Hot Spots: Managing storage in a virtual server world


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With virtual servers taking over the data center, planned storage systems must reap the benefits of virtualization.

Server virtualization is quickly becoming the norm in data center storage. The ability to host several operating systems and applications on a single server cuts capital costs for new equipment, and the reduction in physical servers helps trim the power and cooling, floor space and number of people required to keep them running. In many areas where power is limited, power and cooling can be the primary driver for adopting server virtualization. With power limitations, the only way to add new applications or grow existing ones is to find new efficiencies. Beyond power conservation, virtualization offers some very compelling features focused on high availability and data mobility.

But with the benefits of virtualized servers come new challenges to managing storage attached to a virtual server environment. I'll suggest steps you can take to better prepare for your virtual environments. But first let's take a look at what's happening in the data center.

The new data center
There are a number of trends shaping the next-generation data center, including:

Pressures to increase utilization. Companies are always trying to find ways to reduce costs in addition to power and cooling savings. Many have found that a lot of waste in the data center could be eliminated by increasing utilization and thus forestalling

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new hardware purchases.

Enabling higher levels of service. The ultimate goal for IT is to deliver a higher level of service to the business. This entails rapid provisioning of applications and guaranteeing higher levels of availability. With more businesses trying to adopt a Web 2.0 approach, IT needs to develop a "2.0" infrastructure to accommodate the increased need to share information with greater ease.

This was first published in September 2007

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