UK Data Storage Buzz

Sep 20 2011   11:32AM GMT

Virsto and the exodus of intelligence from storage



Posted by: Editor
Tags:
boot storm
latency
rotational
VDI
Virsto
virtual storage appliance

Last week I blogged on storage moving away from the array and into the host as a result of the demands of server virtualisation. This week I spoke to a vendor — Virsto — that puts intelligence in the hypervisor to finesse the operation of storage in the array.

Virsto — which recently launched its Virsto for VDI vSphere Edition — attacks the pain point around virtual machine I/O and storage. In other words, its products address the tendency for many virtual machines in a physical server to create lots of random I/O and therefore rotational latency as they all send read and write requests to storage.

What Virsto does is install a virtual storage appliance on each host. This in turn creates a ‘log’ in the array but in front of the primary storage. The log is a bit like a cache-with-intelligence that physically resides in storage media specified by the user and sequentialises random write requests to disk.

The effect of this is that the VDI host gets its write acknowledgement and is happy, while the actual data is filed away later, as a sequential write. The end result of all this is to nullify the ‘boot storm,’ lower latency on VDI writes and free up resources for VDI reads.

Virsto claims a 2x to 3x speed increase and says it can do* for $6 to $8 per gigabyte on a vanilla RAID subsystem what would normally cost $30 per gig on a high-end NetApp FAS 6000 with Fast Cache SSD.

Again, it all goes to show that what counts in storage is the intelligence, the software. And it’s another manifestation of that intelligence moving to the (virtual) server.

Virsto plans to tackle the VMware virtual server market in the coming months.

(*”What it can do” being fast access storage with thin provisioning, snapshots and cloning.)

7  Comments on this Post

 
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  • JWNA
    Great Article!
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  • JWNA
    NetApp FAS Storage, with Intelligent FlashCache, are storage systems designed for enterprise applications. They provide a vast range of high function data management capabilities, which large businesses worldwide use to achieve storage efficiencies and drive business flexibility. The use of NetApp Intelligent FlashCache offers a more flexible solution with optimised performance, not bound by the limitations of caching on the Server, FlashCached data being shared across multiple servers concurrently. The benefits of intelligent use of FlashCache for managing Bootstorms has been well documented, and when coupled with features, such as the NetApp Rapid Cloning Utility (RCU), make NetApp FAS the system of choice for many of our VDI customers. Indeed NetApp is making FlashCache a standard feature of our FAS6240, V6240, FAS6280, and V6280 systems. One 512GB module will be included in each storage controller with no increase to the system list prices. In that regard, it’s difficult to compare NetApp’s FAS 6000 against Virsto for VDI vSphere as both systems are targeting different markets and provide different capability requirements for different business needs. As you can see, this is reflected in the price comparisons. If a small business requires data storage, Virsto may provide a low end, low-cost system with limited capability. What NetApp provides is a high end, trusted and secure solution for mid sized and large enterprises backed by a significant, proven, install base . [B][B]Laurence James[/B]UK Product, Alliances and Solutions Marketing Manager, NetApp[/B]
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  • Editor
    [...] four loose categories of VSAs available from companies such as DataCore, FalconStor, TwinStrata and Virsto, and each have their place in the market. These categories [...]
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  • Editor
    [...] Virsto Software has announced that Virsto for VDI, Hyper-V edition, has warranted acceptance for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2. Virsto for Hyper-V is a initial storage hypervisor resolution to be approved for Windows Server 2008. Virsto’s program installs directly into a Hyper-V primogenitor partition, enabling users to grasp higher levels of VM density, I/O opening and storage capacity utilisation. [...]
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  • Editor
    [...] exist. Virsto Software has applications that plug into the hypervisor and perform the sorting required to [...]
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  • Editor
    [...] exist. Virsto Software has applications that retard into a hypervisor and perform a classification compulsory to [...]
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  • Editor
    [...] problem that other vendors are trying to hitch themselves to the hypervisor bandwagon, for example Virsto, which also calls itself a storage hypervisor while selling a read/write logging product that [...]
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