Executive Viewpoint 2013 Prediction: Virsto Software

By Mark Davis (Profile)
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Monday, January 7th 2013
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Two Predictions

First, 2013 will be the year of “software defined storage.” That’s not much of a prophesy; everybody knows that’s going to happen. My real prediction is that by the time winter is over (or summer for you people living on the bottom half of the globe), you will experience migraine headaches from hearing and reading about it, especially as bastardized by vendors and their shills around the world.

Second, as the snow begins to melt in the northern hemisphere’s springtime sun, 2013 will become the year that the “software defined storage” madness will rationalize.

It’s all VMware’s fault, of course.

The virtualization industry was humming along in 2012. The server hypervisor companies were doing what they do. Some were trying to virtualize the network (proper virtualization, not merely a VLAN for heaven’s sake). One of those companies, Nicira, built a “network hypervisor.” Over in the darkest corner of the datacenter where the storage is kept, a coterie of forward thinkers, including my company Virsto, was talking about a “storage hypervisor.”

Then VMware dropped a $1.3 billion bombshell. They bought tiny Nicira last July and re-positioned everything in the “software defined datacenter.” Nicira became the crown prince, if not king, of “software defined networking.”

And, funny enough, all of the sudden, every storage vendor rebranded as “software defined storage.”

Did you hear the joke about “software defined software”?

Sorry to bear bad news, but because “software defined” really is the datacenter of the future, the hype is going to increase for a while. “Software defined” (will I soon get to use those words without quotation marks?) is a righteous term. Righteous because it is, of course, the way datacenters should operate – completely under software control, providing high performance, highly available, wickedly flexible, hardware independent orchestration to match dynamic demand with supply of very low cost, efficiently utilized commodity hardware resources. This is not even debatable; it’s patently obvious this is where the world is going.

Unfortunately for you, with the looming “software defined” migraine, everyone knows this. Including hardware vendors who have neither a clue about, nor a product for, “software defined storage.”