A storage hypervisor is software that allows storage to be controlled centrally in a storage pool regardless of what hardware the storage is located on.
Storage hypervisors allow storage administrators to replace underlying physical storage without having to make changes to the virtual storage environment. The software, which manages storage I/O for the virtual environment, can run on a dedicated storage appliance, in a virtual machine or in a server virtualization hypervisor. Some storage hypervisors also come with additional capabilities for deduplication or data protection.
The term storage hypervisor was first used by vendors that offer a wide array of storage virtualization technology. Although the tasks of the storage hypervisor may change depending upon the vendor's product, the goal of the hypervisor remains the same: to improve performance and make more efficient use of storage resources in a virtual environment.
See also: virtual storage appliance