New Company Enters Storage Virtualization Arena
- By Scott Bekker
- February 07, 2001
pooling and dividing multiple storage devices, offers administrators new tools
for managing storage. A new company, KOM
, has entered the virtualization arena today, with the
shipment of its first product.
StorageWorx provides file-level storage virtualization on a variety of storage
devices, including SAN, NAS, and direct-attach systems. KOM says that Virtual StorageWorx
will be a component of a forthcoming storage management suite, called
gives administrators the ability to create virtual volumes on a storage system
and set policies regarding how storage hardware is used. For example, an
adminstrator can dictate that a volume containing web graphics sit on NAS
devices, while a volume filled with old e-mails could sit on a slow tape
virtual volumes, Virtual Storage Worx uses an abstraction layer between files and block
level data on storage hardware. The software constructs a virtual filesystem
across the pool, and can easily add devices into the pool. The upper limit for
storage capacity is 500 petabytes.
is relatively agnostic in the way it regards storage devices. Any device, from
high-end SAN arrays to IDE drives directly attached, can be added to the pool
products like Datacore Software Corp’s SANSymphony, Virtual StorageWorx operates at the
file level, rather than the block level. It is interested in managing files
across the storage pool, rather than raw bits on devices.
Shaath, chief technology officer at KOM, says that Virtual StorageWorx’ device agnostic
approach can aid administrators in integrating a variety of storage assets into
the network. “Storage will become more and more commoditized and you need a
level playing field in your organization,” he says. Shaath contrasts his
product with competitors’, which make assumptions about the storage pool,
preventing administrators from integrating all devices.
install Virtual StorageWorx on a commodity NT server. The software does not require
agents on server clients, but storage traffic must pass through the StorageWorx
server. “This is a first generation product, and it is in-band,” Shaath says,
suggesting that future versions of Virtual StorageWorx may be out-of-band, performing
virtualization duties away from storage traffic.
an organization to best utilize their storage hardware,” says Dan Tanner,
analyst at the Aberdeen Group. Tanner
says that Virtual StorageWorx’ file-level policy setting helps administrators ensure
the right device is being used for the right job.
KOM also announced today that Compaq Computer
Corp. will resell Virtual StorageWorx through its consulting organization. Neither
Tanner nor Shaath believes that StorageWorx will compete with Compaq’s
VersaStor virtualization product when it is released. “VersaStor is a SAN
product and does not address other forms of storage,” Tanner says.
Tanner is optimistic about Virtual StorageWorx’ future in the storage management
market. “There is no other file-level storage virtualization product on the
market,” he says. – Christopher McConnell
Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.