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Why Storage Virtualization 2 BY MIKE JUDE C


LOUD STORAGE has received the lion’s share of press attention lately, while storage management strategies, such as storage virtualization, have


been largely relegated to the background. This is unfortunate since storage virtualization is the logical stepping stone for enterprises to adopt cloud storage services. While the technology can introduce complications, storage virtualization benefits include flexibility in dynamic provisioning, as well as cost savings.


What Is Storage


Virtualization? Storage virtualization is not synonymous with cloud


storage. It is an approach to data storage that abstracts the name of the data from the actual data itself. The naming information, or metadata, is searchable by applications and other IT resources, but the physical data behind the logical metadata can exist in any addressable resource. That means that suddenly it is not important where the physical data is, so long as the metadata points accurately to its location.


Say Goodbye to


Overprovisioning Abstracting data using storage virtualization enables dynamic management of data resources. It becomes possible to aggregate data, move data, and even place it in remote storage facilities (cloud storage). Then the data can be utilized as though it were a local resource.


Should Be on Your Radar Storage Management Tips that Deliver Savings and Scalability


© JAKUB JIRSÁK Among storage virtualization’s many virtues is that


it enables IT to avoid the dreaded stair-step-of-doom demand curve, where adding additional storage capacity significantly overprovisions enterprise storage resources. This is because storage devices no longer need be mapped to a particular application where significant resources remain unused because the application may not need them immediately. Instead, storage devices can be loaded to near 100% levels, more efficiently utilizing storage resources. Additionally, because storage virtualization allows


for the transparent movement of data, the technology improves data integrity by simplifying off-site backup and archival. Since a metadata directory doesn’t care about the physical location of data, it is possible to index not only current data, but archival data, making both equally accessible.


Avoid Storage


Storms on the Horizon Storage virtualization, though, does come with some


extra concerns. It is a complex technology, requiring the maintenance of a metadata directory, significant tools to manage the mapping of metadata labels to physical data storage, as well as strategies for securing metadata. If the metadata directory is corrupted, the entire data storage facility can be rendered unusable. Additionally, storage virtualization can introduce latency and security issues, especially when it is being


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