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vSphere Distributed Storage and why its not going to be “production ready” at VMworld

vSphere Distributed Storage (or vSAN) is a potentially game changing feature for VMware. Being able to run its own flash caching, auto mirroring/striping storage system that’s fully baked into the hypervisor is powerful. Given that storage is such a huge part of the build out, it makes sense that this is a market in need of disruption.

Now as we all hold our breath for VMworld I’m going to give my prediction that it will not be listed as production ready from day one and her are my reasons.

1. VMware is always cautious with new storage technologies. VMware got burned by the SCSI UNMAP fiasco, and since has been slow to release storage features dirrectly. NFS cloning for view underwent extensive testing, and tech preview status.
2. Vmware doesn’t like to release home grown products straight to production. They do this with acquisitions (mirage, View, Horizon Data, vCops) but they tread carefully with internal products. They are not Microsoft (shipping a broken snapshot feature for two versions was absurd).
3. The trust and disruption needs to happen slowly. Not everyone’s workload fits scale out, and encouraging people to “try it carefully” sets expectations right. I think it will be undersold by a lot, and talked down by a lot of vendors but ultimately people will realize that it “just works”. I’m looking for huge adoption in VDI where a single disk array often can cause awkward bottlenecks. This also blunts any criticisms from the storage vendor barking carnival, and lets support for it build up organically. Expect shops desperate for an easier cheaper way to scale out VDI, and vCloud environments turn to this. From a market side I expect an uptick in 2RU server’s being used, and the back plane network requirements pushing low latency top of rack 10Gbps switching further into mainstream for smaller shops and hosting providers who have been holding out.

These predictions I’m making are based on my own crystal ball. I’m not currently under any NDA for this product.
No clue what I’m talking about? Go check out this video