Symantec, Red Hat Team Up For Disaster Recovery - InformationWeek
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Symantec, Red Hat Team Up For Disaster Recovery

New bundle of existing products helps enterprises caught between the rock of rising costs and the hard place of static IT budgets.

One bit of news to come out of last week's Red Hat Summit is a joint offering with Symantec to help IT teams looking to deploy hybrid and private clouds with top-tier application reliability, data protection, and disaster recovery on a budget. The bundle consists of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Symantec's Veritas Storage Foundation Cluster File System, Cluster Server, and Storage Foundation--all existing products--and customers should expect no changes in pricing related to the joint offer, said Jeff Bernard, Red Hat's senior business operations director, platform business unit.

For IT, the whole should be greater than the sum of the parts. First, rising costs and static IT budgets are helping Linux maintain its place in enterprise data centers; in fact, the companies say that upward of 80% of the Fortune 500 have deployed Red Hat Enterprise Linux. "These numbers come from SEC 10-Q/K filings," Bernard said. And, because RHEL supports applications in hypervisors from VMware and Microsoft as well as its own Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor, based on KVM, it's an attractive platform for enterprise private cloud deployments, where customers might want to mix VMware and Hyper-V.

The price is right, too.

Today, a one- to two-socket server with standard support and up to one virtual machine guest sells for $799. A larger four-socket system with premium support and unlimited VM guests sells for $6,498.

As for Symantec's storage and availability management products, Jennifer Ellard, senior manager, storage and availability management group, said they're used by 99% of the Fortune 500. Symantec's Cluster Server software addresses multitiered applications, including the Web layer and the database driving the application data. Cluster Server accomplishes failover of each of these components and brings them all up in the appropriate order in an automated fashion, said Ellard.

Enterprises can see savings on the storage end as well, especially those with multiple platforms and silos of people who know how to operate one storage platform but not another, and one operating system but not another. "At the management layer, it does not matter what OS or storage the enterprise uses, Symantec can manage it consistently," Ellard said.

The companies will offer off-premises disaster recovery for private and hybrid clouds, automating global failover of multitiered applications to any DR site using Symantec Cluster Server running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Cluster Server provides the aforementioned layers of availability for the Web, application, and database tiers. It brings high availability for metro area failover, where data centers are a short distance apart, and wide area failover via global cluster partnering for more geographically dispersed organizations.

Cluster Server offers nondisruptive failover testing as well. "The customer can click on a simulator," Ellard said. "They can bring the app down and back up again and make sure their users can connect."

Symantec's Storage Foundation Dynamic Multi-Pathing running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides a uniform cross-platform combination that eases management across different OS and storage platforms--again, saving money, since an enterprise can choose the most cost-effective storage hardware and swap out gear without disruption. IT can also forgo point tools because the Veritas Storage Foundation product is a unified, platform-agnostic data management platform. "With people moving to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, we can quickly help them take data in their LUN or storage and move it to a new storage device and help them migrate to new servers," said Ellard.

Finally, the Storage Foundation Cluster File System and Cluster Server running on RHEL enables fast Oracle database failover, meaning enterprises can deploy less-costly single-instance Oracle databases while maintaining subminute failover times. "We remove 40% to 50% of the time associated with storage failover tasks," said Ellard. "We detect the failure, and then the process does not have to migrate or point to a new storage path. You simply restart the Oracle database application and your clients reconnect."

The How And When

An expanded relationship between the two companies' engineering, marketing, support, and sales groups will help foster the joint offer. According to Red Hat and Symantec, the companies' engineering teams participated in rigorous mutual testing and certified the joint offering. Support teams from both organizations will align via TSANet for quick resolution of customer issues. The companies' marketing groups will provide access to joint reference architectures, white papers, best practices, and customer events.

The joint offering is available now; Symantec's Veritas Storage Foundation Cluster File System, Cluster Server, and Storage Foundation products start at $40,000.

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