VMware’s (VMW) Virtual SAN has officially gone from beta testing to an official live version, marking the official launch of the company’s first software-defined storage product. The company announced the official launch last week, saying the virtual SAN will provide users with a new tier of hypervisor-converged storage.

The Virtual SAN is built directly into the VMware vSphere kernel, and abstracts and pools internal magnetic disks and flash devices from industry-standard x86 servers to produce high-performance, shared datastore for virtual machines, according to the press release. The use of the basic vSphere infrastructure will help new users begin utilizing the virtual SAN’s storage capabilities without a significant difficulty curve, the release noted.

"Today VMware changes the way that storage has been operated to date," said John Gilmartin, vice president and general manager, SDDC Suite Business Unit, VMware in a statement. "VMware Virtual SAN is a radically simple storage solution optimized for virtual environments that brings an application-centric approach to storage management. Customers that know VMware vSphere know VMware Virtual SAN, and can rely on that familiarity to hit the ground running with VMware Virtual SAN."

The Virtual SAN has been in beta since last year and was being tested by more than 12,000 users, according to Donna Wittman, the executive eirector for Channels, Alliances and Commercial Sales, VMware Canada, in an interview with eChannelLine.

“We believe that Virtual SAN is to storage what vSphere is to compute,” Wittman said. “But we are just at the beginning portion of this market. It will take several years to take hold, the same pattern when vSphere was introduced to compute.”

Potential buyers can deploy the Virtual SAN by utilizing Virtual SAN Ready Nodes or by choosing components off a hardware compatibility list, which is available on the company’s website. The Virtual SAN is available for $2,495 per processor or $50 per user for the Virtual SAN for desktop.