Gone are the days when storage systems and virtual servers seemed to be mortal enemies, creating configuration...
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and provisioning headaches for storage admins and virtualization jockeys alike. Both sides of the equation have come a long way, with storage designed with virtualization in mind and new tools on the virtual server side to integrate better with arrays.
But the storage-virtual machine (VM) world is still not a perfect place. Our latest survey finds companies have a whopping 825 VMs deployed, and they're all hungry for their piece of the storage pie. Block storage is still the most popular form for supporting VMs, with 54% of our survey respondents using Fibre Channel (FC) SAN storage and 16% using iSCSI arrays. Those two storage protocols are also the most popular choices for users planning to add storage for virtual machines this year: 67% are considering FC and 25% have their eye on iSCSI.
Besides having a ton of VMs to support, some shops are still running into situations where storage and VMs won't play nice together. Forty-three percent said virtualizing their servers has created a need for more capacity, while 17% said performance problems, VM backup issues, or increased CPU and DRAM demands are gumming up the works. On the bright side, 32% of respondents say they don't have any problems or challenges specific to VM storage.
The 43% who have seen capacity requirements climb and who are now pushing a shopping cart at the storage store, are looking for an average of 238 TB of additional capacity. That number is skewed a bit by companies with VMs with voracious storage appetites; on the more modest end of the scale, 61% plan to check out with 100 TB or less of new capacity.
As those shoppers peruse storage vendors' aisles for capacity (67%), they also have price (66%) and high availability (63%) in mind. Other key criteria include basic speed (55%) and compatibility with already installed storage gear (45%). And these storage shoppers aren't fooling around; they want all the bells and whistles expected of enterprise storage, and maybe even a horn and buzzer. Topping the desired features list are automated tiering (57%), thin provisioning (51%), compression (42%) and dedupe (40%).
Some users bolstering their VM storage infrastructure are also interested in fortifying other areas in their environments -- 20% have backup products in their purchase plans and 16% are in the market for management software.
BIO: Rich Castagna is TechTarget's VP of Editorial/Storage Media Group.