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Vizioncore promises faster VMware backups: News in brief

Support for VMware Change Block Tracking delivers faster backup times; and other news in brief.

Vizioncore vRanger Pro 4.5: Faster backup, less space
Version 4.5 of Vizioncore's popular virtualization backup software vRanger Pro is now available, promising faster backup times, and more efficient use of storage capacity.

Central to the vRanger Pro 4.5 release is support for the changed block tracking feature in the VMware vSphere vStorage application programming interface A(PI). The API communicates with backup software on which blocks have changed since the last incremental backup. The new version also implements so-called Active Block Mapping, which works with the Windows New Technology File System (or NTFS) to determine which blocks are active and inactive to avoid unnecessarily backing up inactive blocks. Together these features enable up to 33% faster backup times, and the resulting images consume up to 25% less storage capacity, the company said.

Other features of the 4.5 release include object-level restore capabilities for Microsoft Exchange data, integration with VMware vCenter backup groups, 256-bit AES encryption of archived files, support for thin-provisioned virtual machines, and a native Volume Shadow Copy Service driver for Windows Server 2003 and 2008 that successfully forces applications to quiesce, ensuring crash-consistent backups.

Pricing for vRanger Pro 4.5 is available immediately and is free for customers with valid support and subscription licenses.

VMware gives partners bridge between VCP, VCDX certifications
VMware has introduced new certifications for partners at a level between the VMware Certified Professional (VCP) -- of which there are 50,000 -- and the VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) -- of which there are just 50.

The new VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP) certification is available to virtualization partners, end users and consultants, and comes in two flavors: the VMware Certified Advanced Professional Datacenter Administration (VCAP-DCA), and the VMware Certified Advanced Professional Datacenter Design (VCAP-DCD).

The VCAP-DCA is directed toward system administrators, senior consultants and technical support engineers who can work with automation tools, plan and design virtualized solutions, and administer all VMware vSphere Enterprise components. The VCAP-DCA exam opens July 12, 2010.

The VCAP-DCD certification is designed for IT architects with deep knowledge of VMware and applications, plus server, storage and networking infrastructure. Registration for the VCAP-DCD exam opens in August.

Those interested in registering for either exam can visit

ScaleMP intros "VM on VM" capability
ScaleMP, a clustering provider that aggregates multiple x86 servers into a single unit, introduced a technology preview of "VM on VM" technology for users of its vSMP Foundation platform. With it, users can create Xen or Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) virtual machines (VMs) on top of a clustered vSMP Foundation cluster of commercial off-the-shelf x86 servers.

ScaleMP positions vSMP Foundation as an alternative to high-end proprietary symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) systems used for high-performance computing (HPC) workloads by the life sciences, manufacturing, financial services and data warehousing sectors, to name a few. Running Xen or KVM VMs on top of a single vSMP Foundation cluster provides management benefits, the company says, and it is exploring the possibility of running VMware vSphere on top of vSMP Foundation as well.

In addition, ScaleMP announced version 3.0 of vSMP Foundation, which provides support for the latest Intel processors, Nehalem-EX and Westmere-EP, enabling virtual symmetric multiprocessing systems with up to 128 nodes, 1,024 processors, 8,192 cores and 64 TB of RAM. The new version also supports failover between InfiniBand host channel adapters (HCAs), and advanced workload balancing between them. Finally, vSMP 3.0 supports an expanded set of Ethernet and storage interface cards.

VM6 addresses high availability concerns
VM6 Software Inc. released an update to its virtualization appliance, the VM6 VMex 2.1 that combines Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization, shared storage, clustering, management and monitoring in one unit.

VM6 VMex 2.1 addresses user concerns about high availability, and introduces a multi-array hub witness scheme that improves data recoverability in the event of a catastrophic failure such as a data center power outage. It also provides streamlined event monitoring with email alerts, a storage dashboard, and a virtual desktop session manager, allowing administrators to view and reset virtual desktop sessions.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Alex Barrett, News Director at, or follow @aebarrett on twitter.

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