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VMware launches Converter 5.0 beta: Virtualization news in brief

The new version of vCenter Converter Standalone will optimize disk partition alignment, Virsto snares $12 million in funding, and VMware partners with Hitachi on cloud services.

VMware launches vCenter Converter 5.0 beta
VMware on Thursday opened a new public beta for the standalone version of its physical-to-virtual conversion tool, vCenter Converter. Additions to the 5.0 release include the ability to preserve logical volume manager configuration while performing conversions on Linux machines; options for scheduling synchronization tasks and performing multiple synchronization tasks in a conversion job; encryption of conversion data between the source and destination server; and optimized disk and partition alignment and cluster size change.

Disk partition alignment caught the attention of VMware partner Matthew Liebowitz, a solutions architect for Manhattan-based Kraft & Kennedy Inc. In a blog post this week, Liebowitz said the partition alignment, which re-aligns disk partitions on a 1 MB boundary for Windows sources and on a 64 KB boundary for Linux sources, is the “most anticipated” feature of the new release, because aligning disk partitions between a VM and its shared storage can have performance benefits. 

“There are other tools/products out there that support this feature as well, but they are either tied to particular storage vendors or the products are not free,” Liebowitz wrote.

Virsto snares $12 million in funding, acquires EvoStor
Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Virsto Software announced this week it has received $12 million in Series B funding in a round led by venture capital firm InterWest Partners. Virsto also received $7 million in Series A funding in 2009. The company, which makes software that optimizes storage I/O in Hyper-V environments, claims $20 million in total funding to date.

One of the company’s first acts following the new funding round was to acquire another virtualization storage startup, EvoStor, a company specializing in storage for VMware environments. “The strong partnership between EvoStor and VMware will benefit Virsto as it readies its software solutions for additional hypervisor platforms,” according to the company in a press release.

HP takes aim at Vblock with VirtualSystem
VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization software will be offered as part of new infrastructure bundles dubbed VirtualSystem, announced this week by Hewlett-Packard Co. There are three VirtualSystem bundles, according to a report. The smallest uses HP ProLiant servers, LeftHand P4500 storage area networks (SANs) and HP Virtual Connect switch modules. The medium-sized bundle includes P4800 LeftHand storage running on an HP BladeSystem server with Virtual Connect and the largest bundle is a BladeSystem with 3PAR storage. The high-end system includes Fibre Channel SAN switches from Brocade. At its Discover show in Las Vegas this week, HP also introduced AppSystem bundles based on Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 and HP’s Vertica Analytics System.

VMware bundles up with Hitachi
Hitachi Ltd. and VMware launched a strategic partnership Thursday in which Hitachi will deliver new cloud services based on VMware’s vSphere and vFabric to financial institutions in Asia. The new IT as a Service offering is called Private Cloud for Finance Institutes; as part of the new partnership, Hitachi and VMware will also work together on continued technology collaboration and joint marketing initiatives, according to a press release.

NYSE launches VMware-based community cloud
VMware and parent company EMC Corp. co-launched last week another community cloud for financial institutions in partnership with the New York Stock Exchange’s Euronext division. The Capital Markets Community Platform, still in beta, has two customers currently and is based in part on VMware’s vCloud Director.

Beth Pariseau is a senior news writer for Write to her at

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