Virtualization Technology News and Information
Virsto Introduces Innovative Storage Virtualization Software for Virtual Desktop Deployments
Virsto Software, an innovator in storage solutions for virtual computing today introduced Virsto VDI, a hypervisor-based storage virtualization solution designed to significantly decrease the costs of virtual desktop deployments while improving end users’ desktop experience. Initially supporting Citrix XenDesktop and Microsoft VDI running on Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V, Virsto VDI is architected to be storage- and hypervisor-agnostic and enables users to provision and manage thousands of virtual desktops, maximize consolidation of server and storage hardware, and reduce overall storage costs for VDI deployments by more than 70 percent.

Virtual desktop environments differ in significant ways from virtual server environments that are often deployed to meet consolidation objectives and support private cloud initiatives.

In contrast with virtual servers hosting 10-15 virtual machines (VMs), each VDI host typically supports 50-100 virtual desktop images. The more VMs per host, the more acute the I/O performance bottlenecks are. The number of VM images in VDI deployments is orders of magnitude greater, exacerbating the excessive cost from storage over-provisioning. Further, the requirements for frequent and rapid provisioning in VDI highlights the current lack of efficient and flexible provisioning options.

“VDI has not been widely adopted in the enterprise to date for two reasons: The VDI solutions have not been functionally mature until recently, and the cost associated per virtual desktop, including licensing, network equipment and the significant storage hardware required, has been too high for many IT organizations to embark on VDI pilots,” said Ian Song, Senior Research Analyst, IDC. “Solutions like Virsto VDI can reduce the overall storage cost for VDI projects. Since storage is often the largest cost factor to consider in VDI projects, Virsto’s solution will likely drive more VDI pilots to be approved.”

Accelerating VDI Deployments

Specifically designed to decrease the costs and increase the performance of virtual desktop environments, Virsto VDI benefits users by:

  • Changing the economics of VDI - by producing a significant increase in storage utilization with higher VM storage density, reducing storage costs by 70 percent or more, and delivering compelling cost per desktop economics.
  • Supporting enterprise-scale VDI – by delivering the only solution that provides unlimited snapshots and thin-provisioned clones to enable projects to scale to thousands of virtual desktops, supporting heterogeneous storage to fully utilize and consolidate existing storage resources and robust, cluster-aware HA and backup.
  • Simplifying VDI management – by providing software-driven storage tiering to enable the creation of high performance, yet cost-effective storage solutions, decreasing the provisioning time of thousands of images from hours to minutes, and supporting simple bulk operations and other flexible tools for managing VDI at scale.

“As interest in desktop virtualization increases, storage obstacles are making it clear that VDI requires a new storage architecture,” said Mark Davis, CEO of Virsto Software. “Virsto VDI was specifically built to remove these barriers by increasing I/O performance and reducing storage capacity consumption by up to 90 percent, ensuring that companies of all sizes can achieve the benefits of VDI.”

Close Alignment and traction with key Partners

Virsto is a Microsoft BizSpark One member, Microsoft Virtualization partner and Microsoft System Center Alliance partner and fully supports critical Microsoft products and services such as Hyper-V, Virtual Machine Manager, Data Protection Manager, Windows Failover Clusters, and Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS). Virsto also was named a Best of Tech·Ed 2010 Award Finalist at Microsoft Tech·Ed North America. Virsto is a Citrix Ready Certified Partner and is verified to be compatible with XenDesktop 4 and XenDesktop 5.

“What Hyper-V does exceptionally well is bring the benefits of server virtualization to VDI and customers at a very low total cost of ownership," said Arun Jayendran of Microsoft Corp. "Now, with the prospect of adding Virsto with VDI, you could enhance the current TCO benefits of Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V virtualized server consolidation. This could mean a more attractive cost per virtual desktop. Examples like this are a major reason why Microsoft is focused on building a robust ecosystem of strategic ISVs to support the growing number of Hyper-V and System Center users.”

Availability and Pricing

Virsto VDI is now generally available. Pricing for Virsto VDI is $2,800 per host, with 1 TB of logical storage per license. Users may download a free 30-day evaluation at

Published Tuesday, April 05, 2011 6:03 PM by David Marshall
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