"We believe that by extending the benefits of virtualization to every domain of the datacenter - compute, network, storage - we can help our customers achieve unprecedented levels of efficiency and agility," John Gilmartin VMware vice president, storage and availability, writes in a blog post announcing the acquisition Monday. Terms of the deal were not immediately available, but it is expected to close in the first half of this year.
VMware already holds a market-leading position in compute virtualization, although other companies -- particularly Microsoft, Red Hat and Citrix -- are aiming for their share of the hypervisor market. VMware made a big, $1.2 billion acquisition of Nicira last year as its stake in the virtual networking market. Now, with the acquisition of Virsto, the company is solidifying its virtual storage capabilities.
"Virsto has developed a VM-centric storage management model that accelerates I/O performance for any block-based storage system while providing efficient data services like VM snapshots and clones," Gilmartin explains. VMware plans to continue to offer Virsto's virtual appliance as a stand-alone product as well as integrate it into VMware's stack, Gilmartin says.
David Floyer, resident CTO at analyst firm The Wikibon Project, noted in a blog post that VMware is likely responding to an increased focus by Microsoft on virtualized storage. The most recent edition of Windows Server 2012 integrated technology from Storage Servers into the product. "VMware is aiming to provide the same type of simplicity and software-led services that Storage Spaces provides to Hyper-V and Windows 2012," Floyer notes. "This (acquisition) is a move away from the complex APIs that have previously been provided to help integrate storage arrays with VMware."
In that sense, the move is just the latest in an intensifying competition between VMware and Microsoft at the hypervisor layer.