When is the right time to start with storage virtualization?

When should your company start storage virtualization? Here are some guidelines.

When is the right time to start with storage virtualization?
Nelson Nahum

Everybody says that storage virtualization will solve the management complexity of SANs, but when is the right time to start with it? If your company falls within one of the three cases below, then you probably should start considering storage virtualization products.

1. You need performance and/or capacity that cannot be provided by a single storage system.

In this case, a virtual storage device can be composed by a group of storage devices, allowing you to reach the needed capacity and performance by simple aggregation of the physical components. This is especially true with asymmetric virtualization, which does not impose any bottlenecks.

2. You have an environment with multiple storage vendors and/or multiple platforms.

This type of environment usually requires that the same storage management software be bought for every different storage vendor. Storage virtualization allows you to manage different types of storage in a uniform manner, thus avoiding the need to buy parallel software packages.

3. You deal with only one storage vendor, and you feel that you cannot negotiate.

This is probably the most common case today. You deal with only one vendor, and you do not have the flexibility of negotiation. Introducing a storage virtualization product will give you the alternative to negotiate prices with the vendor. This alone can be translated into big discounts from the list prices.

If your company falls into any one of these scenarios, this is the right time to consider a storage virtualization product.

This was first published in June 2001

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