How not to get stung by storage virtualization: Part 1

Storage virtualization isn’t just the buzz term du jour. More and more organizations are transitioning antiquated legacy storage environments into more flexible and agile infrastructures that can help reduce waste, outages and labor, maximize operating efficiency and performance – and, of course, save a lot of money. In fact, by some accounts, for every 12 terabytes of usable disk capacity, there is the potential to save $1 million in net operating expense.

That’s a lot of savings. But, like other types of virtualization, this one isn’t all mom and apple pie either. Transitioning to a virtualized storage environment comes with some risk and potential disruption to your organization, which I’ll review in this post and the next. But just like climbing a mountain, once you understand and mitigate the risks, reaching the top is that much more rewarding.

Risk 1: Failed implementation

As with any upgrade or conversion, there’s a chance that things won’t go exactly as planned at some point. Once the virtual storage system’s abstraction layer is in place, only the virtualizer will know where the physical data is, so you’ll need to have a back-out procedure in place in case something goes wrong and the implementation fails. It may be time-consuming but the alternative – not knowing where your data went – is obviously worse. [Read more…]