Blog Post

VMware bolsters storage virtualization smarts with Virsto buy

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

VMware (s vmw) is buying Virsto, a specialist in storage virtualization, to ramp up its software-defined data center push. VMware, which made its name virtualizing servers, last year broke into network virtualization via its $1.26 billion Nicira buy, and is now honing its storage virtualization message and expertise as well.

In a blog post announcing the aquisition — terms of which were not disclosed — John Gilmartin, VMware’sVP of storage and availability, wrote:

“Our customers have told us that managing performance and data services for virtual machines can be challenging, especially in I/O-intensive environments like virtual desktops. Virsto has developed a VM-centric storage management model that accelerates I/O performance for any block-based storage system while providing efficient data services like VM snapshots and clones. These technologies have helped Virsto customers significantly improve the performance and utilization of their storage systems.”

Virsto handles I/O at the VM level

VMware will keep selling Virsto’s standalone appliance but will also loop Virsto’s data management services into upcoming VMware products, he said.

In another blog post about the deal, Wikibon analyst David Floyer said one rationale for this deal was Microsoft’s decision to include Storage Spaces storage-pooling capability in Windows Server 2012. VMware, he wrote, wants to provide “the same type of simplicity and software-led services that Storage Spaces provides to Hyper-V and Windows 2012. This is a move away from the complex APIs that have previously been provided to help integrate storage arrays with VMware.”

This acquisition is just the latest evidence of VMware’s attempt to push beyond its core server virtualization into software defined data centers where compute is just one piece of the puzzle. That push is also one reason VMware decided to spin off “non-core” technologies like Cloud Foundry, Cetas and vFabric offerings to the Pivotal Initiative late last year.

That VMware went to a third party for storage expertise is interesting since its parent company is storage leader EMC.

3 Responses to “VMware bolsters storage virtualization smarts with Virsto buy”

  1. What’s more interesting is what this means for the VCE alliance. I don’t see a “Software Defined Data Center” and VCE living side by side. I’m challenged to understand what advantage Cisco has in staying part of the alliance as VMware looks to take over their role in managing the data center network. I’m certain that if VMware wasn’t owned by EMC they’d be pushing even more into managing storage.

    You can’t have a single pane for you software defined data center without ruffling the feathers of your storage and network partners.

    • Jay Cuthrell

      Hi Keith,

      Jay from VCE here…

      There are a lot of folks out there that consistently struggle to map their thesis on the plausibility of VCE existence with what gets covered in reputable tech blogs, press releases, etc. It’s just part of the challenge in having investors with such a high profile. It is important to understand that VCE can speak for VCE.

      When we were formed by Cisco and EMC with investments from VMware and Intel there was bound to be confusion when trying to find the right folks in VCE (or even who they were) to contact. But the good news is that VCE is here, it is successful, and we’re here to stay the course. We’re trying to change the world here and along the way that means doing a better job of explaining why we exist, where we are going, and what it will mean for the market.

      If you are interested in learning more about VCE, our part in the SDDC story, or anything else really — I’d encourage you to reach out to me or anyone else from our Office of the CTO.


      p.s. that goes for the GigaOm team too btw

      • Thanks for following up Jay. I might just do a write up on you guys. It’s an interesting model as a tech company. When I think of you guys it’s VMware, Cisco and EMC. But, technically you guys are an independent company with your own objectives. It would be nice to get an introduction to what you guys do exactly.