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Software-Defined Battles Continue

by Administrator on August 5, 2015

BrainEatersThe battle for the hearts and minds of storage consumers continues — though, with VMworld coming up, you might not be hearing the debate at full volume.  Everyone in the parasitic VMware ecosystem tends to tone down the contrarian rhetoric when the BIG show appears on the calendar.  For about a week, maybe a bit longer when you include pre-show announcements, the infighting goes eerily quiet, as if everybody has one of those furry little alien leeches from The Brain Eaters attached to their necks, controlling their minds.  (That 1958 movie scared the heck out of me when I was a kid watching the scary black and white movie show on Friday night in the mid 60s.)

Usually, I get an ear-full criticism from independent software vendors about the way that VMware — and Microsoft for that matter — have coopted the software-defined revolution, perverting it and bending it to their proprietary objectives.  (There’s a surprise!)

It seems like all of the hypervisor vendors are trying to become what IBM was in the 1970s: the king of the proverbial hill.  Many of the independent software developers in the software-defined storage space are fighting hard to stay on the map, to somehow coexist with the hypervisor folks who want to rule the data center.

I wrote a paper about this to go with a webinar sponsored by StorMagic. (A link will be provided once they give it to me.)  They have a nice little product that does many things better than VMware, but the common sense dictates of the market tell them to chill out and go along to get along with old VMware in order to stay in the race.

I have also been doing quite a bit of work this year with Starwind Software, in the sense that they engaged me to speak at their events and webinars and to share my views in whitepapers crafted around topics of interest to them.  Starwind Software also has some good software that they prefer to characterize as complimenting VMware and Hyper-V, though, when you dig into it, they are actually providing a lot of functionality that the hypervisor SDS stacks are missing and delivering their solution at a price that is much more realistic for those who can ill afford a minimum of three storage nodes packed with gotchas and costs.

Here is a talk I gave with the Starwind Software folks in their booth at Microsoft Ignite…

In addition to giving my views of SDS, I learned a lot from my long discussions with Anton and Max Kolomyeytsev, CEO and Technical Support/Developer respectively with Starwind.  They have implemented some truly remarkable and meaningful improvements over both VMware VSAN and Microsoft Shared Storage Spaces that will improve performance while saving money.  Worth a look.

To learn more about their thinking, you may want to replay some webcasts I have done with these guys.  The latest one was about Building Storage for Availability and Survivability.  You can watch it at IT-SENSE right now.


There you can also review Avoiding the Snake Oil in Software-Defined Storage, one of my personal favorites among the many Brown Bag Webinars we have done over at IT-SENSE.


I can’t wait to hear their impressions of VMworld when they get back from San Francisco and no longer need to be so politically correct.  Yes, your product can compliment the implementation of a VMware or Hyper-V hypervisor.  Plus, your relationship with hyperconverged appliance maker, xByte Technologies, has given you a solid footprint in the easy to deploy space.  But I also happen to know that customers are getting more bang for the buck with Starwind Software than with either of the hypervisor-proprietary solutions they are getting from VMware.

I just fear that, as was the case in The Brain Eaters, once the fanboys are infected, they will become vectors in the spread of the hypervisor lock-in solutions masquerading as software-defined storage.

From The Brain Eaters (1959) -- a VMware SDS user carries the parasite to other users... From The Brain Eaters (1959) — a VMware SDS user carries the parasite to other users…


Oh well.  I have always said that virtualization conferences are like other tech conferences, but with more zombies.

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