Virtuozzo Storage is “like Ceph, only faster”

If you want to have file block and object storage in one product then Ceph does just that. And so does Virtuozzo Storage – but five times faster, it says.

Who and what is Virtuozzo?

History

Virtuozzo was early server virtualization technology, released by SWsoft in 2002. SWsoft itself was founded in 1997 as a privately-held server automation and virtualization company. It bought Parallels in 2007 and so gained virtualization technology for the Mac. This had a strong brand image and SWsoft changed its name to Parallels in 2008.

Times changed and, in 2015 Parallels sold an acquired Odin service provider business to Ingram Micro, spun out Virtuozzo in 2016, and was itself bought by Corel in 2018.

Timeline

  • 1997 – SWsoft founded as privately-held server automation and virtualisation company,
  • 2000 – Virtuozzo invents OpenVZ operating system level virtualisation technology to produce virtual private servers in containers (not Docker-style application containers)
  • 2002 – Virtuozzo (System) Containers v2.0 released providing server virtualisation,
  • 2003 – SWsoft buys Confixx and Plesk web hosting products,
  • 2007 – SWsoft buys Parallels and its virtualisation software for the Mac,
  • 2008 – SWsoft changes its name to Parallels.
  • 2015
    • In February SWsoft buys 2X Software and rebrands its service provider business to Odin,
    • In December SWsoft sells Odin to Ingram Micro,
  • 2016
    • Parallels spins out Virtuozzo
    • George Karadis becomes Virtuozzo CEO
    • Parallels spins out Plesk,
  • 2018 – Corel buys Parallels,
  • 2018 – Alex Fine becomes Virtuozzo CEO having joined the company in November.
Virtuozzo CEO Alex Fine

Today Virtuozzo, the sole  remnant of SWsoft, is owned by a group including Serguei Beloussov, which also own Acronis. This data protection vendor recently introduced a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) appliance.

Although Acronis and Virtuozzo are separate companies there is some ongoing collaboration. For example both companies have hyperconverged infrastructure products and Blocks & Files would find it likely collaboration was involved here.

Virtuozzo has around 120 employees, and is headquartered in Switzerland, with development centres in Russia and the UK. There are some 500 customers running its VPS software on tens of thousands of physical servers, split between service providers and enterprises, and it is profitable, with revenues in the low 8-digit dollars/year.

Virtuozzo business and technology

Virtuozzo OpenVZ operating system containerisation technology takes a server with a Linux OS and has the kernel technology duplicate virtual private servers (VPS) so that multiple virtual servers can run on one physical server. This has less overhead than hypervisors, such as vSphere and KVM, and means more virtual servers can run on the physical server base.

However only the Linux OS can run in the VPS’, not any other OS, making it somewhat limited.

The company has since developed a hypervisor-based server virtualisation product based on KVM and running virtual machines.

Current Products

Virtuozzo 7 is a CentOS7 KVM hypervisor-based server virtualisation product. The company says it has added some 200 enhancements, including a full set of Hyper-V enlightenments. These enhancements make it faster than the base KVM;

Interestingly it includes a backup facility; shades of Acronis collaboration?

Intel’s Optane 3D XPoint DC P4800X SSD technology makes Virtuozzo 7 go faster. Testing found  up to 150 per cent better random read and seven times better random write performance for the P4800X, compared to previous-generation Intel SSDs; 350GB Intel SSD DC P3700s. 

Grab a Virtuozzo 7 data sheet here.

Virtuozzo Storage, which has been in production since 2014, is a multi-protocol product, offering iSCSI block, NFS file and S3 object storage. It can provide storage for Docker-style containers as well. 

The scale-out software runs on x86 servers, and supports tiered storage, using SSDs, fast and slow disk drives and is faster than Ceph, up to 5 times faster at sequential writes;

Around a third of Virtuozzo’s total customers use this storage product and its footprint is measured in petabytes. It is often used in conjunction with Virtuozzo 7.

Get a datasheet here.

The Virtuozzo Infrastructure Platform is a hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) product using x86 server hardware, Virtuozzo VM-based virtualisation, the software-defined storage, virtual networking and a common management facility.

The intended market is service providers offering an end-to-end private cloud, a virtual private cloud. The product is now being deployed with one or two customers using it in production.

Multi-tenancy and self-service are coming in the next couple of quarters.

A datasheet can be obtained here (registration needed.)

Comment

What we have here is a supplier, with hypervisor-based server virtualisation and multi-protocol SW-defined and scale out storage. These are combined in an HCI product with Virtuozzo thinking  the whole data centre storage area is moving in the direction of HCI.

Blocks & Files thinks Virtuozzo will rapidly develop its HCI technology and also move to add back-end public cloud tiering to its storage. Alex Fine, the CEO, defines himself as the Chief Energy Officer; so he’s a man in a hurry.


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