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Virsto Software Beefs Up Storage Hypervisor

Virsto Software, which claims to have coined the phrase "storage hypervisor," is now shipping Virsto for VDI, vSphere edition, and Virsto for Hyper-V 2.0, adding advanced storage management functionality to the two most popular server virtualization solutions. The company says its products increase existing physical storage utilization by up to 90%, accelerate virtual machine provisioning by up to 75% and reduce the cost of storage in virtual environments by up to 70%.

The company's storage hypervisor can deliver nine times performance and 90% reduction in storage capacity, says CEO Mark Davis. "Virsto expands its capabilities for both the Microsoft and larger VMware market with a unique multihypervisor approach to storage virtualization."

Released as a beta in September, Virsto for VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) is a non-disruptive software solution that installs as a virtual storage appliance (VSA), provides native support for vSphere 4.1, and integrates into existing VM management and provisioning workflows through VMware vCenter and View Manager.

While Davis wouldn't go so far as to say it will single-handedly make VDI finally move from today's limited deployment to mass market, he did say it solves one of the biggest VDI problems, storage. In one test, a customer reduced a desktop provisioning process that took 32 hours to complete to less than 10 minutes. "I think at least for some customers this is a silver bullet."

In 2010 Gartner reported that more than 80% of enterprises have a virtualization program or project, and estimated that there will be as many as 20 million virtual desktops in place by 2014. In 2011 CDW found that 90% of businesses are considering or implementing client virtualization projects, most of them within the next 12 to 24 months. Of those with client virtualization plans, 61% said the driver is an expected reduction in IT costs; 40% are looking for easier distribution of software; 38% aim for increased IT productivity; and 37% seek to improve IT support services.

The Microsoft Hyper-V edition installs in the Hyper-V Parent Partition and provides native support for Hyper-V and Microsoft Systems Center. It integrates with Microsoft DPM and VSS for backup and recovery, and offers bulk virtual machine provisioning wizards for test and development, database and private cloud virtualization use cases.

Clearly it's important to include VMware in what's supported in the virtualization world, notes Mark Peters, senior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group. "Beyond that, Virsto has honed in on the VDI use case, using its functionality to lower TCO--specifically, the costs of storage."

There's a lot going for right for the potential user value of storage hypervisors, as they can contribute well to a more converged and less costly infrastructure, he says. "There's only a handful out there, so this is a good place for Virsto to be."

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