Definition

storage virtualization

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Next-gen IT infrastructure strategy to guide digital transformation

Storage virtualization is the pooling of physical storage from multiple network storage devices into what appears to be a single storage device that is managed from a central console. 

Storage virtualization helps the storage administrator perform the tasks of backup, archiving, and recovery more easily -- and in less time -- by disguising the actual complexity of a storage area network (SAN).  Administrators can implement virtualization with software applications or by using hardware and software hybrid appliances. 

See also: storage hypervisor, software-defined storage

This was last updated in September 2006

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