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Realize the benefits of storage virtualization
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This chapter is included in the Understanding data storage requirements in a virtual environment E-Book.
Storage virtualization can come in a number of different forms. Some might consider storage virtualization as software that acts as a control layer to pool capacity from multiple, different vendors. Others might include the several types of products that fall under the software-defined storage category in their definition of storage virtualization. Some would even argue that storage arrays that come equipped with features such as RAID or thin provisioning provide some of the same benefits of storage virtualization. Regardless of the chosen method, there are some common goals that storage virtualization can achieve -- greater scalability and more efficient management are high on that list. But when pairing storage virtualization with server virtualization, the picture gets a little less clear. Conflicting virtualization layers can waste resources if one abstraction layer masks the features of the other. Furthermore, it's possible for management to get murky if there are separate control panels for separate virtualization layers -- and that can make monitoring and troubleshooting that much more difficult. This E-book provides an overview of the most common storage virtualization technologies available today and the benefits and drawbacks of each. It will also provide a series of best practices for storage administrators who are considering the use of a storage virtualization product in their virtual server environment.