InovaWave is offering an interesting, very focused product family, called DXtreme, aimed at optimizing the performance of that optimization of virtual machine performance on Microsoft's 32-bit and 64-bit Windows and VMware's ESX Server. The key benefits of this product family are that they can optimize and accelerate I/O. The result of this optimization, InovaWave tells me, is that a server is likely to be able to support at least twice as many virtual machines as before. I noticed that Xen is not listed as a supported environment. I would suspect that we'll hear an announcement of Xen support sometime in the future. Here's a quick SWOT analysis of InovaWave.
- Strengths — this targeted approach is likely to live up to the claims made by InovaWave. Since I/O is often the primary bottleneck in any computing solution, any product that can optimize and accelerate I/O is likely to produce significant, measurable improvements in throughput without requiring that applications or operating environment software be modified in any way.
- Weaknesses — This approach is targeted and doesn't make an attempt to deal with each and every issue of virtual machine-based environments. InovaWave, by the way, would present this as a key benefit. After all, they would say, a simple, effective tool that increases machine utilization is going to lower hardware costs, power costs and, in the end, offer a very quick positive return on the investment.
- Opportunities — This software faces a very broad opportunity due to its simple, targeted approach. Any organization, regardless of size, application mix or geographic location is likely to gain some benefit from an optimized, accelerated I/O subsystem.
- Threats — The competitive threats are relatively minimal. While other suppliers have powerful tools for management and optimization of virtual environments, they are doing quite a bit more work, their products would cost more and they would be more complex that DXtreme.
In my analysis, the targeted approach would be very attractive to many organizations because of the lower overall costs, the simplicity and the immediate return on investment.
Would your organization see this approach as beneficial?