The future of OpenStack looks bright, and with the all the software-defined data center (SDDC) features contained in the recent release of “Grizzly” they are now ready to compete toe-to-toe with heavyweights like VMware, Nutanix, Dell, and HP. Whether they can start unseating VMware products in the enterprise remains to be seen, though. Despite the immediate SDDC advantage of OpenStack, companies and technologies like that of Nicira and Virsto, both acquired by VMware, are not to be ignored.
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.
An end of year survey by Entelechy Associates suggests that this may well be the case. The survey showed that while the total number of desktops being delivered using VDI was still less than 10%, 55% of enterprises either have systems in production or are actively testing, running pilot deployments with 100 or more users.
Just what are storage hypervisors? There are several companies that claim to have storage hypervisors. Wikipedia states that a hypervisor is “conceptually one level higher than a supervisory program”. We also know that from our normal use of hypervisors that they manage the underlying resources that a guest uses. Do these definitions work for a storage hypervisor?
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The virtual storage market is hotting up with Virsto Stoftware’s announcement of two new products for release Tuesday, January 17th. Following on from its June 2011 acquisition of EvoStor and building on its existing Virsto for VDI platform, Silicon Valley-based Virsto Software has made good on its investment by announcing the release of Virsto for vSphere.
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The largest single cost elements in most VDI deployments is the high cost of storage needed to meet the IOPS load caused by session startup and logon activities. Most VDI deployments address the IOPS challenge either by using many spinning discs to achieve the necessary IOPS or by using high-performance SSD in one form or another.
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Virsto announces a $12 million in Series B venture capital funding and acquisition of EvoStor, a company specializing in storage virtualization technology for VMware environments. Virsto hope these factors will combine to help them transform virtual machine storage and move their Virsto Virtual Storage Engine beyond Hyper-V.
Aimed for those who use medium sized storage for virtualization loads, Virsto will add quite a bit of needed functionality to Hyper-V to reduce disk space requirements, improve general disk IO performance, as well as provide faster high availability failover. The disk space saving Linked Clone technology available for VMware ESX and ESXi has been missing from Hyper-V, Virsto provides this.