VirtuCache

Software to improve storage performance of VMware VMs in a non-disruptive fashion.

VirtuCache is software that you install in ESXi host(s). Then you assign some amount of spare in-VMware host RAM and/or an in-VMware host SSD to it. VirtuCache will then automatically cache frequently used reads and all writes from Datastores or VMs, that you choose to accelerate, to this in-host cache media. By doing so VirtuCache improves the performance of applications running in VMs, improves VM boot times, allows you to increase VM densities, reduces the time it takes to backup / restore VMs, reduces time to provision VMs, reduces build times (dev/ops) and gives you all the other benefits that result from improved storage performance.

VirtuCache deployment is seamless, in the sense that applications or end users don’t realize that most of the data is now read from and always first written to the in-host cache media, instead of backend SAN storage. Deploying VirtuCache doesn’t require any storage, network, or host reconfiguration (other than installing VirtuCache and assigning RAM/SSD to it).

It is extremely easy to deploy and manage. You can choose to evaluate VirtuCache by registering for VirtuCache download here.

Click here for technical details around how VirtuCache caches reads and writes; syncs writes to backend storage appliance; and protects against data loss in case of host failure.

We compete with SSD based storage appliances, hyper-converged hardware, and other host side caching software.

Versus other host side caching software.

  1. Versus Infinio (link with details) – Infinio doesn’t cache writes, and doesn’t support key VDI features like Linked Clones and non persistent VDI.

  2. Versus VMware’s VFRC (link with details) – VFRC too doesn’t cache writes, is very cumbersome to manage, doesn’t support VDI, and will be end-of-lifed in ESXi 7.0.

  3. Versus PernixData (link with details) – They were our strongest competitor, very similar to us. Now end-of-lifed.

  4. Versus VDI specific storage accelerators, Citrix MCS IO and VMware VSA (link with details) – MCS IO caches only writes, only to VM RAM, and works with non-persistent Xen VMs only. VMware VSA caches only reads, to only 2GB host RAM, and works only for Horizon VDI VMs.

Versus SSD based storage appliances and hyper-converged infrastructure(HCI).

  1. Unlike an upgrade to HCI or SSD based arrays, in the case of VirtuCache, you don’t need to replace your existing storage appliance or network.

  2. VirtuCache is higher performing than SSD based storage appliances because the SSD/RAM is right on the motherboard of the VMware host CPU that consumes hot data, and this cache media is connected to the host CPU over a dedicated PCIe/NVME/Memory bus. Versus in the case of storage appliances, where the SSD is behind the shared storage network and storage controllers.

  3. If you choose to use in-VMware host RAM as cache media with VirtuCache, then there is no equal in performance, because storage appliances and hyper-converged boxes are not designed to use RAM in the storage IO path.

  4. VirtuCache is similar to HCI in the sense that high speed storage is back in the host.

  5. Unlike HCI, VirtuCache only moves the performance tier to the VMware host, the capacity tier stays in the backend array, so you still get the advantage that traditional converged infrastructure has over HCI, that you can scale and do maintenance on storage and compute independently of each other.