VMworld 2010: Virtual Servers, Real People

As many of you know, VMworld 2010 (slogan: “Virtual Roads, Real Clouds” – get it? 🙂 took place recently in sunny San Francisco, bringing more than 17,000 attendees together to learn, advance and enrich their understanding of how virtualization can help their IT ops, and what other technologies play a role.

Of course, Isilon was there, and we announced the industry’ first and only unified scale-out storage platform for the enterpriseto an excited audience of industry tastemakers. As discussed previously, with Isilon’s unified scale-out storage solutions, managing both file and block from a single, shared storage resource is not only easy, but highly effective. Now, could you all please raise your hands if you’d like to hear more?

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Okay, great, though I won’t spend more time on the specs of our unified offering, as plenty of info is already available, I will discuss why it’s important, based on what I heard from folks at VMworld.

From the Isilon customers who presented in our booth, to the soon-to-be-customers who came by, to those who still aren’t sure, one theme seemed constant – traditional storage for virtualization sucks. It’s stressful. It’s a pain. It doesn’t make sense.

What does make sense? Simplicity.

From the conference key note, to the hands-on labs, to the side conversation around our booth, I heard again and again the same two things:

A) We’re employing virtualization, but (insert traditional storage system) makes it way too complex.

B) We want to virtualize but with the challenges we’re having with (insert traditional storage system), I don’t think we can.

To be clear, not all of the people having these issues believed Isilon was the solution, but they knew for sure their current storage most certainly was not, and desperately needed something better. Demo after demo, customer presentation after analyst talk, I spent hours each day showing folks that, yes, there is a better, simpler way. Many were convinced but there’s still much work to be done.

Virtualization is not only here to stay, it’s possibly the most important single driver of IT strategy today. But users will never get the benefits they’re looking for using traditional storage systems. It only makes sense that if you’re going to take a new approach to servers, you should take a new approach to storage, right?

Me? I like the simple approach.

Comments? Thoughts? Fervent disagreement? Hit me below or @Isilon_Nick.

About the Author: Nick Kirsch