VMworld is the best storage show I’ve seen in years. VMware’s severe storage problems leave users hungry for solutions – and your friendly neighborhood storage industry is happy to oblige.

It’s almost as if VMware were owned by a storage company.

Flash everywhere
Fusion-io, Nimble Storage, Nimbus Data, Avere, Pure and more were talking about how well flash supports VMware. Fixes VDI boot storms, deduped VMDKs, I/O bound servers and much more.

Pure Storage
Here is Pure’s Matt Kixmoeller giving a nifty demo in this 50 second video:

Not exactly sure what those thousand VMs were doing. Maybe Pure will comment.

I lost track of Falconstor due to their OEM focus and sprawling product line. New CEO Jim McNiel has refocused the company – with the help of former Cheyenne teammates – on backup, business continuity/DR, dedup and virtualization.

Their clustered Network Storage Server turns all of Fstor’s products into tin-wrapped software suitable for channel partners. Takeaway: forget what you knew about them; they are a new company.

While the release of their storage hypervisor for VMware makes them seem like a new company, Virsto has been shipping product for over a year, but on Hyper-V, not VMware. Microsoft lost interest in server virtualization and Virsto moved on.

Their product is a virtual appliance that:

. . . runs in each host, creating a transparent virtual storage layer that is thin provisioned, fully cluster-aware, supports very rapid snapshot and clone creation, and scales to support tens of thousands of high performance snapshots and clones.

Virsto . . . decouple[s] application performance from any dependence on the rotational latencies and seek times of underlying disk associated with random writes. All random writes are sequentialized and written directly to a transparent logging device . . . and then asynchronously de-staged to primary storage. . . .

Net/net: high performance virtual storage regardless of underlying physical storage. Virsto offers a free trial – if you try it, let me know how it works.

But wait! There’s more!
Cloud-related products from StorSimple, AMAX and Raidundant continue to pick at the problem of how/when/where cloud integrates with the enterprise.

The StorageMojo take
Many cool products and ideas. The storage problems of many virtual machines are not unlike those of earlier time-shared virtual memory systems, but the scale is much greater.

And when the scale is greater the problem is fundamentally different. As virtualization grows we’ll need to see more creative answers beyond deduplication and flash.

Courteous comments welcome, of course. Message to SNIA: storage networking is passé. Time to retool for the world of virtual machines, noSQL databases, scale-out storage and flash-enabled architectures. New name would be a start.