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Sanbolic Update Helps Rein In Storage Costs

The latest release of Sanbolic's Melio (v3.5) clustered file system and volume management software improves availability and scalability for physical, virtual and cloud environments, says co-founder and CEO Momchil Michailov. The 10-year-old company's approach to abstracting data from storage hardware allows its more than 500 customers to use spare storage on their servers and make use of that storage as a pool. Michailov says this can reduce capital expenses and enable customers to take a stepping-stone approach, adding resources as their requirements grow.

The privately held company based in Watertown, Mass., is targeting three "buckets" with version 3.5, says Michailov: private cloud; virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), mainly Citrix-based; and Windows-based physical and virtual workloads. "We started in distributed computing, and that's all virtualization and cloud are, in basic," he adds. Previously supporting only Microsoft's HyperV hypervisor, Melio 3.5 adds support for VMware, Citrix Xen and Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) for Linux servers.

Storage can be a VDI killer, he says, making virtual or thin clients three, four and even 10 times more expensive than a traditional thick or PC-based solution. Plus, the user experience can be "fairly miserable," although Michailov says he is seeing growth in this market. Overall, Sanbolic grew 20% in 2009 and 30% last year. Growth for 2011 is projected at 45%.

According to a recent report from DataCore Software ("The State of Virtualization and Clouds and the Impact of Storage"), nearly half of the respondents (43% of over 450 IT organizations) had not anticipated the impact that storage would have on their server and desktop virtualization costs or had not started a virtualization project because the storage-related costs "seem too high." However, almost all respondents (95%) said they are likely to deploy server/desktop virtualization software from VMware, Microsoft or Citrix in the coming year. Nearly 65% plan to deploy VMware, while only 10% have identified Microsoft as their platform of choice.

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