VMware buys Virsto Software to extend software-defined datacentre strategy

VMware is buying storage virtualisation specialist Virsto Software to deliver on its software-defined datacentre strategy

Virtualisation and private cloud service provider VMware is acquiring storage virtualisation specialist Virsto Software as part of its strategy to deliver software-defined datacentres.

The acquisition is scheduled to close in the first quarter of 2013, subject to conditions, but the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

A software-defined datacentre (SDDC) is an IT facility where the elements of the infrastructure – networking, storage, central processing unit and security – are virtualised and delivered as a service. The provisioning and operation of the entire infrastructure is entirely automated by software.

VMware touted SDDC as the next big thing in IT at its VMworld conference in 2012. It is investing in every element of a datacentre – such as compute, network, storage and the associated security and availability services – to deliver a software-defined IT facility.

“As the datacentre undergoes a fundamental transformation, new opportunities and innovation are emerging across every technology category. Defining a new approach to storage will be a foundational element of the software-defined datacentre,” said John Gilmartin, vice-president of storage and availability at VMware, on the company blog.

The Virsto acquisition extends VMware’s storage portfolio, which currently includes the storage virtualisation and management capabilities in VMware vSphere and vSphere Storage Appliance.

In addition, VMware parent EMC plans to licence the Virsto technology to extend the collaboration between the two companies in storage architectures.

“The acquisition of Virsto will accelerate our development of storage technologies, allowing our customers to improve the efficiency and performance of storage in virtual infrastructure,” said Gilmartin.

VMware has two plans for the Virsto product. First, it will continue to offer Virsto’s standalone virtual appliance and support existing Virsto customers. Second, it is planning to integrate Virsto’s architecture and data management services into future VMware products. 

In January, the company reported a 22% rise in its sales from the previous year, posting a $745.7m profit. Its sales in 2012 totalled $4.61bn, bolstered by fourth-quarter sales of $1.29bn.

At that time, the company also axed as many as 900 jobs to refocus resources, said chief executive Pat Gelsinger. VMware will now concentrate on software-defined datacentres and hybrid cloud services for 2013, he said.

In December, to further drive demand for its software-defined datacentre strategy, VMware created a separate network and security virtualisation group to align engineering activities and operations. It appointed Stephen Mullaney, formerly chief executive of Nicira, as vice-president and general manager of the new group.

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