Today, Symantec and VMware say they are removing the last roadblock to completely virtualized server infrastructures with Symantec ApplicationHA and VirtualStore. The two companies worked together on a solution, based on Symantec’s Veritas Cluster Server and Veritas Storage Foundation, for giving IT managers the confidence to place business critical apps on virtual machines. Of course, they’ll have a lot of convincing to do.
Currently, IT administrators run into a brick wall when it comes to virtualization. Most notably, nobody wants to risk an outage (or their jobs) by placing software applications that are critical to their businesses (sales databases, for instance) on a virtual machine. It’s generally safer to dedicate physical servers to these apps or software suites. The downside, of course, is that they are installed on servers — frequently high-performance models befitting their pecking order — that consume a lot of power and data center real-estate to perform a limited role.
Now, Symantec and VMware say that they’re bringing high availability to apps within virtual machines and seamless integration with VMware’s vCenter management dash. True to its corporate IT ambitions, VirtualHA will ship with support for numerous enterprise software staples such as Oracle, SAP, SQL and Microsoft Exchange. Windows, VMware and Linux support is a given. In addition to monitoring apps and automatically restarting them when necessary, the software also provides a crucial link between apps and VMware’s VMware HA, allowing for the restart of virtual machines if they lock up or prove to be the cause of misbehaving software.
According to Symantec, ApplicationHA goes on sale next month, September 2010, with a price of $350 (USD) per virtual machine. The wait for VirtualStore is a little longer — November 2010, in fact. Pricing has not been set yet, but it will be based on a per-server model.
Looks like they have all their ducks in a row, but until IT admins are assured that it’s a sure thing, expect them to stick on their one-app-per-box approach. When more than a handful of success stories start circulating (VMworld perhaps?), that will determine when IT execs can start dreaming up ways of really slashing their server counts.