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VMware Virtual SAN Experts Discuss the Importance and Future of Software Defined Storage

By Alberto Farranato

VMware Virtual SAN is VMware’s simple, cost-effective answer to the historically complex and expensive storage infrastructure enterprise IT teams have faced. As the data created and stored continues to grow at exponential speed, the demand for enterprise storage rises in tandem. The impact on IT is considerable –  complexity, costs, and static management and provisioning common to traditional storage solutions — all combine to inspire IT decision makers to pursue new storage strategies.

To better detail the benefits of VMware Virtual SAN and how software-defined storage promises to be an industry-changing technology, Christos Karamanolis, Chief Architect and Principal Engineer in the Storage and Availability Engineering Organization at VMware, as well as myself, sat down to for a discussion with Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

Here’s a sample of our conversation:

On Flexibility:

“Today, customers virtualize environments, but also must provision physical storage containers. They have to anticipate their uses over time and have to make an investment up front in resources that they’ll need over a long period of time … Software-defined storage advocates a new model, where application sand VMs [Virtual Machines] are provisioned at the moment that the application needs them. The storage resources that they need are provisioned on demand, exactly for that the application— nothing more or less.” — Karamanolis

On the Virtual SAN Policy Driven Model:

“Virtual SAN is a product that is completely policy driven, and we call it VM-centric or application-centric. The whole management paradigm for storage, when you use Virtual SAN, is predicated around the VM and the policies that you create and you assign to the VMs as you create your VMs as you scale your environment.” — Farronato

On Enterprise Agility and Speed :

“What we really see here is a shift in paradigm about how our customers use Virtual SAN today to enable them to have a much faster turnaround for trying new applications, new workloads, and getting them from test and dev into production, without having to be constrained by the processes and the timelines that are imposed by a central storage IT organization.” — Karamanolis

On customer adoption:

“… it is interesting to see that a technology like Virtual SAN is resonating across several market segments, pretty much all the market segments, and so it expresses a value proposition that is broadly applicable.” — Farronato

On Virtual Desktop Infrastructure:

“…the cost of storage is the main impediment in organization to implement a VDI strategy. With Virtual SAN, as Alberto mentioned earlier, we provide compelling cost proposition, both in terms of the capacity of the storage, as well as the performance you gain out of the storage.” — Karamanolis

There is, of course, much more to VMware Virtual SAN. To learn more, listen to the full BriefingsDirect podcast here.  If you’ll be attending VMworld this year, I invite you to my presentation on Monday, 8/25 at 11am PT, to hear more about the transformation of enterprise storage, session STO1853-S.

Follow VMware Virtual SAN on Twitter at @vmwarevsan or go to our website for whitepapers, technical guides and instructional videos. For more blogs, check out the vSphere Blog.