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VMware aims to simplify Storage Management

A product manager was interviewed by team:

VMware's ESX Xerver 3i embeds the hypervisor in server hardware. Is there any chance we could see that happen in storage hardware as well?

Jon Bock: Generally, storage systems today don't run applications like the hypervisor. We've seen some things starting to get to that level, like some of the things our partners, like LeftHand Networks, are doing with their virtual storage appliance. There's going to be a use case for that -- it makes sense to deploy that way for performance reasons and because an embedded hypervisor creates a smaller attack surface for security purposes.

As storage vendors have begun porting applications to virtual appliances, the storage market has become aware of the performance hit added by the additional hypervisor layer. How is VMware working to address that?

Bock: We've been working to optimize the performance of VMs [virtual machines] as long as we've been shipping them. Now, hardware is moving forward, and we're beginning to leverage on-chip virtualization. Intel and AMD are both working on optimizing on-chip virtualization, Intel with its Paxville Xeon processor that we already support and its upcoming Montecito processors. AMD is working on an offering called Pacifica. These chips will allow us to do things, like extended, nested page tables, that we haven't been able to do in software.

Read the rest of the interview.


  1. There is a good tool for managing storage with vmwware on VMware's site.


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