NetApp is piling into the server virtualisation market with SnapManager for Virtual Infrastructure for VMware.

The company said it was extending SnapManager capabilities to virtual infrastructures to give customers common data management tools for virtualised and physical servers, and claimed products would help accelerate deployment of existing Windows applications on virtual servers.

John Rollason - solutions marketing manager EMEA at NetApp, said: “We are starting to see how virtual server environments affect storage and we’re addressing this. In a virtualised server environment backing up the applications brings real problems. To address this SnapManager for Virtualised infrastructure takes a snapshot of the virtual environment and it does it online, no need to wait for the back up window. In the physical world its been possible for a long time but now its coming to the virtual server space.” NetApp said its provisioning manager would provide policy-based automation to speed up existing processes and improves capacity utilisation and simplifies storage provisioning.

The announcement means all Windows-based SnapManager products are now VMware-compatible, allowing management of data within virtual machines and application-specific data management. Versions are available for Exchange, SQL, SharePoint and Oracle.

Enhancements to NetApp’s Protection Manager provides updates to NetApp’s Data ONTAP operating system add expanded support for multivendor virtualisation and extend de-duplication benefits to customers with NetApp V-Series and MultiStore systems. “We’re bringing de-duplication to primary storage,“ said Rollason. Data ONTAP SMI-S Agent, which conforms to the SNIA Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S), is now available to support the entire line of NetApp FAS systems and NetApp V-Series virtualised storage systems, the company said.

To support its launch NetApp also announced services covering virtualisation assessment, Virtualisation Architecture Planning to help customers design the most efficient server and storage infrastructure and Server & Storage Virtualisation Services to help build the optimal server platform based on VMware technology. The firm is also extending its services to its resellers under a new NetApp Authorised Professional Service Partner Programme which will see partners sell their own branded NetApp services.