Is the market ready for storage virtualization? Are the products ready?
The short answer is that the products are absolutely ready. It's taken three or four years to bring the products to this current level of maturity, but I can say that key products from the major players are all ready.
Remember that these key products mentioned in the last question are all examples of heterogeneous storage virtualization
designed to work across dissimilar hardware (though they will certainly work across homogeneous environments, as well). Some vendors have done a terrific job in developing products for homogeneous platforms. 3PARdata Inc. is one example and Compellent Technologies is another, along with Pillar Data Systems Inc. and Xiotech Corp.. Those vendors have focused on applying very good storage virtualization principles to their own products, but have not gone out of their way to interoperate with other vendors' products. But each of these vendor-specific products is ready for deployment.
For the sake of completeness, storage virtualization has also been applied to files and blocks (e.g., iSCSI). On the file side, there are the V-series products from Network Appliance Inc. (NetApp), as well as offerings from PolyServe Inc., Exonet or Isilon Systems Inc. -- those products are utilizing storage virtualization principles with a file focus in a homogeneous environment. On the iSCSI (block) side, it would be fair to include companies like Intransa Inc., LeftHand Networks Inc. and EqualLogic Inc.; each offering homogeneous virtualization products for their own storage boxes.
Check out the entire Storage Virtualization FAQ guide.
This was first published in August 2007