Storage virtualization tricks and tips
When it comes to storage virtualization, it’s important to remember that not everyone will benefit from the technology. Like the Cloud, storage virtualization doesn't always live up to the hype.
“It’s such a muddy, ugly, messy, stupid area,” IBRS’ McIsaac says. “I think the problem is that vendors are trying to come in and pitch a concept that doesn’t exist and the storage managers then have to wade through the architecture to really see what they’re selling.
“They need to stop talking about storage virtualization and all of its benefits and say ‘let’s start talking specifically about server feature functions and how they translate into real business benefits’, because otherwise all you get is a real high-level pitch.”
The solution is to plan from the data, rather than the technology itself, McIsaac advises. Create a high-level map of the data, look at the major applications, and the data sets. Also, examine service levels, including the hours of operations of your data or hours of availability, and what the recovery time objective is.
On the other side of the spectrum, organisations should also be mindful that there is greater danger in not looking for a solution to assist with data growth.
“To be able to manage and cope with the amount of data that’s accumulating as we head into the future, organisations need to be able to rationalise and consolidate and virtualization techniques are the only way we’re going to be able to keep up with this data growth,” IDC’s Oostveen says.
There is more risk, he says, in sitting back and letting data explode within the data centre, than in moving to virtualization, because the organisation will rapidly run out of both budget and storage administrators.
“Start looking at what key problems you’ve got and then look at what the vendor is offering and ask yourself — does it make it simpler, more flexible and cheaper per terabyte," McIsaac says.
Though storage virtualization remains the much maligned cousin of its desktop and server counterparts, Melbourne IT’s Gore maintains higher uptake is inevitable.
“Storage will go the same way and the reason for that is because of these fantastic opportunities and technologies that you get from storage virtualization.”