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VMware Sets Sights on Storage Virtualization

VMware fleshed out its storage virtualization strategy today, adding support for 10-Gbit/s Ethernet and InfiniBand, as well as enhancing its file migration story.

Earlier this year, XenSource fired a shot across the bows of VMware when it overhauled its XenEnterprise offering, adding enhanced support for storage virtualization, a move which prompted speculation that its rival would follow suit.

Today VMware duly took the wraps off Virtual Infrastructure 3, a package of virtualization software built around an enhanced version of the vendor's flagship ESX Server product. VMware is now touting this offering as a way for users to tie their server and storage infrastructures together.

"For the first time, we're supporting 10-Gbit/s Ethernet and InfiniBand (on ESX Server)," says Bogomil Balansky, VMware's senior director of product marketing, explaining that high-speed interconnects can boost the performance of virtual machines. "Customers can either run more VMs, or more network-intensive workloads on a VM."

With XenSource already in bed with EMC's storage rival Symantec, Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Mark Bowker feels that today's announcement is further evidence of the growing convergence of servers and storage. "More users are demanding [storage virtualization]," he says, highlighting, in particular, users' increasing desire to deploy iSCSI within their storage infrastructure.

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