VMware buys Virsto for software-defined datacentre future

The company is to acquire Virsto, a storage hypervisor and optimisation vendor, in an effort to further its software-defined datacentre strategy.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

VMware will acquire Virsto, a storage hypervisor and optimisation vendor, in an effort to further its software-defined datacentre strategy.

Virsto positions itself as the 'missing link' in the software-defined datacentre, which VMware has pursued with its earlier acquisition of Nicira, one of the startups in the much-hyped software-defined networking business.

VMWare claims Virsto's storage optimisation technologies can reduce the cost of storage per desktop in virtualised environments by up to 70 percent.

Virsto launched its storage hypervisor for VMware's datacentre virtualisation platform vSphere 1.5 last August, offering VM-level storage management and integration with VMware vCenter and View Manager. Subscription-based pricing started at $4,000 per TB.

It followed that up last December with support for vSphere 2.0 and full integration support for VMware's main virtualisation rival on the desktop, Citrix XenDesktop. Pricing for vSphere 2.0 was set at $2,500 per TB.

Virsto has been a close partner with VMware, Citrix and Microsoft, but what happens to those alliances in the future remains to be seen.

VMware's vice president of storage John Gilmartin said it will continue to support Virsto's existing customers, which include Microsoft and its Hyper-V customers, while accelerating the Virsto virtual appliance's performance in vSphere environments.

"We have two plans for the Virsto product. First, we'll continue to offer Virsto's standalone virtual appliance to help accelerate storage performance and improve efficiency in VMware vSphere environments," Gilmartin wrote on the company's blog on Monday.

"This means we'll continue to support existing Virsto customers while also introducing Virsto's capabilities to new users. Second, we're planning to integrate Virsto's architecture and data management services into future VMware products. Stay tuned for more specifics on this."

Terms of the acquisition, expected to close by the first quarter of 2013, have not been disclosed.

The deal comes after VMware chief Pat Gelsinger last month revealed the firm would lay off 900 staff in a bid to "de-emphasise" parts of the company and focus on growth opportunities.

The company released its fourth-quarter financial results last month. VMware delivered $1.29bn in revenue in the quarter and $4.61bn in 2012. The company is predicting $1.17bn to $1.19bn for the first quarter of 2013.

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