The different between niche and mainstream
And another thought I should have included in my earlier comment.
Loads of commenters have weighed in, saying "so and so had this three years ago, company X implementation is better, what's the news here?"
No doubt the tech has been out there, as the article points out. That's not the news.
The news is simple: Over time, VMware will be making vSAN standard operating procedure for much of their install base. There's a BIG difference between niche vendor and mainstream vendor, third-party add-ons and vendor integrated technology.
Imagine a small vendor coming to you and saying "I have a widget that will make your car run faster, longer, for less money". Sounds good, right? But you look into their offering and observe that it has significant up front costs, and that if it didn't work, it would wreck your car. Plus you have no experience with their widgets, and no idea if they can service the widget well.
You'd be a little apprehensive? So would I.
Now imagine a major car manufacturer coming to you and saying "I have a widget that's built into your car, which will make your car run faster, longer. And oh by the way the widget will be covered under your car warranty. It might not be the perfect widget, but it's OUR widget -- and you've already bought into buying our car."
Assuming you like the car, odds are good you'll like the widget.
Assuming you've accepted the VMware value proposition, and VMware has become your trusted advisor, it will be super easy to buy into the vSAN proposition.
This is the same strategy Microsoft (and hundreds of others vendors) have pursued successfully for years. Let little guys establish the value of a new technology, then add it to your product, let your brand equity make it a credible solution, and rake in the Euros while niche tech becomes largely unnecessary.
If I was a niche SAN vendor who touts virtualization as their major use case, I'd be thinking about my positioning today. No doubt VMware vSAN isn't a threat for the moment -- but that's what Netscape devs said about IE 1.0...