VMware acquires Virsto Software

Yesterday VMware announced the acquisition of Virsto Software, a virtual storage company. VMware continues to grow their portfolio of software solutions as core virtualization sales have begun to decline for the virtualization pioneer.  After announcing a plan to layoff 900 employees this year, VMware will look at other avenues to continue revenue growth. Continuing on it’s path to defining and building the Software Defined Data Center, the VMware acquisition of Virsto Software allows them to add the virtual storage component to their portfolio.

From the press release:

“VMware is committed to continuing to deliver software innovations that bring significant efficiencies to our customers while simplifying infrastructure and IT,” said John Gilmartin, vice president of storage and availability, VMware. “We believe that the acquisition of Virsto will accelerate our development of storage technologies, allowing our customers to greatly improve the efficiency and performance of storage in virtual infrastructure.”

Some background on Virsto Software

(from Wikipedia)

Industry Software
Founded 2007
Headquarters Sunnyvale California
Key people Mark Davis, CEO, Alex Miroshnichenko, CTO, Serge Pashenkov, VP of Engineering
Products Virsto VSI, Virsto VDI
Website www.virsto.com

What Virsto Software brings to VMware

In a nutshell: Virsto Software Storage Hypervisor does for storage what the server hypervisor did for servers. Virsto offers a VM-centric storage hypervisor, delivering purpose-built software defined storage and changing the economics of storage in virtualized environments.

What it addresses:

  • storage performance
  • utilization and management challenges with multi-hypervisor storage virtualization software for
    • snapshots, clones, and thin provisioning for server virtualization desktop virtualization and cloud

virsto software storage hypervisor

The concept is fantastic and from what I have seen, the product delivers with flying colors. Here is a quick introduction video.

Is VMware still VMware?

With acquisition comes the challenge of bringing together multiple business cultures. The thing I find most surprising about all this, is that a layoff announcement is followed by an immediate acquisition announcement.  VMware has been tremendously admired because of its innovation. No other enterprise grade technology that I know of, has created such a buzz in the industry along with a huge and influential following over the last decade. Through the various user groups (VMUG) the online following, the number of certified professionals in such a short period. The list goes on. However I am noticing an evolution that perhaps is not familiar territory for a company who has was designed from the ground up in Palo Alto Californian. Don’t get me wrong. VMware is no stranger to acquisitions! They have made 20 + acquisitions since 2006, but after seeing both of their top leaders depart in the last 8 months, I am wondering if there is something more to all this?

Here are my questions. Will VMware’s shift to “acquire and conquer other vendors” work in their favor? Is Microsoft Hyper-V now included in Windows Server 2012 breathing down Vmware’s neck a cause for panic? Could EMC, the VMware majority shareholder (and storage leader) not have enough brain and engineering power to design this on their own? VMware had to go out and acquire a company which initially designed their product for Microsoft Hyper-V and had a strong integration with Hyper-V and Citrix. So what does VMware do with all that Hyper-V and Citrix integration IP which Virsto Software developed a successful business on?

See the full VMware acquires Virsto Software press release here.