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Why storage virtualization should be adopted?

Simplify storage virtualization management across your environment

by shanza_arshad
storage-virtualization

Virtualization is a big topic in Information Technology world. Virtualization has made it possible to virtualize almost all aspects of the IT world. Any storage or server, including SAN, memory, and network virtualized in this era.

What is Storage Virtualization?

Virtual objects are something that isn’t physically real. We can only believe they exist within some logical boundaries, but we cannot touch them.

In simple words, Storage virtualization refers to the representation of physical storage in a logical format that any server can use.

This logical storage will appear like physical storage to a host or server, so the server will not be able to distinguish between physical and logical storage. Multiple physical disks can combine to form a group. From that group, a server’s virtual repository or the logical storage blocks assign for use.

LUNs (Logical Unit Number), Logical Volume (LV), RAID group, and others are the simplest storage virtualization objects.

Reasons to implement storage virtualization.

Virtualization can apply at any level of a storage area network (SAN). Software applications and appliances can use to implement storage virtualization such as physical storage and RAID groups, logical unit numbers (LUNs), subdivisions of LUNs, storage zones, logical volumes, etc. There are three reasons to implement storage virtualization:

  • Storage management improved in heterogeneous IT environments
  • Automated control allows for better availability and estimations of downtime.
  • Better storage utilization

 

Methods of storage virtualization:

  1. File-Based Storage Virtualization:

    File-Based Storage Virtualization uses for specific purposes or to support network-attached storage systems (NAS).

    In Cloud Computing, file-based storage virtualization utilizes server message block or network file system protocols. It breaks the dependency in standard network-attached storage arrays.

    This happens between the data being accessed and the location of physical memory. This allows for faster file migration, which can improve performance.

  2. Block-based virtual storage:

    Block-based virtual storage use more than file-based virtual systems because it is sometimes used for specific purposes. Block-based virtual storage uses logical storage, such as drive partition, from physical memory in a storage device.

    It can also abstract logical storage, such as a hard drive or solid-state memory device. This also allows the virtualization management software to get familiar with the capacity of the available device and split them into shared resources to assign.

Storage Virtualization: How It Works 

Storage Virtualization creates an abstraction layer between the operating system and the physical disks used for data storage. The virtualized storage is then location-independent, enabling more efficient storage use and better management. The storage virtualization software/device creates a physical space and manages metadata to establish a map between the logical and the physical disk space. A virtualization platform can make a logical space to create storage volumes and modify without regard to the underlying disks.

It is possible to simplify storage management. Instead of managing many storage subsystems, a virtualized storage environment can only control by one mechanism.

Advantages:

  • High availability.
  • Simple and flexible.
  • Increase productivity and efficiency.
  • Backup redundancy.
  • Cost Savings.
  • Security.
  • Better Management.
  • Minimize downtime.
  • Easy Retrieval and Upload of Data.

VMware vSAN

Storage virtualization can help reduce costs, improve infrastructure resilience, and streamline IT operations. VMware’s vSAN software, one of the most widely used storage virtualization platforms today, provides administrators with a straightforward and robust solution to virtualizing storage in vCenter environments.

vSAN aggregates local or direct-attached data storage devices to create a single storage area that all hosts can share within a vSAN cluster. vSAN supports both hybrid and all-flash configurations as both structures have a caching tier and a capacity tier.

A caching level must contain at least one flash device per host. The capacity tier comprises one flash device (all-flash) and one magnetic disk (hybrid) per host. vSAN combines all of the storage resources on a host into a single shared, high-performance data store that all hosts can use in the cluster.

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