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Virsto Updates Hyper-V Offering, Brings Storage Virtualization to VMware vSphere

I recently interviewed Gregg Holzrichter, the VP of Marketing for Virsto Software, about two of his company's recently announced products: Virsto 2.0 for Hyper-V, and the first release of Virsto for VMware vSphere. Virsto hopes that these products will help IT administrators make more effective use of their storage by leveraging virtualization.

Some of Virsto's primary competitors include Datacore, Falconstor, and IBM's System Storage SAN Volume Controller (SVC), but Holzrichter thinks that Virsto's approach is more effective. "With Virsto, our vision was to do for storage what hypervisors did for servers," Holzrichter explained. "[Our competitors] may be coming at virtual storage from the array and the LUN, but we're the only vendor solving storage virtualization from a VM-centric perspective."

Unlike many other vendors in the virtualization market who first launched products for VMware, Virsto decided to focus their efforts on Microsoft Hyper-V first. "We chose to do that [support Hyper-V first] partly because of the technical hooks in Hyper-V," Holzrichter said. "Hyper-V was less functionally complete a few years ago, and that strategy turned out to be a good bet for us."

According to a Virsto news release announcing the availability of Virsto for Hyper-V 2.0, the new version provides the following features (Source: Virsto Software news release):

  • Installs in the Hyper-V parent partition, enabling storage optimization with block-level storage
  • Native support for Hyper-V and Microsoft Systems Center Virtual Machine Manager
  • Integration with Microsoft DPM and VSS for backup and recovery
  • Virsto Global Image Snapshot: Virsto environment snapshot for offsite backup
  • Storage QoS tiering
  • Bulk virtual machine provisioning wizards for test and development, database and private cloud virtualization use cases

Virsto's first release for vSphere has a similar feature set:

  • Installs as a virtual storage appliance (VSA), enabling storage optimization with any existing block-level storage
  • Integrates with existing VM management and provisioning workflows through VMware vCenter and View Manager
  • Virsto RapidSnaps: Delivers snapshots and writable clones, providing rapid provisioning and granular backup and recovery
  • Native support for vSphere 4.1
  • Integrated Rapid Provisioning Wizards for VMware View 4.5
  • Support for all block-based and SSD storage
  • Storage quality of service (QoS) tiering for improved flexibility and cost management
  • Other storage management features including VM storage self-provisioning, automated storage space reclamation and thin provisioning

I asked Holzrichter about Virsto's support for all the new Windows Server 8 storage features that Microsoft revealed earlier this year, and Holzrichter said that Virsto plans to take advantage of all the features that made sense for them. "We're still looking at the new feature set in Windows Server 8...we'll also be supporting the entire System Center 2012 stack."

Are you currently considering the use of storage virtualization in your IT environment? Add a comment to this blog post or contribute to the discussion on Twitter.

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