There has been a noticeable increase in the number of storage product launches in the past few weeks and that will continue during VMworld 2012, which begins Sunday in San Francisco.
VMworld has become a major storage event because of the impact server virtualization can have on operational environments. Storage can be the limiting factor for server virtualization projects, both on the server and desktop. To remedy the bottlenecks created with storage when multiple virtual machines are running on a physical server, storage systems need to be optimized for virtualized environments.
In the case of VMware, storage systems that effectively implement VMware vStorage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI) can provide significant performance gains. Storage systems can improve performance for the virtualized environment through technologies such as tiering, solid state technology, wide striping, and space-efficient snapshots. The net effect of increasing performance is to increase the number of virtual machines per physical server.
This provides a huge opportunity for storage vendors to solve customer problems in server virtualization projects. Increasing virtual machine density, which is the number of VMs per physical server, has a major impact the economic value of server virtualization projects. New storage solutions that enable this increase provide immediate value and a quick return on investment.
So it’s clear why you see so many new storage products and updates around VMworld. Vendors want to get their message out and VMworld is a great opportunity to feature their products and show how they improve virtualization. The products announced not only address virtualization needs, but vendors also use the attention being paid to highlight other capabilities. With the product announcements, the vendors are also competing to show who best addresses the virtualization problems.
So, you can expect the deluge of storage products that address virtualization to continue at least for another week.
(Randy Kerns is Senior Strategist at Evaluator Group, an IT analyst firm).