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Vol. 6 No. 7 September 2007

Virtualization breathes new life into old arrays, but at a cost

One of the bonuses of buying a storage virtualization product is that it lets storage managers extend the life of older arrays. Cranky, old systems suddenly get brand-new features such as point-in-time copies, dynamic LUN expansion and additional cache. But there are some traps users should be aware of when weighing the benefits of virtualizing older systems vs. purchasing newer ones. For example, hardware maintenance and environmental costs can negate the savings from virtualization. Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) found this out recently with a customer in Korea, and HDS storage consultant and solution architect David Merrill blogged about the findings. (HDS has since removed his posting and has declined to comment on the topic any further. A cached copy of the story is still available on the blog.) Merrill noted that for this particular customer's environment, which contained fewer than 18TB of storage data, the total cost of virtualizing older storage using a Hewlett-Packard (HP) XP Series virtualization system ...

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