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Thin provisioning in depth
This article is part of the Storage magazine issue of Vol. 10 Num. 2 April 2011
Thin provisioning can help you use your disk capacity much more efficiently, but you need to get under the hood a little to understand how thin provisioning will work in your environment. Nobody wants to pay for something they're not using, but enterprise data storage managers do it all the time. The inflexible nature of disk storage purchasing and provisioning leads to shockingly low levels of capacity utilization. Improving the efficiency of storage has been a persistent theme of the industry and a goal for most storage professionals for a decade, but only thin provisioning technology has delivered tangible, real-world benefits. The concept of thin provisioning may be simple to comprehend, but it's a complex technology to implement effectively. If an array only allocates storage capacity that contains data, it can store far more data than one that allocates all remaining (and unnecessary) "white space." But storage arrays are quite a few steps removed from the applications that store and use data, and no standard communication...
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Features in this issue
Thin provisioning can help you use your disk capacity much more efficiently, but you need to get under the hood to understand how the technology might work in your environment.
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Columns in this issue
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