Virtualization Technology News and Information
VMware's Storage Ambitions

Quoting Enterprise Storage Forum

Talk about storage for any length of time and you can be pretty sure that the V word will crop up — not storage virtualization, which is a hot enough topic in its own right, but VMware, the fast-growing server virtualization technology company. If you are involved in storage administration, it's almost inevitable that you'll have had — or soon will have — contact with VMware and its portfolio of products.

VMware has differentiated itself from its virtualization competitors by offering an increasingly sophisticated set of virtual infrastructure products and capabilities to support its core virtual machine technology. Increasingly, this strategy is involving the storage world. Gathering servers into pools of computing resources on which to run virtual servers creates a requirement for networked storage.

"There's no question that VMware is driving network storage adoption," said Mark Bowker, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. "Server virtualization is a clear driver for network storage."

And as networked storage becomes an increasingly important part of the picture, the demand for virtualized storage increases. Virtualized servers drive demand for virtualized storage. The two markets are linked.

VMware, of course, is owned by a storage vendor, EMC. And when it was acquired in 2003, VMware said the acquisition would be "advancing (the) convergence of storage and server virtualization."

With that in mind, it begs the question: how far do VMware's storage aspirations extend? From virtual machine technology, it has expanded into virtual infrastructure — the next logical step would certainly seem be storage. Play its cards right and VMware could be uniquely positioned to provide an integrated virtualized data center, with pools of computing resources and pools of storage allocated to tasks automatically, managed from a single, all-powerful VMware management console.

Centralized management of the entire data center is certainly something that VMware wants to make possible, according to Lionel Cavalliere, senior product marketing at VMware. "One of the goals of VMware is optimizing the management of storage in a virtualized environment," he said.

But he categorically rules out the possibility of VMware moving into the storage space to create a total virtual environment. "We certainly want to give Virtual Center vision of storage so it can manage storage resources, but there will be no integration into a single product," he said. "What we intend to do is this: rather than being integrated, we will provide SDKs to enable our VI3 (Virtual Infrastructure 3) to report on storage. We will allow (storage) management tools to plug in."

Read the rest of the article, here.

Published Monday, January 07, 2008 9:15 PM by David Marshall
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