Stop moving empty space
When developing Version 5.1 of Veritas Storage Foundation, Symantec discovered a trick that can speed the movement of volumes across disks, said Steve Wilkins, director of product marketing at Symantec. When migrating a volume from, say, one array to the next, the entire block normally gets moved, regardless of how much data resides in the volume. This new version of Symantec's Windows storage management software examines the volume and only moves the actual files that reside in there. So if you have a 1G volume that only holds 300M of files ' 30 percent utilization is about the norm in most shops ' only those 300 megabytes get moved into a newly created 1G volume. In other words, 700M of effectively nothing does not get moved, shortening the time it would take to move that volume by 70 percent. Pretty nifty.
Although it's not enough of an upgrade to warrant a full new version, Foundation 5.1 nonetheless has a healthy dose of new features in addition to smart migration. This version supports Windows Server 2008, along with other recently released Microsoft office products, such as Windows Vista, SharePoint Server and Microsoft Exchange 2007.
There are also new wizards galore. One helps administrators run through a simulated disaster recovery, with the software switching to the backup and starting additional instances of the applications. 'We're completely independent of the production environment but using real production data,' Wilkins said. Another wizard does a hardware compatibility check to ensure all the components are in place before the administrator tries to install the software.
Perhaps best of all for Defense Department users, the software now can do three-pass or seven-pass erases of data after it is deleted ' a feature that now complies with DOD regulations on data removal. Version 5.1 Veritas Storage Foundation will be out in June, in regular or high-availability versions.
Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.