Xiotech caught my eye with the looks of their storage method. Hot-swappable drives seem to be a trend now, but Xiotech goes the other way and uses hard drives bolted into a metal frame to keep vibrations from damaging drives. Because the drives are held still, like they would be in a clean room, and because Xiotech has a close association with Seagate, the storage system can access the drives at a hardware level. The Xiotech rep I spoke with said the system greatly reduces drive failure rates and provides dramatically better performance than with hard drives, but is much cheaper than SSDs—the tech rests between conventional drives and SSDs in cost and performance.
AMD was demonstrating its simplified server platforms. Instead of three different series, the company has moved to two—one for four- or six-core processors, using relatively little electricity, and one for the higher-end eight- and 12-core machines. Next year AMD should have bigger news—in 2011 the company plans to release its Bulldozer architecture for higher performance.
Quest had plenty to talk about, with several products on display. Among other acquisitions, Quest recently acquired Surgient, a company that makes private cloud software. Quest reps said VDI is a fast-growing segment of the company's business, and that environments where cloud and physical systems are blended are a trend. Quest was showing off One Identity, a product that helps with these mixed environments.
Diskeeper was at VMworld showing off the recently-released version of V-locity with support for VMware. V-locity is a "disk optimizer"—it's a defragmenter that also prevents fragmentation before it happens and has several other features specifically designed to increase storage performance in a virtualized environment. V-locity was already available for Hyper-V, but Diskeeper's rep told me when the company made the VMware-compatible version available, they saw a 130 percent increase in sales.
Glasshouse announced a new cloud insight tool at the show. The tool asks a series of questions and lets you know how ready parts of your organization are for a move to the cloud. Glasshouse was also talking about their vLab tool, which is a web-based interface that allows the company to create VMs based on their local servers, so companies can try out different VDI technologies.