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Are Server SANs The Future Or Just Hype?

There's been a lot of buzz in the storage and virtualization communities about using the storage in, or directly attached to, virtualization hosts as a replacement for the shared storage systems that have been the enterprise standard for almost two decades. As VMware’s VSAN prepares to emerge from its public beta next month, the hype is only building. Will server SANs take over the datacenter or are we rapidly climbing the Gartner Hype Cycle’s Peak of Inflated Expectations?

To be clear, the products we’re talking about create a common pool of storage from the flash memory and spinning disks on the virtualization hosts themselves. Stu Miniman at Wikibon dubbed this technology Server SAN, and I previously called it Storage Software Definus Virtucalis Scaleoutus.

In many ways server SANs, including the Maxta Storage Platform, Sanbolic’s Melio platform, Atlantis ILIO USX and EMC’s ScaleIO, in addition to the aforementioned VSAN, are software implementations of the hyper-converged systems like those from Nutanix, Scale Computing and Simplivity.

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