Last week, VMware released vSphere 5.5 Update 1. You can find the release notes here, and the links to the download are here. Why is this such a milestone? It finally marks the release of VMware’s long-awaited entry into the world of software-defined storage, the VSAN (Virtual Storage Area Network). But before we move on…
The benefits of virtualizing networking and storage will be very different than were the benefits of virtualizing CPU and memory. VMware’s success to date has not come at the expense of server vendors. However VMware’s success with virtualized networking will come at the expense of Cisco. The success with virtualizing storage will come at the expense of enterprise storage vendors. By commoditizing networking and storage VMware will deliver substantial benefits to its customers, and create strained relationships with vendors who used to be partners.
With Virsto, VMware can completely abstract the physical storage from how it is presented to the servers and the applications on those servers (the storage is virtualized), and have fine grained control over how data is read and written from the datastores – resulting in dramatic improvements in utilization and performance.
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Depending upon what your or somebody else’s definition of a storage hypervisor is, you may or may not be using one or realize it.
If your view of a storage hypervisor is a storage IO optimization technology to address performance and other issues with virtual machines (VMs) and their hypervisors, such as Virsto or ScaleIO along with others, you might be calling those storage hypervisors as opposed to middleware, management tools, drivers, plug-in, shims, accelerators, or optimizers.
Running VMware on legacy infrastructure is like driving a Ferrari on a gravel road. If you look at what is run in most production VMware environments today, the only really new things in the environment is VMware vSphere, and possibly some new monitoring, security and backup tools. We have barely started to reinvent everything that needs to be reinvented in order to properly take virtualization, IT as a Service and public clouds to their logical and most beneficial conclusions.