Virsto Tackles Storage Virtualization

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Startup Virsto is looking to do for storage what VMware has done for servers -- simplify administration, lower costs and eliminate storage sprawl. The Virsto One "storagevisor" is designed as a hypervisor for storage, bringing the benefits of virtualization to storage.

VMware remains by far the market leader in server virtualization, and many VARs have told Channel Insider that they wouldn’t put production servers on anything else, even if their customers may be testing Microsoft’s Hyper-V somewhere in the enterprise.

But storage virtualization startup Virsto is placing its initial bet on Microsoft’s Hyper-V. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company promises that its Virsto One product—a storage hypervisor, or "storagevisor," available for a 30-day evaluation via download—can help companies solve server sprawl and the cost problems that have accelerated as a result of server virtualization.

"In a virtual environment, people consume more storage than they do in a physical environment," Virsto CEO Mark Davis told Channel Insider. And the extra storage costs can eat up the savings a company has gained from server virtualization and consolidation.

Davis told Channel Insider that his company chose Microsoft’s Hyper-V to start with because Microsoft has not yet put a lot of effort into improving the storage functionality of its still-young server virtualization product. "That’s what we do for a living," he told Channel Insider.

In addition, he said, Microsoft’s Hyper-V is more likely to appeal to small and medium-size enterprise customers—Virsto’s target market and one that the company ultimately hopes to reach through a robust channel partner program.  

After all, Microsoft’s Hyper-V ships for free on all the company’s new servers, so many customers are running trials of the software, and some small businesses may be getting their first taste of virtualization technology in the form of Microsoft’s Hyper-V.

While Virsto is launching with a direct and Web delivery sales model, as software startups often do, the company is planning to ultimately sell through channel partners and is in the process of recruiting Microsoft Gold Partners to its cause.

Click here for more on Virsto at eWEEK.

Initial licensing is available in a 30-day evaluation download with online forums and per-incident support. The product, offered as a software hypervisor, will then be sold as a per-socket perpetual license at a price of $1,250 for one to two sockets, $2,500 for  three to four sockets and $5,000 for unlimited sockets.

Virsto currently has two customers beta testing the product. In addition to straight reseller sales, Davis says Virsto will target resellers and systems integrators who are looking to offer hosted services themselves.

"Virsto One gives Microsoft’s Hyper-V the functionality that lets it catch up with VMware in the storage realm," Davis said.

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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