How difficult is it to remove or "back out" of storage virtualization?

Storage virtualization is a very strategic decision for a company to make. Be conscious of what you're doing, because reversing virtualization is not easy. Once you go into a virtualized environment,

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the relationship between what is being presented as storage to the server and where that physical storage is coming from is completely abstracted -- an IT storage administrator won't know where storage is coming from. You will probably live with a vendor's storage virtualization product for years to come, so it is absolutely crucial to pick your vendor carefully.

You can back out of storage virtualization, but it's a painful project. You'll basically have to backup your data somewhere else, remove the virtualization layer, then bring the data back onto known physical storage devices. It's not a course to be undertaken lightly.

Check out the entire Storage Virtualization FAQ guide.

This was first published in August 2007

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