For storage managers, NPIV will be almost transparent. "To get the benefit of NPIV, it must be supported in the HBA and the switch," says Scott McIntyre, VP of software and customer marketing at Emulex Corp. HBA and switch vendors have started building NPIV into their products. Companies will get NPIV as they upgrade their HBAs and switches.
NPIV also needs to happen in the virtualization software. Microsoft Corp.'s Virtual Server began supporting NPIV in 2007. VMware is expected to support NPIV in 2008. IBM supports a version of NPIV for its System z and is working it into its blade servers, which presents a somewhat more complicated technical challenge. But again, this is something vendors, not corporate storage managers, are wrestling with.This isn't to say storage managers can ignore NPIV. To take advantage of NPIV, they'll have to check the latest hardware, firmware and server operating system versions for NPIV support. Once deployed, storage administrators will need to be aware of NPIV because it
This material originally appeared in Storage magazine.