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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.

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