VMware buying Virsto to bolster storage virtualization

EMC will also license Virsto's technology

VMware plans to acquire Virsto Software, maker of a "storage hypervisor" that will be added to VMware's popular virtualization lineup and licensed by EMC.

Virsto's software is designed to let enterprises virtualize their storage systems in the same way many have virtualized their servers using VMware. It works with the VMware ESX and Microsoft Hyper-V computing hypervisors, and Virsto claims it can cut the cost of storage per desktop by 70 percent.

The companies have signed a definitive agreement for the buyout, the terms of which were not disclosed on Monday. The deal is expected to close this quarter. VMware wants to buy Virsto as part of an overall plan to extend virtualization to all elements of data centers, including computing, networking, storage and security.

Virtualization began with pooling of server and desktop computing and is now expanding to include virtual networking and storage. Proponents, including Virsto and VMware, say storage virtualization will bring the same benefits of flexibility and efficiency that many enterprises have gained by virtualizing their computing. On its website, Virsto says server virtualization has been accompanied by greater complexity and higher cost for storage, especially for virtual desktops, mission-critical applications and large-scale software development.

VMware already sells a vSphere Storage Appliance and offers storage virtualization and management in the vSphere software platform. At EMC, Virsto's technology might find its way into many types of storage systems.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

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