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Rowing crews move in sync to keep their craft moving at a steady pace – but that synchronous movement would not exist without an investment in the right hardware and the right training. For businesses, that means not only investing in the right rowers, but also in the right tools to enable athletes. And for a long time those tools, namely storage for midmarket organizations, have either been too expensive, too resource heavy or too complex.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Midmarket teams should be able to afford the right equipment without worry so they can focus on more important tasks. That’s why we’re thrilled to discover Gartner Research included VMware Virtual SAN in their recent report, “Predicts 2015: Midmarket CIOs Must Shed IT Debt to Invest in Strategic IT Initiatives.”

The report investigates how CIOs can best invest resources to give IT teams the simplified tools they need while staying on budget. Often, this excludes “best of breed” solutions. Gartner suggests midsize businesses seek out integrated systems that combine server, storage and network components in a package suitable for their needs instead.

For many, Virtual SAN, VMware’s policy-driven storage product design for vSphere environments, is that solution. Its ease of use, performance, scalability and low total cost of ownership helps to avoid significant upfront investments. And, with its VM-level storage policies, Virtual SAN automatically and dynamically matches requirements with underlying storage resources. Meaning less time manually managing storage tasks and more time focusing on important tasks.

According to Gartner’s predictions, roughly 40% of midsize enterprises will replace all data center services and storage with integrated systems by 2018. We certainly would like to see, and be at the forefront, of that transition.

VMware Virtual SAN stands apart from the competition not just because of its ability to deliver simple software defined shared storage, but also because of its integrated partner ecosystem. More than 40 Virtual SAN Ready Nodes can be purchased from our system vendor partners.

We’re thrilled to have been a part of software defined storage in 2014, and we can’t wait to push the envelope further in 2015.

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For more information about VMware Virtual SAN, visit http://www.vmware.com/products/virtual-san.