Block-based storage virtualization, in which storage from multiple devices is pooled to appear as a single storage device, can simplify greatly storage management and prove helpful with migrating data. But what's involved in a block storage virtualization implementation project? To answer that question, we examined three real-world storage virtualization projects -- involving three types of products -- to learn about the challenges storage administrators faced and the rewards they reaped, the steps they took, how lengthy the implementations were, and whether the bulk of the work was handled by staff or by consultants. If you're considering implementing storage virtualization at your company, read on to find out about these three companies' in-the-field experiences.
Storage virtualization projects: Factors to consider when implementing storage virtualization
Companies that adopt block storage virtualization oftentimes do so in conjunction with the replacement of old hardware or the purchase of new storage systems, but the implementations tend to vary greatly from site to site.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Get background on the types of issues you'll need to consider when planning your own storage virtualization projects.
CASE STUDY 1
Virtualized storage project: DataCore SANsymphony implementation no small task for healthcare firm
Continuum Health Partners, a New Jersey-based hospital system, deployed software-based storage virtualization to manage more than 200 TB of mission-critical imaging data. Find out how the company involved not only DataCore Software Corp.'s SANsymphony but new IBM storage subsystems and a 2 Gbps Fibre Channel network to enable synchronous mirroring among the company's SANs.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Discover the steps Continuum Health Partners used in its virtualized storage project.
CASE STUDY 2
Virtual storage via HDS USP VM disk array helps Canadian city upgrade to VMware ESX Server 3.5
The city of Coquitlam, B.C., decided to upgrade from VMware Inc.'s ESX Server 3.0 to 3.5 19 months ago and took that opportunity to also implement virtual storage. The city chose Hitachi Data Systems' Universal Storage Platform VM (USP VM) -- the lower-end counterpart of the vendor's USP V storage system -- in part because of the potential benefits of controller-based storage virtualization.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Learn how Coquitlam was able to extend the life of its HDS Thunder 9570 disk arrays with virtual storage via HDS USP VM.
CASE STUDY 3
LeftHand virtualized storage helps Texas school board with synchronous replication
As part of a networked storage implementation, the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) deployed LeftHand Networks Inc.'s Network Storage Module (NSM) 2120 G2 (now called HP StorageWorks P4000), thereby reining in 10 TB of storage that was either internal or directly attached to 70 Hewlett-Packard Co. servers. The NSM includes features such as storage virtualization, replication and snapshots at no extra cost.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Read about the issues the school board encountered in its quest for consolidation with LeftHand virtualized storage.
This was first published in June 2010