Today's storage virtualization looks very different than it used to.
Storage virtualization aggregates capacity in a given environment under a software layer, which allows capacity to be centrally managed and often provides additional storage features. Storage virtualization isn't new -- vendors such as DataCore with SANsymphony, IBM with its SAN Volume Controller (now rebranded as IBM Spectrum) and Hitachi Data Systems with its arrays have been aggregating capacity for years. But some analysts and IT professionals would argue that the types of data storage virtualization currently available do more than simply pool capacity.
Two examples are software-defined storage -- a technology based on storage virtualization, but that often gives storage other value-added features -- and hyper-converged storage. While the main allure of hyper-convergence is easy deployment and management because components are shipped preconfigured, data storage virtualization is at work inside many systems. A final example is vSphere Virtual Volumes, a young technology that allows administrators to reserve capacity with specified performance and a feature set to which virtual machines (VMs) can be automatically provisioned.
This guide offers an in-depth look at some of the newest types of storage virtualization and their benefits, and will help you to determine whether these technologies are right for your environment.
The data storage virtualization low-down
Storage virtualization can take different forms, but, at a basic level, its function is to abstract capacity from underlying hardware. There are several advantages to using the technology. First, aggregating capacity means better use can be made of available space. Second, performance can be drastically improved. Additionally, data storage virtualization can allow for more flexible disaster recovery.
At the most basic level, all types of storage virtualization aggregate hardware storage capacity to allow administrators to reduce overhead and improve management. Continue Reading
Expert Jon Toigo explains why data storage virtualization is a good place to start if you're looking to boost performance in your environment. Continue Reading
It's likely that organizations looking to virtualize storage are already working with virtualized environments. Learn how to avoid conflicts with multiple virtualization layers. Continue Reading
The software-defined storage approach
From VMware VSAN to DataCore SANsymphony, many vendors offer what they label software-defined storage (SDS) products. The problem: The definition of software-defined storage isn't so cut and dry. What we do know is that most SDS products use software to pool capacity and to surface the underlying features of storage arrays. To many analysts, that's one of the most popular types of storage virtualization today.
Storage virtualization and software-defined storage can both pool capacity, but SDS may be able to add more value to your environment. Continue Reading
Software-defined storage may be a new term for some IT professionals, but its roots are in early storage virtualization products that aggregated heterogeneous hardware. Continue Reading
Hyper-converged infrastructure and virtualization
Hyper-converged systems package storage, compute, networking and virtualization in one box. Many IT professionals look at hyper-convergence as a way to ease deployment and management in their data centers. But hyper-converged systems are based on the same abstraction as storage virtualization -- the software is abstracted from the hardware to allow for the ease of management and provisioning that users enjoy.
According to analyst George Crump, data storage virtualization vendors were the first to use technology that is the basis for hyper-converged systems today. Continue Reading
Hyper-converged systems offer administrators speedy deployment, centralized management and a way to save on operational costs. Continue Reading
Learn the pros and cons to consider before searching for a hyper-converged infrastructure platform. Continue Reading
Virtual Volumes as a form of virtualization
Virtual Volumes (VVOLs) are a vSphere 6 feature many observers consider one of the newest types of data storage virtualization technology. VVOLs allow capacity to be aggregated into what can be thought of as containers to which VMs can be matched based on the amount of capacity and performance they need. By doing so, virtual volumes have created a much more efficient way to provision storage in virtual environments.
In addition to enhanced performance, VVOLs can expose applications to shared storage features that they may not have had access to. Continue Reading
In the wake of the era of hyper-converged storage, Virtual Volumes could bring the focus back to traditional arrays by generating additional virtualization capabilities. Continue Reading