Strategy: Storage Virtualization Guide

Apr 25, 2012


Strategy: Storage Virtualization Guide

Storage virtualization techniques such as volume management, thin provisioning and federation can help organizations increase their utilization of storage space, ease data migration exercises, and improve disaster recovery and business continuity measures. IT leaders have numerous options when it comes to taking advantage of storage virtualization. For instance, most modern disk arrays include some virtualization capabilities, such as ­volume management and thin provisioning.

Storage virtualization can also give companies more flexibility when it comes to the products they buy. Consider a typical replication environment, in which data from a disk array in one data center is written to a disk array in a second data center; both arrays must be the same product from the same vendor. However, third-party storage virtualization ­appliances, which sit in-line in front of the arrays, let companies mix and match their storage systems and protocols while still getting the data protection that comes with replication. Storage virtualization appliances can also help enable federation, a more advanced form of replication that provides both data protection and the ability for a company to recover quickly from a complete data center failure.

This report looks at the storage virtualization options available to companies and highlights the pros and cons of each. It also examines the various places within the IT infrastructure where storage virtualization can take place, including servers and disk arrays, and via physical and virtual appliances. (S4500512)

Research Report