Symantec has announced enhancements to its Veritas Cluster Server for VMware ESX and Veritas Application Director solutions which strengthen VMware environments for production use and simplify management of virtual machines in the data center.

Cluster Server for VMware ESX, an enterprise-class high availability and disaster recovery solution now provides expanded support for critical business application environments like Microsoft Exchange and enhances disaster recovery capabilities with broader data replication support.
Application Director introduces heterogeneous virtual machine management capabilities to control virtual machines and optimise server resource utilisation in large data centers with hundreds or even thousands of physical servers and virtual machines.
“Symantec is directly addressing the severe challenges of managing today’s complex data centers by providing a single platform that can reduce downtime and improve manageability across heterogeneous virtual and physical server environments,” says Sheldon Hand, storage specialist for Africa, Symantec.
“Enterprises now have a solution that enables them to deploy server virtualisation into production environments with confidence, by protecting their key applications from downtime, and by helping them better manage physical and virtual server sprawl.”
These new enhancements complement Symantec’s existing data center solutions which provide extensive data protection, high availability, disaster recovery and storage management capabilities for both physical and virtual environments.
In addition to Cluster Server for VMware ESX and Application Director, Symantec offers unique capabilities for VMware environments in its Veritas CommandCentral Storage and Veritas NetBackup solutions. These solutions help customers reduce the complexity of managing heterogeneous virtual and physical data centers and realise cost savings by enabling customers to standardise on a common layer of infrastructure software.
Cluster Server for VMware provides added protection for applications in virtual machines by monitoring the health of the application, the guest OS, the virtual machine, the virtual resources, the physical server and the underlying storage. If a failure should occur to any of these components, applications and virtual machines are automatically failed over to another physical server.
Additionally, in the case of a site failure, Cluster Server for VMware can automate the process of failing over all the protected applications and virtual machines to another data center regardless of whether the data center is on the same campus, in the same metropolitan area or located across the globe.
Enhancements include expanded support for critical business applications, including Microsoft Exchange and SAP, enabling IT professionals to have confidence as they move business-critical applications into virtualised environments.
Expanded disaster recovery capabilities also include broader support for data replication offerings including Hitachi TrueCopy, enabling customers to provide mission-critical level Recovery Point Objectives and synchronise application and data availability at a remote data center.
The Cluster Server Management Console helps simplify the management of applications in virtual environments, enabling administrators to manage multiple clusters from a single console – regardless of whether the clusters are running in a physical or virtual environments, are running on different operating systems, or are located in different data centers.  This new release of Cluster Server supports VMware ESX 3.0 and is available today.
“Server management is one of the industry’s greatest challenges, especially as organisations fight server sprawl through both virtual and physical environments,” said Stephen Elliot, Research Director, IDC. “As virtualisation continues to move into production environments, comprehensive management tools that ensure availability of critical applications and automate common server management tasks are a must. IT organisations must consider their ability to reuse skills and knowledge to simplify the process of getting virtualised applications up and running, in production."
With Application Director, IT organisations can better optimise server resource utilisation by controlling when and where applications and virtual machines run, across heterogeneous environments. Application Director is a key element of the Veritas Server Foundation product family which delivers comprehensive data center automation (DCA) capabilities.
Key enhancements to Application Director in this new release will enable users to track resource utilisation, and then start, stop, move or resize virtual machines to improve utilisation and ease overall management. Application Director also allows users to create and enforce policies, based on the requirements of the application, enabling them to increase application availability and flexibly respond to changes in application workloads.
In addition, new role-based access and control capabilities define who can perform specific management operations across both physical and virtual servers. This simplifies management of large data centers with hundreds or even thousands of physical servers and virtual machines. This new release of Application Director will be available in early 2008 and will support heterogeneous virtual machine environments, including VMware ESX, Solaris Zones and AIX Micropartitions.
Symantec’s market leading solutions for data protection, high availability, disaster recovery and storage management set the standard for managing heterogeneous virtual and physical environments in enterprise data centers. Virtual machines are rapidly moving into production environments, introducing a complicated new set of platform and support requirements into already complex data centers.
Through its Veritas infrastructure software products, Symantec delivers best-in-class functionality that supports every major server operating system and storage hardware platform.
“Symantec is committed to ensuring virtual machine environments like VMware are truly ready for the enterprise, by providing industry-leading infrastructure capabilities that support VMware and all major server virtualisation platforms,” concludes Hand.