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VMware Unveils Upcoming VAIO I/O Filters

VMware Unveils Upcoming VAIO I/O Filters
Eric Wright, vExpert, Cisco Champion

As many announcements are flying around during VMworld 2014 in San Francisco, storage is getting some serious focus as VMware moves to extend optimization for storage on vSphere using the upcoming VAIO (vSphere APIs for I/O Filters).

Difficult to Google For, Easy to Love

Unfortunately, the name VAIO has long been associated with the now defunct Sony laptop line, but VMware will soon be the top result on Google when you search for more information on VAIO as the features and advantages come to light and more vendors jump on board with support in their products.

By making the move to API accessibility for the new I/O filters the development partners lent their thoughts and feature requests to the overall process, including SanDisk who presented at Tech Field Day Extra. This new, more open process was touted by the team at SanDisk as an encouraging sign of new ways of partner innovation at VMware.

VAIO allows partners to let their products access the I/O stream without having to use any special agents inside the guest to see the I/O as it passes through the vSphere environment. This is a phenomenal enhancement that lets vendors deploy a simple VIB to the host for a simpler deployment to utilize the new features opened up with VAIO.

First Release – Limited Use-Case Implementation

At the launch, VAIO will be used for two use-cases which are flash caching and replication. SanDisk was part of the development process for the flash cache acceleration, with EMC joining in to create a filter for replication using their RecoverPoint product.

While some may see this as a limited set of use-cases, the focus is on solidifying the performance and operation in this new offering. Having come off of great successes with the VASA and VAAI integration with storage and backup partners, the introduction of VAIO is definitely creating some excitement for many vendors and customers.

Much More to Come

At this point there are just a few details about VMware VAIO, but there will be much more coming in the next few weeks and months as the beta is opened up to more partners and customers. VMware has made a choice to align with their upcoming vSphere release that is yet to be announced fully.

We do know that the features of the flash cache acceleration will extend to NAS, SAN, and VVols at launch which shows that the entire storage ecosystem is being accounted.

We recommend that you keep watching here as we learn more and share details on the features and functionality of VMware VAIO and much more in VMware storage. You can also read Cormac Hogan’s blog post which will also provide some more details as they become available.

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