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StorageTek offers consolidation and cloning tool

Kevin Komiega

Storage Technology Corp., has a new software tool aimed at fending off the attack of the clones -- the Linux virtual server clones.

Last Week, Louisville, Colo.-based StorageTek announced the availability of SnapVantage, a Web-based software product that can rapidly deploy and recover multiple Linux virtual servers residing on Shared Virtual Array (SVA) subsystems using IBM's zSeries mainframe computing platforms, including Virtual Machine (VM) and zLinux.

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The Linux wave keeps spreading through the world of enterprise disk storage, and StoragTek says it is essential for enterprise users to look for ways to take advantage of virtual servers and virtual disks to deploy new applications faster, improve access to, and management of information while creating an effective strategy for virtual Linux server infrastructures.

SnapVantage coupled with StorageTek's Shared Virtual Array disk storage system, Shared Virtual Array Administrator for VM and SnapShot software, serves as a consolidation and cloning tool. Meaning that if a user needs to make haste in deploying or bringing down a large number of similar servers using less hard disk space.

The other benefit, according to StorageTek, is non-disruptive backups of zLinux server data via centralized SnapShot backups.

The SnapVantage software requires that one of StorageTek's IceBerg products be running in the storage environment, said Deb Martin, product marketing manager, for StorageTek's disk business unit.

Martin said that SnapVantage exploits virtual disk and its capabilities.

"[SnapVantage] provides capabilities for monitoring and managing Linux and VM servers," said Martin.

StorageTek product specialist Gary Ehnert, said there is no rhyme or reason to server deployment in today's data centers.

"There's no consolidation or control," said Ehnert. "Servers are popping up like popcorn."

SnapVantage does provide a fast way to deploy many identical servers that uses less storage capacity, but according to John Phelps, vice president and research director for Gartner Inc., cloning does have its downside.

He said that Beyond offering a storage device for rapid cloning of Linux Virtual Machines SnapVantage is only useful for only a few industries that need a lot of identical machines brought online or taken offline at light speed.

"The total market for [SnapVantage] is less than the total market for Linux on the mainframe," said Phelps.

Phelps said SnapVantage is a perfect fit for universities, application service providers and Internet service providers, but it is not as easy if each server needs to be equipped with different applications.

SnapVantage is available now for a list price of $25,000.

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