As an integrated virtualization solution, XenServer and EqualLogic allows you to maintain high operating efficiency by delegating such advanced capabilities as Thin Provisioning, Fast Cloning, and Automated Snapshots to the EqualLogic SAN. Thin Provisioning helps IT administrators control costs by dedicating only the storage capacity needed in the short term, and maintaining unallocated storage in a common pool for later use by applications or user groups as disk resources are actually consumed. Fast Cloning lets storage administrators create copies of entire volumes as a background process, without disrupting network operations.
Once created, clones can be used to accelerate the provisioning and deployment of standardized VMs, as well as to test new applications, configurations or procedures. Snapshots are efficient captures of storage volumes that can be created without disrupting network operations, for use in backing up or testing data. In addition, XenServer supports iSCSI multipath I/O (MPIO) and simplified disaster recovery, two strategic tools for improving business continuity even in the event of network failures or other outages. MPIO support allows multiple network paths — e.g., separate subnetworks or VLANS — for both the SAN arrays and the virtualization servers,
as a means of both improving performance and safeguarding against Ethernet switch failures or other network problems. Disaster recovery tools apply snapshot and fast cloning technologies to the processes of initial VM placement, the real-time
movement of VMs via XenMotion, and automatic high availability.