Storage virtualization: Benefits and alternatives

-- Storage virtualization may seem too expensive for SMBs, yet companies of all sizes can benefit from the technology without breaking the bank, using commodity hardware or traditional storage virtualization engines.

According to an article posted on InfoStor sister site Datamation, there are three primary options for storage virtualization engines:

--The first configuration has each storage controller passing through to each disk resource via a separate set of Fibre Channel interfaces (example: Hitachi Data Systems' Universal Storage Platform, or USP).

--Another approach includes a storage processor between the storage consumers and the disk resources. The storage processor virtualizes the storage resources with a mapping table (example: IBM's SAN Volume Controller, or SVC).

--The third configuration introduces a split-path approach to presenting storage resources to consumers, with application integration to the switches to manage the path assignment (sometimes referred to as control path) from the switches to the storage resources (example: EMC's Invista).

Other storage virtualization options include software-only solutions that use commodity hardware. Examples include DataCore, FalconStor, OpenFiler and StarWind.

To read the full article from Datamation, written by an IT infrastructure manager at Alliance Data, see "Storage Virtualization: Overview and Options."


This article was originally published on June 21, 2010