalconStor and, perhaps, other companies that focus on storage virtualization technology.
How Virtual Iron and FalconStor describe their partnershipVirtual Iron and FalconStor describe their alliance in the following way:
The alliance between the companies leverages the entire suite of Virtual Iron server virtualization and FalconStor data protection and storage virtualization solutions without modification, providing a three-pronged approach to creating a centralized virtual infrastructure with integrated solutions for business continuity and disaster recovery, backup optimization and storage virtualization. The FalconStor® Network Storage Server (NSS) and FalconStor® Continuous Data Protector (CDP) support both iSCSI and Fibre Channel storage and have been certified on the latest release of Virtual Iron, Version 4.2. The FalconStor solutions provide a number of unique capabilities for the Virtual Iron platform including:
- Storage Migration for Virtual Machines - Virtualization combined with built-in mirroring allows seamless migration between storage arrays without downtime.
- Extended support for a wide range of SMB and enterprise-class storage arrays already certified by FalconStor.
- Application-aware snapshot agents provide transactionally-consistent snapshots of data for Exchange, SQL, SharePoint, SAP, and Oracle running in virtual machines.
- Thin provisioning for virtual machines maximizes disk space to optimize storage management within virtualized environments.
In addition, Virtual Iron’s unique storage architecture allows storage and server IT users to fully exploit the value provided in storage servers provided by their storage system vendors. Standard capabilities in FalconStor such as thin provisioning and application aware snapshots can be directly used with Virtual Iron, significantly improving storage utilization and business continuity across any existing storage system vendor array.
Snapshot AnalysisWhile virtual processing technology and technology that manages virtualized resources, such as that offered by Virtual Iron, can be a powerful tool for an organization, it is clear that adding virtual storage, such as that offered by FalconStor, to the environment can take the organization's capabilities up a few notches. The key here is making sure that the virtual processing and storage virtualization technology are harmonious and that the suppliers are up to the task of supporting a very complex environment for their combined customers.
While the ability to move virtual servers from one physical system to another or bring up multiple instances of a virtual server to better meet service level objectives or to deal with an outage can be very helpful, making the data that these systems are processing equally agile would be even better. Offering the capability to deploy this combination on a wide selection of physical systems, network configurations and storage systems is critical. It appears that Virtual Iron and FalconStor are taking on this challenging task. I'm looking forward to hearing from organizations that have chosen to deploy a full complement of virtualization technologies rather than relying on virtual machine software alone.