But there are still a few questions that need to be answered. For example, how does Virtual SAN work with a SAN you already have?
“It doesn’t,” is the simple answer, according to George Teixeira, CEO at software-defined storage (SDS) vendor DataCore Software. Unlike DataCore’s SANsymphony -V software (for example), which can create virtual storage that supports existing SANs, Virtual SAN is only designed to work with VMware environments, Teixeira points out.
And how does Virtual SAN support presenting its storage to any other system other than ESX? Again, Teixeira says that the answer is that it doesn’t — unlike SANsymphony-V, of course, which can work with any combination of hypervisor environments, plus the real physical world.
There’s little doubt that VMware will bring its marketing muscle (and software expertise) to bear on Virtual SAN, and that plenty of VMWare customers will start using it. Probably much to the chagrin of traditional SAN vendors and administrators.
But Teixeira believes that there will be benefits for software-defined storage software vendors like DataCore as well. He’s counting on the idea that once VMware has educated the market about the benefits of software-defined storage, enterprises will want to investigate other solutions that support heterogeneous hypervisor environments. Not to mention good old fashioned what-you see-is-what-you-get physical servers as well.