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Think IPM

Friday, September 25, 2009

Vizioncore’s vProducts (vOptimizer, vRanger & vReplicator) rundown

imageThis week Steve Koff from Vizioncore came by our offices to give us a rundown of the vProduct line. :-) 

For those not familiar with VizionCore, think vRanger Pro; their most recognizable product in my humble opinion. Acquired by Quest software, Vizioncore has actually grown their product offerings quite a bit and in a couple of different areas.

I still think that vRanger is their most compelling solution for my set of customers. vRanger is a host based backup solution. Now in its 4th generation, it is fully vSphere and VI3 compatible and backs up your VMs live giving you full or file level recovery. All the normal bells and whistles that have become standard with VM backups (host based, socket licensed, compression, incrementals etc) are included.

vReplicator is probably their second most popular product with my clients. This host based replication software allows clients to replicate VMs (again Live) from ESX servers in production to ESX servers in DR locations. This has become a great alternative for clients that do not have array based replication between sites. vReplicator is storage agnostic and will keep VMs in sync using differentials sent across the wire every 15 minutes or more (depending on rate of change and bandwidth). While this can't compete with the minute syncs possible via array based replication, the software based choice is affordable by even the tightest IT budgets. There are plans/rumors/rumblings that VMware will begin certifying software replication products for use with SRM in 2010. If vReplicator is on the short list(and I believe it is), I think this combination of vReplicator and SRM will be a very compelling solution to smaller SMBs looking to fulfill their DR obligations.

vOptimizer is an interesting product. It allows you to run jobs against your Virtual Machine infrastructure to reclaim unused free space on the SAN. You set a threshold of say 20% and vOptimizer can go out and resize all VMDKs so that they only have 20% free space allowing you to potentially reclaim tons of valuable SAN space. Very Neat! - I wish this could be done on the fly but due to current Windows limitations, VMs have to be bounced. The restarts can be scheduled for outage windows though. The ROI on SAN space could pay for this product pretty rapidly. They have a free 'scan' only tool called WasteFinder that you can use to survey the VMs to see how much waste is out there.

Having experience with VizionCore's products, a lot of this was a refresher for me but I did learn some interesting pricing information. I had always been under the impression that vReplicator was priced per VM but was told that when bundled with 2 other products in a suite (optimizer and ranger for instance), replicator becomes a socket based license model. Confusing yes, but now a more cost effective price for customers with high consolidation ratios on their ESX hosts.

We also spoke at length about vControl and vFoglight. The first is a multi-hypervisor management tool and the second a VMware only reporting tool. They were pretty big products and probably deserve a post on their own.

For me, vOptimizer, vRanger and vReplicator fit the best in the solutions I am currently working on.  All three products are VMware only.  No Hyper-V or XenServer support yet.  Hyper-V is on the drawing board though.

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