Virsto offers hypervisor-based storage for Hyper-V

By Kevin Komiega

February 19 201tartup Virsto Software is taking a new tack toward storage virtualization for virtual servers. The company is poised to release Virsto VSX, a hypervisor-based software plug-in that is said to improve the storage capacity utilization and performance problems associated with virtual machine (VM) sprawl.

Unlike many storage products for VMs before it, Virsto's VSX software is embedded in the hypervisor as opposed to being a virtual appliance.

Virsto's CEO, Mark Davis, says the so-called "storagevisor" creates optimized, thin provisioned clones that share common data among VMs and eliminates the need to store multiple copies of VM images.

Davis says Virsto VSX is similar to VMware's Virtual Machine File System technology. VMware VMFS is a high performance cluster file system that increases resource utilization by providing multiple VMs with shared access to a consolidated pool of clustered storage.

However, Virsto is focusing its initial energies on Microsoft's Hyper-V server virtualization platform because Hyper-V is where the VSX software "adds the most value."

"Hyper-V is newer and represents more of an opportunity because it has some catching up to do with VMware. Microsoft got a late start and there are some technology gaps between Hyper-V and VMware and the biggest gap is on the storage front," says Davis. Our initial support is for Hyper-V, but support for other virtual server platforms will follow."

Virsto VSX will be available within the next several days as a software plug-in to Microsoft Hyper-V, and offers PowerShell integration and standard Windows interfaces.

Davis says Virsto is pricing the VSX software on a per-socket basis instead of a capacity-based licensing model to "encourage customers to run more dense servers with more VMs."

A perpetual license for 1-2 sockets is $1,250, while 3-4 sockets costs $2,500. A Virsto VSX license for an unlimited number of sockets costs $5,000.

Virsto is currently offering a free, downloadable 30-day evaluation version of the software on the company's website.

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This article was originally published on February 19, 2010