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Vol. 5 No. 7 September 2006

Latest VMware rev tackles storage shortcomings

Large VMWare shops have high expectations for the storage capabilities of the server virtualization platform. Tom Becchetti, senior capacity planner at a national financial services firm, has 37 VMware ESX Server 2.5.3 hosts running 140 virtual machines and is "kicking the tires" on VMware Infrastructure 3 (VI3). As it stands, "the underlying ESX file system is a good foundation," he says. But, "ultimately, what you want is a full foundation like a [Symantec] Veritas [file system and volume manager]," he notes, with the ability to do things like dynamically add and resize volumes. VI3, which was announced this summer, takes some steps in that direction, thanks to several enhancements to Virtual Machine File System (VMFS), ESX Server's underlying clustered file system. VMFS now delivers better I/O performance across a range of file sizes. Virtual Machine Disk Format (VMDK) files tend to be large--as big as 2TB--and are thus characterized by large block I/O patterns, explains Patrick Lin, VMware's technical director of product ...

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Features in this issue

  • Tricky backup for SharePoint

  • CDP: Look before you leap

    Some pundits have postulated that continuous data protection (CDP) will replace backup. But is that just new technology hyperbole or is CDP a must-have technology?

  • Backup-to-disk performance tuning

    Disk-based backup can lower costs, reduce complexity and add scalability. But to achieve top performance, you'll need to do lots of benchmarking and watch for poorly configured production storage.

Columns in this issue

  • Backup best practices are always evolving

    Some new advances in backup, such as virtual tape libraries, represent evolutionary enhancements to the traditional backup process, while others like continuous data protection and single-instance storage are potentially far more transformational.

  • 10 points to consider before deploying an e-mail archive

    Selecting an e-mail archiving application based solely on features and functions may result in unexpected administration costs. Consider these 10 points before deploying an e-mail archiver.

  • Some small tech upstarts might play big roles

    Storage Bin: The big storage vendors are always trying to steal a piece of each other's pie. But some small tech upstarts might play big parts in determining who comes out on top.

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