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1/18/2012
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Virsto Boosts Storage Performance For vSphere, Hyper-V Users

Virsto Software extends the reach of its storage virtualization product to VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V 2.0 environments. The tool eliminates storage performance bottlenecks.

Virsto Software has extended its storage hypervisor software to work with VMware vSphere and Hyper-V 2.0.

The new versions of the software, introduced Monday, are targeted not only at server virtualization, but at virtual desktops, test and development environments, and private and public clouds.

The company makes storage software that accelerates the link between servers and storage, the 'I/O blender' as it is sometimes called. When there is only one link between a server and block-based storage, there is no problem with I/O. But when you add virtual machines (VMs) to the mix, the hypervisor software must manage all the traffic between the VMs and storage, and in doing so, degrades I/O performance.

[ Learn why performance management is the Biggest Storage Trend of 2012. ]

To accommodate virtualization, IT managers often obtain more storage than they need and over-provision storage capacity to each virtual machine. This degrades performance, most often seen when desktop virtualization users boot their systems and log in to the network in the morning. After boot and login storms end, the over-provisioned storage remains unused until the next boot cycle begins--all of which kills storage economics and the cost of deploying the virtual desktop.

Virsto for vSphere and Virsto for Hyper-V 2.0 aim to solve these problems. When installed as a virtual storage appliance in each physical server, the software can improve performance by as much as 90%, the company claims, and increase the speed of storage provisioning and reduce management time.

The software is also useful in testing and development environments, where tests can be setup quickly and when done, erased, making way for further testing.

Virsto Software started out by offering a storage hypervisor for Microsoft's Hyper-V, saying that market was the "low-hanging fruit." It has now expanded into the much larger market owned by VMware.

Virsto for vSphere is integrated with vSphere 4.1 and will support vSphere 5 and the VMware APIs for Array Integration (VAAI) later this year. It integrates with VMware vCenter and View Manager and includes clones and snapshots for provisioning and data protection. Wizards aid in desktop provisioning. The Hyper-V 2.0 version of Virsto now includes improved integration with Data Protection Manager and Volume Shadow Copy Service. Support for virtualization platforms KVM and XEN are on Virsto's roadmap.

The products are generally available. Both are $15,000 per managed terabyte.

Deni Connor is founding analyst for Storage Strategies NOW, an industry analyst firm that focuses on storage, virtualization, and servers.

More than 700 IT pros gave us an earful on database licensing, performance, NoSQL, and more. That story and more--including a look at transitioning to Win 8--in the new all-digital Database Discontent issue of InformationWeek. (Free registration required.)

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