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Sphere 3D's mini microvisor: Drilling into touchy biz tech

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Analysis I have just seen an Overland SnapScale DX2 scale-out filer storage array running Corel WordPerfect and serving it via the Glassware 2.0 product, also running in the DX2, to an iPad across a Wi-Fi network. What the heck's going on here?

Overland Storage is merging with mobe-tech-enabling outfit Sphere 3D in an all-share transaction, valuing Overland at $81m.

Overland's DX2 is a storage array with an x86 controller that runs GOS, the Guardian OS. It is underpinned by the so-called Glassware 2.0 microvisor which runs on Windows Server 2012. In turn this talks to the DX2 hardware. It is, we can say, a Glassware server.

Running alongside GOS is Corel WordPerfect. It is virtualised and served to network end-points, like tablets and smartphones, by the microvisor. So says Peter Bookman, the chief marketing Officer for Sphere 3D.

Incidentally, Sphere 3D bought V3 Systems in February. That company has a VDI product which ism't being used here; it's a long story as to why.

Bookman, by the way, founded V3 in the Salt Lake City area. V3's VDI product uses a host server's local storage for the VDI files and data which are served to the VDI clients out on the network. The V3 edge was to use a SAN or NAS for these files and thereby escape the network latency trap – thus outperforming, it claims, local desktops.

The Bookman timeline, as he described it, is this:

Peter Bookman

Peter Bookman

  • 2007 - co-founded Fusion MultiSystems with David Flynn and Rick Whyte - recognise these names? - and David Torcott. The company later became Fusion-io
  • 2009 - left to build incubator from which sprang Inaura
  • 2009 - rejoined Fusion-io to work with virtualisation infrastructure as EVP Product Marketing
  • Sep 2010 - left to start up V3, a desktop virtualisation company using DAS instead of SAN for storage
  • 2012 - left to run incubator again with V3 having $4m/year revenue run rate and A-round funding completed
  • 2013 - late/2014 - back to V3 at CEO request from Rik Lindstrom to check out Sphere 3D resulting in Sphere 3D buying V3
  • 2014 - May - Sphere 3D merges with Overland, getting access to its 17,000 channel partners
  • present - Peter Bookman is now head of global strategy at Sphere 3D.

Sphere 3D's microvisor is partly based on paravirtualisation technology devised by its co-founder John Morelli. He was involved with early smartphones and needed a technology abstraction layer that would let a new mobile phone OS run on old hardware, or new mobile phone hardware run under an old OS; it being a two-way street.

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