VMware Acquires CloudVolumes: What It Means for…VDI
The biggest end user computing news of VMworld arrived a few days early, with the August 20 announcement that VMware has acquired storage layering startup CloudVolumes. In one step, this redefines VMware’s position in the end user computing marketplace.
The technology is relatively simple: a Windows file system filter driver creates a virtual disk volume that captures disk changes to either a VMDK or VHD disk image. When one of these volumes is subsequently mounted, CloudVolumes intervenes again and merges the contents of the volume with the already-running disk image. This entire process is transparent to the operating system. Files within a CloudVolumes VMDK or VHD disk image appear as though they are on the OS’s C: drive, as they do when one uses a mount point in Windows to add a new volume, but without the restriction of having to reside in an empty NTFS folder. This means that no additional drive letter mappings are associated with the CloudVolumes disk images, and thus there are no limits on the number of CloudVolumes disk images that can be mounted. Along with the file system filter driver, CloudVolumes incorporates a Windows registry virtualization driver to capture and merge back any changes made to the registry.
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NOTE: This column was originally published in The Virtualization Practice Newsletter.