A ghost of the past develops an open source VMFS driver

fluidoperations logo

A couple of weeks ago a new company called fluid Operations raised some attention in the virtualization community because of their new open source VMFS driver.

The driver, which is actively developed and hosted at Google Code, allows to mount and read (no writing capabilities for now) partitions formatted with the VMware Virtual Machine File System (VMFS) version 3.
The VMFSv3 partitions can be accessed from a Linux, Windows or Mac OS host using a WebDAV client.

VMware doesn’t provide the VMFS specification so fluid Operations reverse engineered the on-disk format.
In the near future, unless VMware stops them, the driver will have the capability to modify the existing data inside the VMFS partition, but writing new files and folders is much more complex and this is why the company is calling for some help.

fluid Operations is a startup that just entered the cloud computing space launching management solution called called eCloudManager that blends together server and storage virtualization.
The product currently supports VMware and NetApp but the company is already working to extend its capabilities to Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V, Xen (including the Amazon EC2 implementation), KVM, HP StorageWorks, HP/LeftHand Networks and Amazon S3.

One of the men behind fluid Operations is Uli Walther, one of the co-founders of Code Arts, the startup that launched in 2002 an entire product line to manage virtual infrastructures, the vmTools Suite, and then suddenly disappeared in December 2004.
The company was acquired by HP, its technology was renamed HP Virtualization Portfolio and its leadership managed the HP R&D department for the ProLiant Virtualization portfolio.

The ghost of the past is back and it’s worth a close watch.