VMware is pushing deeper into the software-defined network arena with its latest acquisition. The virtualization and cloud infrastructure company just announced an agreement to acquire Virsto software. Financial terms of the deal were undisclosed.
Virsto develops software that optimizes storage performance and utilization in virtual environments. When implemented within a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), VMware estimates Virsto can reduce the cost of storage per desktop by as much as 70 percent. That's a significant upside and one reason why the VMware is making the buy.
"VMware is committed to continuing to deliver software innovations that bring significant efficiencies to our customers while simplifying infrastructure and IT," said John Gilmartin, vice president of storage and availability at VMware. "We believe that the acquisition of Virsto will accelerate our development of storage technologies, allowing our customers to greatly improve the efficiency and performance of storage in virtual infrastructure."
Addressing Storage Challenges
VMware has noticed a trend in the market: Organizations are looking for solutions to address the increasing complexity and cost of storage within virtual and cloud environments, particularly for VDI, large software development and test centers, and to support business-critical applications.
As part of its strategy to deliver the software-defined data center, VMware is making these types of investments to extend the benefits of virtualization to every domain in the data center, from compute, network, storage and the associated security and availability services.
VMware said the Virsto acquisition will expand its storage portfolio, which includes the storage virtualization and management capabilities of VMware vSphere and the VMware vSphere Storage Appliance. EMC Corp. plans to license the Virsto technology, extending the cooperative efforts between the two companies in storage architectures.
The Software-Defined Networking Play
Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, told us this was an interesting play for VMware.
"There's an issue that comes up pretty regularly in highly virtualized data center environments among customers -- how best to manage performance and services in I/O intensive environments," King said. "VDI is certainly one area where that's a real challenge, but anything that's fairly storage intensive, storage can really make an impact on I/O performance."
King said Virsto's software not only optimizes storage performance in virtual environments for the application and services that are related to it, but also improves the quality and value of the storage itself. He expects VMware to continue offering Virsto as a stand-alone product in the short-term.
"VMware announced an alliance with the company last fall where Virsto was going to optimize their appliance for vSphere environments," King said. "I expect them to continue to take advantage of the commercial opportunities using Virsto technology to optimize storage performance in other areas, including what people are calling the software-defined network, on a pretty broad basis over the next few years."