VMware Expands Software-Defined Storage With New VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN)

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Chuck Hollis, who this month left EMC to become chief strategist at VMware, wrote in a Monday blog post that, while VSAN does many of the things a traditional storage array does, it is not a traditional storage array.

"(VSAN is) a software-based storage array that uses clusters of commodity server hardware to do its work. Storage and compute workloads run together on the exact same resource pool," Hollis wrote.

The idea of carving multiple storage service levels from available resources is not a new idea, Hollis wrote.

"Doing so dynamically at the time of provisioning without having to pre-allocate and pre-configure the pools -- well, that's a new idea. This on-demand approach to service level provisioning will likely prove to be more popular than its predecessors," he wrote.

VMware also unveiled vSphere Flash Read Cache, which virtualizes the flash storage in multiple servers for use, has a hypervisor-based read cache for virtual machines, Farronato said. Included with vSphere Enterprise Plus edition, vSphere Flash Read Cache can accelerate mission-critical application performance by up to 10 times the original performance, he said.

VSphere Flash Read Cache operates similarly to such hardware-based flash storage pooling technologies as the QLogic FabricCache 10000 adapter, Farronato said. However, not all customers have the high-end storage cards required for hardware-based solutions.

VSphere Flash Read Cache is slated to ship with vSphere 5.5 in the third quarter, he said.

VMware also plans to continue developing the storage virtualization technology it received with its February acquisition of Virsto, but is not showing any new Virsto technology at VMworld, Farronato said.



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