What is data storage virtualization technology? Storage systems are undergoing a digital revolution to enhance functionality. Businesses are implementing advanced storage software to increase scalability, flexibility, and profits. This has seen the development of virtual tools for business operations. Virtualized storage is online innovation that causes huge migration from traditional data storage solutions to digital systems.
Virtualization is modern technology that allows organizations to dismantle physical hardware from management. Storage virtualization is a tech practice that groups physical storage servers from various network storage devices into a single virtual storage platform which is managed in a centralized console. The process of decoupling management from the infrastructure helps ease data storage.
Virtualizations help in flexibility and scalability by pooling all disks/hardware to a single virtual storage device. The storage resources can be divided and accessed in a local setup. Organizations can use hardware inside and outs the storage pool to satisfy their needs. Most companies use data storage in various configurations, such as SANs, virtual logical unit numbers, RAID groups, and logical volumes.
Definition of Data storage virtualization Technology by Storage Network Industry Association (SNIA).
A brief definition from SNIA says storage virtualization is the process of abstracting or isolating the internal function of a storage system from the application, compute servers, and network resources to enable the application and network to manage storage independently.
Software-defined storage SDS vs. storage virtualization
SDS and storage virtualization share common factors but have distinct differences. The two systems differ based on the type of abstraction and where it’s being carried out. This means storage is being abstracted in both systems, but the reasons and how the process is conducted define the difference.
Software-define storage SDS
The SDS software technically abstracts the software and programming that help control storage operation from the hardware. The process significantly reduces hardware components to data storage capacity. This allows the abstracted software to control the whole system. SDS helps users utilize commodity or traditional storage devices without digital storage algorithms to function properly.
Storage virtualization operates more on pooling storage capacity from various or multiple networked storage devices to a single storage platform. This allows users to manage storage resources from a single manageable system.
In conclusion, SDS abstracts storage tasks and capabilities from physical hardware, while storage virtualization abstracts capacity from multiple storage resources and pools them in a single ecosystem.
Virtualization is a computing method that allows users to abstract a virtual layer on top of physical hardware underlying the system. The layer helps in virtual environments called virtual machines, which access the hardware using a hypervisor. The facility creates VMs, and it’s responsible for connecting available hardware resources to the virtual machines.
The physical resources are set separate from VMs; however, VMs can live in a virtual space in a single device. VMs are compatible with different OS and can easily use and manage any resources.
How does storage virtualization work?
Organizations implement storage virtualization to curb scaling and management challenges when handling data. Companies incorporate experts to virtualize storage functions such as masking, zoning, host-bus adaptors, logical volumes, RAID, and distributed file systems.
The features allow storage virtualization to accumulate large amounts of data from a wide spectrum of physical resources in the data center and large networks. Storage virtualization creates an abstraction layer between the operating system and physical storage hardware. The virtualized storage is independent and can settle in any location. This causes storage utilization to go up due to capacity. Note storage virtualization supports data migration and replication. Suppose hardware is removed; the data can be moved to another LUN by replication.
The process is swift as it doesn’t disrupt the system’s normal functioning. The host feature helps strengthen storage virtualization in different situations like dynamic provisioning, allowing LUNs flexibility to meet rising demands.
Types of storage virtualizations
With a detailed explanation, organizations need to understand different types of storage virtualization and their functionality.
- A host-based storage virtualization
It’s a unique approach that uses software and device drives/hardware to virtualize physical disks on the host device.
- Device-based storage virtualization
The software merges virtualization and management within a single storage device.
- Network-based storage virtualization
Network-based storage virtualization uses appliances such as a server or smart switch to abstract between the network and I/O via a fiber channel (ISCSI SAN).
How to optimize data storage virtualization?
Modern organizations use storage optimization practices, strategies, technologies, and frameworks to incorporate infrastructure storage resources. The practices are designed to help Companies realize any inefficiencies and work towards improving their storage systems. Businesses can design, and develop high-end virtualized storage solutions to help increase performance, productivity, utilization, and expand capacity.
Storage virtualization allows for optimized interoperability in heterogeneous storage resources. A combination of storage virtualization, network virtualization, and server virtualization increases scalability, cost reduction, easy management, and enhanced data center performance.
Storage virtualization reduces disk usage in storage resources. This can be achieved by gaining visibility on all storage devices through virtualization. The process merges all existing storage resources, after which the user can classify and visualize the resources. Experts incorporate storage management software and policy-based storage automation systems to enhance performance.
Benefits of data storage virtualization technology
The storage virtualization benefits are established from the decoupling of storage resources from management to fill visibility in data storage capacity. The software helps in increasing efficiency to manage the capacity.
- Storage virtualizations help improve data storage performance, data security, and capacity.
- Its reduced complexity in management allows developers to fix issues fast without stopping the whole system.
- The software enables dynamic storage utilization and virtual scalability.
- Storage virtualization saves on time and cost associated with data migration. Experts can resolve issues easily through simple techniques like replication. Unlike traditional storage systems, virtual storage system provides prebuilt features to guide users. Organizations don’t need to hire more human resources for virtualized storage systems.
- Storage virtualization helps in extending storage infrastructure lifespan by increasing its capabilities.
- The software enhances data storage through digital storage features like tiering, caching, and replication.
- Storage virtualization allows IT experts to have full visibility of the data storage, thus easing maintenance.
Storage virtualization offers multiple benefits, which offer capacity growth and productivity. The software is cost-friendly, making it the best consideration for many organizations.