Collax Virtualisation makes a huge step forward.

Yesterday Collax went gold with the new version of the virtualization products and what I really like is the new V-SAN. With old V-Store it was possible to have a two nodes cluster with the embedded SAN. Which is pretty nice, because we can build clusters without the need for an expensive SAN and the I/O is rather fast, having it in the same machines. From now on, with V-SAN we can build clusters with embedded SAN with three or more nodes. Depending on the application – yes I am thinking about Domino and/or Connections here – an embedded SAN makes sense. Cuts down on the hardware cost – half the boxes. But if necessary, V-SAN also works as an external SAN.
Every node permits to administer the whole cluster and it is done through a web browser. With the new version, Collax also enhanced what they were always good at. Make the product more powerful AND easier to use. Adding a Node to a cluster is a breeze now. Right at the beginning of the installation the wizard asks if this is a standalone virtualization server or a additional node to a cluster. It then collects all the necessary information from the cluster, asks a few questions, installs all the required modules – which it downloads from Collax automatically – and  presents the result in a checklist where all additional settings can be made, mostly by using wizards. And it has still all the bells and whistles of KVM and more.
If you aren’t into building clusters from scratch with command line tools and finding additional tools and little helpers all over the Internet (like me, I hate that with a passion you can only dream of and I am not good at it anyway), give it a shot.
I asked an expert once and he said, he could build the same cluster with open tools (which KVM is too, proudly supported by HP, IBM, RedHat, Intel and many others) within a few days. With Collax it takes an hour, while sipping coffee most of the time (I needed three for my first one … with broken hardware … and customers who called).
Did I mention that the licensing is done by physical box? Not some „by memory“ or „by VM“ stuff. And you get a support hot-line with living people who pick up the phone. That alone is a good reason for me. I just need a gentle voice once in while, to prevent me from jumping out of the window, because a stupid error message just popped up when the progress bar reaches 99% (never happened with collax though, it comes before).