Now that the VMWorld Conference is in full swing here San Francisco this week, I thought I would share some observations on how the worlds of storage and virtualization are converging, as the Silver Peak executive responsible for managing our storage partners.
- Plug-and-play, building-block converged infrastructure driven by virtualization is becoming the norm. The VNXe3150, which is the anchor unified storage solution for the EMC VSpex-proven architecture, shows how the world has changed in just a few years. Less than three years ago, data center architectures were built with custom server, storage, and networking infrastructure. Then, VCE, with VBlock solutions, changed the game – enabling a proven, rack-and-stack solution for enterprises. Now, the VNXe3150 and VSPEX have brought this to middle-market firms. Other companies, including Dell with its Vstart solutions and the newly announced PS4110 blade array, are also looking at this space. Finally, NetApp has a mid-market solution as well, with FlexPod.
- Storage services are becoming directly integrated into virtualization platforms – Similar to what we saw with Microsoft, many basic storage services, such as NAS, replication, and backup are being directly integrated into virtualization platforms. Last year, VMWare announced that VSphere Storage Appliance and basic replication would be a standard part of VSphere. Even before 5.x, VMWare already had VMotion and Storage VMotion integrated into the platform for basic migration of servers and associated data. Now, with the above announcement of Avamar packaged with VMWare, we’re seeing more and more basic storage services bundled into the platform.
VMWorld has over-taken SNW as “the” storage event of the year. Every major storage vendor is displaying its wares and how it supports virtual environments. With virtualization comes new storage challenges, from the boot-storm problem for VDI to VM density on blade servers placing huge burdens on direct and network-attached storage to the fully virtualized data center in the cloud, allowing storage and server resources to existing anywhere in the cloud.
Silver Peak, the leader in scalable data center-class data mobility solutions, is embracing these problems and providing solutions that address many of these new bottlenecks. As data centers become more distributed, Silver Peak’s virtual and physical WAN optimization solutions collapse distance and shrink replication times between cloud storage centers by orders of magnitude, allowing customers to experience local, LAN-like access to storage resources.
For virtual environments, we’re leading the way with initiatives such as Agility, where we take the complexity out of deploying WAN optimization. Whether in public, private, or hybrid cloud environments, Silver Peak Agility allows application and virtual administrators to quickly deploy and manage Silver Peak WAN optimization in a familiar context, such as VCenter.
And, as more basic storage services are integrated into virtual platforms, the need to easily optimize these services is increasing. Silver Peak is leading the way to eliminate complexity and make the virtual data center – based anywhere in the world – a reality.