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IBM virtual desktop storage update - sort of

Last week I wrote about some confusion I had regarding IBM’s virtual storage optimizer (VSO) for VMware Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), especially after I was told by a VMware official that the IBM product, credited to an internally-developed algorithm, was based on VMware’s Linked Clone API.

I wrote to one of the researchers involved and got a response through IBM’s PR spokesperson that:

  • The IBM-developed algorithm is based on VMware API available in Virtual Infrastructure version 3, not the VMWare LinkedClone API. Specifically, the algorithm uses VMware Infrastructure SDK 2.5.0 as documented at and file system level access on ESX servers.
  • We developed the algorithm based on the API that was publicly available and supported at the time that we began development efforts
  • VMware can provide detail on the differences between the APIs in Virtual Infrastructure version 3 and VMware LinkedClone API

So far no response from VMware.

Regardless of what API was or was not used, what I am trying to get at is the functional difference between these two products, if any. If there is one, it’s important for users to know about. If there isn’t one, it speaks to the growing convergence between VMware’s virtual infrastructure and storage vendors’ value-add software.

the bottom line right now seems to be that IBM’s product is for existing IBM customers, since it requires professional services through IGS. There are some shops that need the IBM label before they buy, and so VSO could at least be a fit for them.

Appreciate weigh-ins from IBM, VDI, and / or VMware experts.

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