Storage Virtualization Gets Real - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Cloud // Cloud Storage
News
11/29/2012
11:30 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Storage Virtualization Gets Real

Four business scenarios illustrate how small and midsize companies can reduce costs, improve disaster recovery and more via storage virtualization.

InformationWeek Green - Dec. 3, 2012
InformationWeek Green
Download the entire December 2012 InformationWeek SMB special issue on storage virtualization, distributed in an all-digital format as part of our Green Initiative

(Registration required.)

Storage Virtualization Gets Real

Storage virtualization can deliver benefits such as better utilization of existing storage, easier provisioning, improved performance of storage systems and applications, and lower-cost disaster recovery. But many different technologies fall under the "storage virtualization" umbrella. We'll use a fictional company to illustrate how small and midsize businesses might craft a storage virtualization strategy that meets different business needs and balances cost and performance trade-offs.

In particular, we'll look at using cloud gateways for faster file services and host-based replication for disaster recovery. We'll show how hybrid storage that combines flash storage and traditional spinning disks can deliver faster performance while controlling costs, but that doing so means sorting through several possible approaches. And last, we'll show how server-side caching done right can improve virtual desktop performance.

In our scenario, a new management group has taken over Acme Inc., a manufacturer of novelties and toys. Over the past several years, Acme has made limited investments in its IT infrastructure as a result of the economic downturn. The company's new CIO believes in the concept behind a software-defined data center, in which software performs functions such as networking and storage virtualization that have in the past been performed by dedicated hardware. He has asked his infrastructure group to virtualize as much new infrastructure as possible -- including the storage.

One of the first storage applications to be virtualized at Acme was file services. Before the upgrade, Acme had traditional disk-based network-attached storage systems in its Los Angeles design and distribution center, and in its three sales offices across the country. Acme has millions of CAD and graphics files in its archive of product designs and marketing materials, and the company's designers are often kept waiting as the NAS systems struggle to deliver these large files.

Our full report on the current state of storage is free with registration. This report includes 44 pages of action-oriented analysis, packed with 37 charts. What you'll find:
  • Survey results from more than 300 IT professionals
  • Strategies to handle growing data and shrinking budgets
Get This And All Our Reports

Acme also struggled with transporting files from location to location. Most of the time, employees sent files via email attachments to co-workers in other offices and to the company's Asian manufacturing partners. This clogged up the Exchange server and backup repositories with multiple copies of files. In addition, employees began bypassing corporate IT, and its security safeguards, by using consumer services such as Dropbox.

Cloud Gateways Speed File Servers

To address these problems, Acme chose a cloud storage service that uses cloud gateways like those from Nasuni and Panzura. These gateways are deployed on premises at Acme's offices, and connect to cloud storage services from providers such as Nirvanix and Amazon's S3. The gateways in each location use local solid-state drives and spinning disks to cache actively accessed data while presenting a single integrated file namespace to the users, regardless of their location. The LA design center will have a higher-end appliance with SSDs to provide the performance the designers need, while the sales offices and manufacturing partners can use less-expensive virtual appliances running under VMware's vSphere to keep costs reasonable.

To read the rest of the article,
Download the December 2012 InformationWeek SMB special issue on storage virtualization

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
What Digital Transformation Is (And Isn't)
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/4/2019
Commentary
Watch Out for New Barriers to Faster Software Development
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  12/3/2019
Commentary
If DevOps Is So Awesome, Why Is Your Initiative Failing?
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  12/2/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
The Cloud Gets Ready for the 20's
This IT Trend Report explores how cloud computing is being shaped for the next phase in its maturation. It will help enterprise IT decision makers and business leaders understand some of the key trends reflected emerging cloud concepts and technologies, and in enterprise cloud usage patterns. Get it today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll