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Atlantis partners with VMware for VDI, VSAN

VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) can be a disruptive force among the rapidly growing roster of software-defined storage startups. But rather than fight VMware, Atlantis Computing wants to play a complementary role to VSAN.

Atlantis today said its ILIO software platform supports VSAN and VMware Horizon 6 VDI software, and that channel partners will bundle Ilio with the VMware software. That’s no surprise. During the VMware Partner Exchange in March, Atlantis said it partner with VMware to bundle its new USX software with VSAN. Atlantis VP of marketing Gregg Holzrichter said that meet-in-the-channel relationship will go into effect within the next six weeks.

Atlantis had focused on VDI with its Ilio software until it launched USX for virtual servers in February. With USX, the startup can now reduce the amount of storage needed for virtual desktops and virtual servers. Holzrichter said the VMware-Atlantis partnership will revolve around VDI, which VMware has identified as one of the major use cases for VSAN. The Ilio USX software can provide data management features still lacking in the first version of VSAN. These include deduplication and compression, key technologies for VDI.

“We’ve been working with VMware to show how the Atlantis Ilio platform extends the capabilities of VSAN in a positive way,” Holzrichter said. “It’s an interesting combination where we allow you to drive down the cost per desktop significantly compared to traditional storage.”

It will be interesting to see where the partnership goes. If there is strong customer interest in using Ilio with VSAN and Horizon, VMware might OEM the software or acquire Atlantis as it did with Atlantis rival Virsto in 2013.

Then again, this could be a temporary arrangement until VMware develops its own data management features, or imports them from its parent EMC or Virsto. VMware no longer sells Virsto software but is expected to add Virsto technology to VSAN.

Holzrichter, who previously worked for VMware and Virsto, said there is room for both Virsto and Ilio technology with VSAN. “If VMware does implement the data services of Virsto, that will not overlap with the Atlantis data services,” he said. “Virsto has best in class snapshots and cloning technology, where Atlantis has best in class inline dedupe, compression, I/O processing and a unique way of using server RAM.”

Atlantis this week also said it has been awarded a patent for its content-aware I/O processing.

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