VMworld and the Storage Industry's Perfect Storm

Server virtualization and cloud computing have created a perfect storm for storage vendors with VMworld at the eye of that storm as we now look to the show to predict which way the IT industry will turn.

As Drew Robb pointed out in his "Top 10 Takeaways" from his trip to VMworld in San Francisco this week, the flood of storage news that came out of VMworld equaled the volume of storage announcements that used to coincide with the once-mighty Storage Networking World (SNW) conference.

The show featured a collection of new applications for virtual environments, a heightening of the buzz around the cloud, a couple of acquisition announcements from VMware (NYSE: VMW), and a litany of storage vendors trying to hone in on the action.

EMC (NYSE:EMC) was first out of the gate, announcing a beta program for EMC Ionix Unified Infrastructure Manager (UIM) 2.0, which promises unified management of the networking, computing and storage layers of the Vblock cloud platform.

The storage giant also unveiled a set of reference architectures and best practices for using new EMC storage technologies to reduce the per client cost of virtual desktops in VMware View 4.5 environments.

Scale Computing’s big news was about a small node. The company is taking its unified SAN/NAS storage cluster downstream with a new, entry-level system aimed at SMBs in need of shared storage for virtualization deployments.

Referred to by the company as a “JBOD killer for the SMB,” the Scale Computing N05 Starter Cluster is made up of three 500GB N05 storage nodes. A minimum configuration of a Scale Starter Cluster includes 1.5TB of usable storage capacity at a price of $7,500 and includes the same software set as the company’s larger S-Series product line.

Cloud storage service provider Zetta added data protection to its repertoire with the debut of the Zetta Data Protect solution, which the company bills as a low-cost replacement for traditional backups. Zetta Data Protect brings the company’s storage service into the backup space through use of a technology called the ZettaMirror agent, which protects data by securely replicating disparate enterprise data sources to the Zetta Storage Service, creating an online, available, and verified copy of the data.

The I/O virtualization vendors were active as well. Xsigo Systems unveiled an Ethernet version of its line of virtual I/O directors. Xsigo positions the virtual I/O directors as an alternative to Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) approaches to converged networks and cloud computing architectures. Unlike FCoE, Xsigo’s I/O directors do not require adapters to be installed in the attached servers.

Meantime, Xsigo competitor Virtensys launched a dedicated appliance that consolidates and virtualizes network connectivity and provides up to 80Gbps of sustained Ethernet bandwidth per server.

The new Virtensys VIO-4004 converts servers to high-performance and stateless compute nodes that can be interconnected by pooling, consolidating and abstracting servers’ I/O resources and state.

If I listed all of the announcements here it would make for the longest blog in InfoStor’s history. Here’s a brief rundown of the rest of the storage news.

There was a wave of cloud, scale-out storage and iSCSI announcements from the likes of BlueArc, Emulex, Infortrend, Isilon and HP.

See “VMworld storage product highlights: Round 1

Arkeia, FalconStor, NetApp, Neverfail, QuoromLabs, Sysncsort and Veeam led launched a range of data protection, backup and recovery, business continuity and disaster recovery products.

See “VMworld storage product highlights: Round 2

Our coverage of news from Aberdeen LLC, ATTO Technology, BLADE Network Technologies, Compellent, Coraid, SolarWinds and Zmanda included new support for vSphere 4.1, a promotional campaign that offers a free petabyte of storage and a free tool for bouncing VMs from your desktop.

See “VMworld Storage Product Highlights: Round 3

After a week of covering VMworld and HP’s 3PAR acquisition, I’m ready for a long labor-less Labor Day weekend. But first, I have to deal with a storm of my own. It’s time to execute my BC (Backyard Continuity) plan by migrating my patio furniture to a safe location until Earl skips up into Canada.

Good luck, Dennis, MA!


posted by: Kevin Komiega

Kevin Komiega, Senior Editor
by Kevin Komiega
Senior Editor

Kevin Komiega has been the Senior Editor of InfoStor since 2005. He was previously a senior news writer with SearchStorage.com and held a position as a public relations account executive with Porter Novelli, Boston. Kevin also spent four years running tape backup operations at the University of Rhode Island's Academic Computer Center. He can be contacted at kkomiega@quinstreet.com.