VSA puts the functions of a physical storage appliance into a virtual machine, allowing users to manage storage volumes without dedicated hardware that takes up space and power. The virtual appliance and the volume it manages appear to an administrator like a physical storage node. StoreVirtual VSA can run on any x86-based server platform and work with a mix of VMware and Hyper-V hypervisors. That cross-vendor capability sets it apart from other products on the market, said Dale Degen, SAN marketing manager for HP Storage.
The idea behind the StoreVirtual software is to bring the benefits of virtualization, including flexibility and cost and power savings, to storage management. It includes features for resiliency and can work with information-protection tools, according to HP. Virtualizing these capabilities can cut costs and power consumption significantly, the company says. LeftHand originally aimed this technology at remote offices and small and medium-sized businesses, but it's becoming attractive to larger organizations too, according to Degen.
At this point, StoreVirtual VSA is intended mainly for direct-attached storage, Degen said. But he sees the launch of the product, which is due to ship in September starting at $700 per license, as a coming-of-age moment for the LeftHand technology. HP will continue to invest in the product and is working on additional features for higher capacity and performance, he said.