Storage Virtualization Generates Significant Cost Savings, Reduces Workloads

In recent times, the concept of virtualization has been embraced as an information technology architecture that does more with less, while also minimizing costs. Taking virtualization one step further and applying the technology to storage can also provide significant returns in terms of resource utilization and simplified storage management. Infortrend® (TPE: 2495), the networked storage expert, has incorporated storage virtualization into its mid-range ESVA (Enterprise Scalable Virtualized Architecture) storage solutions, where the technology creates a logical abstraction by isolating applications from physical storage systems.

Thomas Kao, director of product planning at Infortrend, noted that, “Virtualization is increasingly prevalent in enterprise datacenters. Infortrend’s virtualized storage structure can further extend the benefits of virtualization technology for enterprises that have already implemented server virtualization. For enterprises that are completely new to virtualization, Infortrend’s ESVA solution can generate significant resource utilization and cost advantages that are hard to achieve in non-virtualized architectures.”

Storage virtualization technology aggregates storage resources into virtual pools. When combined with thin provisioning technology, capacity planning can be drastically simplified and storage utilization can be increased by dynamically allocating capacity from virtual pools to applications on an on-demand basis. Scale-out technology enables enterprises to “pay-as-they-grow” by non-disruptively adding systems to a virtual pool — and thereby achieving linear scaling of performance and capacity. Automatic load balancing ensures that a virtual pool operates at the highest performance by balancing workloads among systems of the pool.

Storage management is greatly simplified with storage virtualization. As storage resources are consolidated into a virtualized pool, IT administrators no longer have to manage each individual storage system separately. Instead, they can easily manage their storage resources from a central viewpoint. The dynamic capacity allocation with thin provisioning also helps to reduce workloads.

With utilization increases and flexible scalability, enterprises can minimize upfront storage purchases. In addition, the improvement in storage efficiency brought about by storage virtualization helps enterprises reduce costs associated with administration, as well as cooling and power expenses wasted on underutilized resources.

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