Storage Virtualization: An attempt at making the complex simple.

Want to extend the life of your IT assets? SAN virtualization might be for you.  

 The explosion of data growth over the last decade put a lot of demands on IT in an era when budgets, particularly IT budgets, were under great strain.  While it was good news for all of us that most of the predictions of the Y2K era did not come true, IT suffered a setback in many organizations when it came to their ability to make sweeping changes in infrastructure. 

 While data continued its rapid growth, many IT departments suffered staff reductions.  With organizations operating at minimal staffing, the question of the day moved from, “How do I do more with less?” to, “How do I do more with the same?”  This still holds true today.

 Because most organizations in the early 2000’s were not looking at making big technology investments IT departments dealt with their growth in storage by implementing storage tiers and integrating additional discreet storage arrays.  Each array became a new point of management adding increased management complexity. 

All of the incremental complexity added up and the idea of storage virtualization was born.

 With storage virtualization you put an appliance with a layer of abstraction in front of the various discreet storage arrays in the environment.  The benefits, when done right, are tremendous.  Some of the benefits provided by storage virtualization include:

  •  Simplifying storage management by providing a single storage interface for all storage devices
  • Adding new software functionality (replication, cloning, snapshots, etc.) that adds to or improves on a storage asset’s capabilities.
  • Extending the life of older assets by allowing capacity to be redeployed.
  • Reducing the overall storage spend.

 You may ask, if it is so great, then why isn’t it everywhere.  I’m glad you asked.  Some of the earliest products in this space had [Read more…]