Where's your storage sweet spot?

WHAT IT IS

Storage virtualization provides a logical, abstracted view of physical storage devices that is managed from a central control.  Typically, storage virtualization is implemented in storage-area networks, redundant arrays of independent disks, file systems, switches, and virtual tape.
 
PROS AND CONS

Proponents of storage virtualization say the separation of logical and physical storage allays a number of challenges in the efficient operation of storage. Virtualization allows for simpler data migration, which, in turn, can drive higher storage usage, greater demand for faster devices and easier end-of-life-cycle retirement of older devices.
 
Detractors of storage virtualization note that virtualized systems tend to exhibit more latency than non-virtualized systems as data requests must pass through an added virtualization layer as part of the data retrieval process. Some have also called into question the ability of virtualization to save money for infrastructure organizations, particularly where heavy upfront capital investments may be required. 

NEEDS ASSESSMENT:

  • Does routine data migration cause a high level of business disruption?
  • Do long storage provisioning lead times adversely affect the business?
  • Does use across disparate devices and/or vendors remain low?
  • Is centralized storage policy management challenging?
  • Is it difficult to move data from one storage tier to another?
  • Do you need to improve management of heterogeneous storage environment?
  • Would you like to improve ability to meet release schedules?
  • Do you need to make copies from production to development environment frequently?
  • Would you like to make lower-tiered copies of production to development environment?
  • Do you spend large amounts of money and time creating and maintaining storage scripts?
  • Would you like to be able to mirror low-end storage to avoid high disaster recovery costs?
  • Would you like to adopt ILM or tiering in your environment?
  • Would you like to coordinate better across multiple storage vendors?

The cost of adding virtualization 

SCORE YOUR RESULTS

Number of “yes” responses:

7-13     Strong candidate for storage virtualization.
4-6       Requires careful further evaluation.
0-3       Unlikely to gain great benefit from adopting storage virtualization at this time.

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