Adoption of file virtualization on the rise

– Analysts note that end-user interest in file virtualization is picking up steam this year for a variety of reasons, and virtualization vendors are poised to take advantage, according to a recently posted article on Enterprise IT Planet, an InfoStor sister site.

"According to Renny Shen, product marketing manager at F5 Networks (which acquired the file virtualization technology of Acopia), the original purpose of file virtualization was to enable transparent data mobility across heterogeneous NAS systems. Companies planning data migrations or consolidations needed a way to perform those initiatives without incurring the downtime inherent with traditional methods. More recently, the big breakthrough has been the application of file virtualization to integrate features such as data deduplication, SSD, and cloud computing. The growth in adoption of these technologies will further drive the need for storage virtualization, as enterprises will require a mechanism to transparently move data between different storage platforms without disrupting users. This plays right into file virtualization's strengths, and the technology is rapidly moving forward to meet the needs of current storage environments.

"NetApp has a different take on file virtualization. Joe DeRosa, director of product management for the NetApp V-Series, said the most recent storage virtualization breakthrough has not been technological -- it has been driven by the economic downturn.

"Rather than focusing on block or file virtualization, NetApp is attempting to offer the best of both worlds via the NetApp V-Series, which provides block and file services within a single storage controller. Like F5, it has added advanced features such as data deduplication to improve storage efficiency and virtual clones (NetApp FlexClone) to improve productivity in software development and test environments.

"NetApp sees cloud computing as being the impetus for a surge in both file and block virtualization, as it offers a way to implement consistent methods, processes, and management interfaces across the infrastructure."

Read the full story, by Drew Robb, at Enterprise IT Planet:
Storage virtualization, redux: Arise file virtualization

Related articles:
Virtual storage picks up speed (from Enterprise IT Planet)

Evolving use cases for file-based storage (from InfoStor)

This article was originally published on May 07, 2010