Enterprise storage suppliers bring their toys to VMworld

Suppliers of ancillary products are integrating themselves deeper into the VMware environment as it becomes a dominant platform for enterprise server computing. Let’s look at some of the products on show at VMworld in San Francisco this week. And be sure to check out The Register’s VMWorld first day coverage.

Our VMworld round-up shows how customers can get SANs from direct-attach storage, multi-tiered AWS backup and archiving, and fast NVMe storage fabric networking across ordinary TCP, data centre Ethernet and Infiniband too. Disaster recovery can be co-ordinated through vCentre via VAIO with Zerto’s latest offering.

ATTO, Cohesity and Lightbits

ATTO’s Xstream CORE FC 7550 and 700 accelerated protocol bridges have achieved VMware Ready status. These bridges can be used to build a Fibre Channel SAN by connecting direct-attached SAS storage to up to 64 physical hosts.

Cohesity, which produces so-called hyperconverged secondary storage products, said its DataProtect and DataPlatform offerings have attained “VMware Partner Ready for VMware Cloud on AWS” validation. These products enable customers to back up and recover virtual machines (VMs) running on VMware Cloud on AWS.

They can can archive VM backups to Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier for long-term retention and get lower  cloud storage costs with deduplication. Customers can recover data, whether it be a single file or VM or their entire VM environment from AWS.

Lightbits Labs rolled out the Gen 2 version of its Lightfield card which provides NVMe/TCP links to storage. It features improvements in performance and power efficiency, cost, and a smaller, half-height, half-length (HHHL) PCIe add-in card form factor. Lightbits said LightOS users can use NVME-oF disaggregation, enabling the heterogeneous clustering of vSAN nodes with local drives or diskless hosts.


Mellanox has introduced ConnectX-6 Dx and BlueField-2 SmartNICs and I/O Processing Unit (IPU) products. The ConnectX-6 Dx SmartNICs provide up to two ports of 25, 50 or 100Gbit/s, or a single port of 200Gbit/s, Ethernet connectivity and PCIe 4.0 host connectivity. 

Its hardware offload engines include IPsec and TLS inline data-in-motion crypto, advanced network virtualization, RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE), and NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF) storage accelerations.  

Mellanox said BlueField-2 based SmartNICs act as a coprocessor to transform bare-metal and virtualized environments using software-defined networking, NVMe SNAP storage disaggregation, and enhanced security capabilities.

The BlueField-2 IPU integrates the ConnectX-6 Dx with a set of Arm processor cores, memory interfaces in a single System-on-Chip (SoC), supporting both Ethernet and InfiniBand connectivity up to 200Gbit/s.

Charlie Boyle, VP and GM of DGX systems at Nvidia, provided a prepared quote: “We look forward to the new networking, security, and storage capabilities in the Mellanox ConnectX-6 Dx and BlueField-2, which we expect will greatly accelerate training and inference workloads in the data centre and at the edge.”


Disaster recovery supplier Zerto announced the launch of an Early Access Program for its platform certified with VMware’s VAIO framework. VAIO  is vSphere APIs for I/O Filtering and it enables vendors to develop filters that can intercept IO requests from a VM to a virtual disk.

A VAIO-certified version of Zerto’s IT Resilience Platform  is expected to become GA in Q4 2019. Zerto says users will be able to create VM replication policies in vCenter’s Storage Policy Based Management for use in continuous data protection and disaster recovery. It will support Secure Boot for vSphere hosts which, Zerto says, is important for government agencies and highly secure environments.