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By Jeff Byrne
From the moment server virtualization burst onto the scene nearly a decade ago, it has created significant challenges for data storage managers. And based on recent Taneja Group research, many of those challenges are far from being overcome.
In our most recent end-user survey on virtual server storage, we found more than half of storage administrators are experiencing one or more of the following storage-related issues in their virtual server environments:
- Scalability: Server consolidation leads to contention for storage and I/O resources, limiting the number of virtual machines (VMs) that can be run productively on a given system.
- Performance: The multiplicative effect of repetitive, small-block I/O operations -- driven by a hypervisor and performed across multiple VMs -- can have a crippling effect on storage performance.
- Agility: In a heavily consolidated environment, common administrative tasks such as creating and provisioning a VM, migrating workloads to new servers and non-disruptively moving virtual machine disk files between arrays, can be quite tedious and time consuming.
Clearly, the right place for these functions is in the array. Citrix Systems Inc. first demonstrated this in 2009 with the release of StorageLink, which enables XenServer-based applications to directly take advantage of array-based functionality. But the VMFS layer has prevented VMware-driven applications from fully leveraging array capabilities.
This was first published in January 2011