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The impact of virtual storage appliances
This article is part of the Storage magazine issue of Vol. 10 Num. 7 September 2011
Software-only storage controllers running in virtual machines are an easy, economical way to get shared storage. But current products aren’t up to enterprise standards . . . yet. A virtual storage appliance (VSA) is storage controller software that runs within a virtual machine (VM) turning servers into data storage systems. There are a number of them available, including Hewlett-Packard’s StorageWorks P4000 Virtual SAN Appliance Software (formerly LeftHand), which is the most widely adopted, and VMware’s recently announced vSphere Storage Appliance. The implications of VMware offering a VSA are compelling, although the immediate impact is minimal. VSA solutions are typically positioned as small- and medium-sized business (SMB) storage because of performance limitations that draw a distinct line in the sand between VSA and hardware-based storage systems. However, the line will begin to disappear as processors and memory become even faster and cheaper. And you can count on innovations that will overcome technical limitations and ...
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Features in this issue
One-quarter of our Storage magazine survey respondents use cloud backup, and are pleased enough to keep a big chunk of their backup data stored in the cloud.
Dell plus Compellent proved to be a strong combination, but not quite strong enough to overtake NetApp on our sixth Quality Awards survey for midrange arrays.
Cloud backup services have seen increased adoption by SMBs, but with a choice of methods and tighter controls, cloud backup is now also a viable enterprise alternative.
Virtual servers need a good shared data storage system. All major networked storage protocols work with virtual machines, but some are better than others in certain environments.
Columns in this issue
Processors get faster, networking tech takes it up a notch and bus designs keep up the pace, but they may all be dragged down if we can’t find a fix for slow I/O performance.
Cloud-enabled storage arrays are among the ways that cautious end users are testing the cloud without the worry.
Software-only storage controllers running in virtual machines are an easy, economical way to get shared storage. But current products aren’t up to enterprise standards . . . yet.
Cloud storage is really a pretty simple concept, so how the heck did it get so complicated?