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Storage virtualization

Storage virtualization definition

Storage virtualization is the process of pooling together physical storage from multiple devices and making them appear as a single storage unit. It results in easier management, improved flexibility, and efficient use of storage resources. It’s also more convenient for users and administrators who don’t have to deal with each device separately and can manage and assign storage from a single interface.

See also: host virtual machine, data center virtualization

History of storage virtualization

The concept dates back to the 1990s when enterprises sought solutions to optimize their growing storage infrastructure. As data demands increased, the need to efficiently manage and allocate storage resources led to the development of storage virtualization techniques.

Storage virtualization advantages

  • Simplifies administrative tasks.
  • Enables efficient allocation of space and reduces storage waste.
  • Prolongs the life of older storage systems by integrating them into the virtual storage pool.
  • Allows for easy data migration, backup, and recovery.

Storage virtualization disadvantages

  • Introducing another layer complicates the storage architecture and requires more technical expertise.
  • Adding a virtualization layer could cause slight delays in data access.
  • Initial storage virtualization setup will be expensive.
  • Some solutions might not be compatible with devices from different manufacturers, limiting flexibility.