Symantec unveils new management plug-in for VMware vCenter Server

New offering allows users to reduce the complexity of managing backups in VMware-virtualised environ

Symantec, a provider of security, storage and systems management offerings, has unveiled new management plug-in for VMware vCenter Server available to Backup Exec 2010 customers.

The new offering allows users to reduce the complexity of managing backups in VMware-virtualised environments by providing a comprehensive view of virtual machines and exposes granular details of virtual machine backups, all from within the VMware vCenter Server console or the VMware vSphere Client.

Symantec said that the Backup Exec protects more than 40,000 VMware hosts and an estimated one million VMware guests, and the new Backup Exec Management Plug-in for VMware vCenter Server helps customers save time and reduce the risk of unprotected data in virtual environments.

The Backup Exec Management Plug-in for VMware vCenter Server works with the core Backup Exec virtualisation features to provide a consolidated protection status view of all virtual machines within the VMware vCenter Server or VMware vSphere Client.

The new offering enables customers to view: the last run of backup and next scheduled backup; the type of backup (full, incremental, differential) and backup policy; and the potential risky policies such as unprotected virtual machines.

In addition, the VMware Ready offering, Backup Exec 2010 provides a single tool that allows companies to protect physical and virtual servers, manage disk and tape targets, backup full machines and individual files, execute hot backups and restores of applications and databases in virtual environments.

VMware global strategic alliances vice president Parag Patel said the strong technology partnership between VMware and Symantec enables their joint customers to reap the comprehensive benefits of their offerings to deliver faster VMware backups, easier recovery, and effective management while reducing overall cost and complexity.

"Customers are increasingly moving production workloads into VMware environments, and Symantec Backup Exec provides a simplified way to help them protect and manage these environments," Patel said.

The company said that the new plug-in for VMware vCenter Server will be available by early next year.

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Is anyone prepared to solve the NHS funding crisis?

As long as the political taboo on raising taxes endures, the service will be in financial peril. 

It has long been clear that the NHS is in financial ill-health. But today's figures, conveniently delayed until after the Conservative conference, are still stunningly bad. The service ran a deficit of £930m between April and June (greater than the £820m recorded for the whole of the 2014/15 financial year) and is on course for a shortfall of at least £2bn this year - its worst position for a generation. 

Though often described as having been shielded from austerity, owing to its ring-fenced budget, the NHS is enduring the toughest spending settlement in its history. Since 1950, health spending has grown at an average annual rate of 4 per cent, but over the last parliament it rose by just 0.5 per cent. An ageing population, rising treatment costs and the social care crisis all mean that the NHS has to run merely to stand still. The Tories have pledged to provide £10bn more for the service but this still leaves £20bn of efficiency savings required. 

Speculation is now turning to whether George Osborne will provide an emergency injection of funds in the Autumn Statement on 25 November. But the long-term question is whether anyone is prepared to offer a sustainable solution to the crisis. Health experts argue that only a rise in general taxation (income tax, VAT, national insurance), patient charges or a hypothecated "health tax" will secure the future of a universal, high-quality service. But the political taboo against increasing taxes on all but the richest means no politician has ventured into this territory. Shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander has today called for the government to "find money urgently to get through the coming winter months". But the bigger question is whether, under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour is prepared to go beyond sticking-plaster solutions. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.