Virtual storage combines numerous physical storage devices into a single storage device, such as a storage area network (SAN). Storage virtualization program builds virtual storage from low-cost commodity hardware, while storage controllers handle the integrated space from the network’s many physical storage devices.
This article discusses what storage virtualization is, its functionality, its advantages, and why it is needed.
What Does Storage Virtualization Mean?
Storage virtualization, often known as virtualized storage, is a technology idea that has emerged in recent decades. It helps businesses to eliminate physical storage device barriers by abstracting drives and disks and displaying them as a single, centralized pool of storage capacity. Storage virtualization software discovers the amount of storage capacity accessible across physical storage components, compiles it, and makes it available to applications.
The Functionality of Storage Virtualization
Physical storage hardware is replicated in a virtual volume in storage virtualization. Several physical disks are integrated into a grouping that utilizes a single server to provide a basic virtual storage system. Virtual storage, also known as logical storage blocks, is allocated to the same server and assists in the redirection of input/output (I/O) traffic.
A virtualization layer separates the real disks from the virtual volume, allowing applications and operating systems to access and utilize the storage. Virtual storage software accepts I/O requests and routes them to the appropriate storage devices throughout the total storage pool.
Physical drives are partitioned into tiny data blocks known as logical unit numbers (LUNs), logical volumes (LVs), or RAID groups. These blocks are supplied as a virtual disk to distant systems. To the server, they are a physical disk rather than a group of storage devices that comprise the total pool of storage in a virtualized environment.
RAID arrays may serve as virtual storage in more complex environments. Several physical drives simulate a single storage device, which stripes and duplicates data to numerous disks in the background. This method enhances I/O performance and secures data from a single drive failure.
The method by which data is accessible from physical disks necessitates an extra step for the virtualization program. Along with establishing a barrier between real and virtual storage devices, virtualization software generates a map based on metadata, allowing stored data to be readily found. In certain circumstances, the program develops an algorithm to locate the data faster.
Creating virtual storage in the block- and file-level storage systems is possible. When a storage area network (SAN) is virtualized, a translation layer is added between the hosts and the storage arrays. Servers are pointed to virtualized LUNs rather than LUNs on the individual storage array in this sort of storage virtualization. These virtualized LUNs continue to exist on the virtualized device. Virtualizing a NAS entails reducing dependencies between data accessible at the file level and the physical place where the files are kept.
Why Do We Need Storage Virtualization?
Despite the demand for digital transformation, IT departments are hindered by the ongoing requirement to manage, monitor, and support storage infrastructure that supports applications and data. IT must cope with significant hardware complexity and administrative costs to achieve high storage availability.
93% believe that storage and data management complexity is inhibiting digital transformation. Moreover, 67% of surveyed firms consider fragmented data visibility across hybrid clouds as a source of business risk. It implies businesses must radically alter their fragmented technologies to handle data and infrastructure. They must dismantle all the complexities and silos for their data and infrastructure throughout the hybrid cloud.
How Can Storage Virtualization Help Businesses?
IT can minimize overprovisioning, decrease infrastructure costs, and accelerate reaction times to any business demand by incorporating virtualized storage into the infrastructure environment, allowing IT to concentrate less on administration and more on innovation.
Moreover, organizations that update and virtualize their storage gain a competitive edge by reducing interruptions, limiting unexpected downtime, eliminating data migrations, and simplifying upgrades.
The Benefits of Virtualized Storage
Organizations benefit from transitioning from old data storage infrastructure to virtualized storage architecture. Here are some of them:
Virtual storage requires fewer appliances and software licenses since it does not need the conventional hardware redundancy required in traditional corporate storage designs for disaster recovery. This saves businesses cash by preventing large upfront financial commitments.
One of the primary benefits of migrating from conventional data storage infrastructure to a virtualized storage architecture is the possibility of simplifying your IT system significantly. By decreasing the hardware required to operate applications, storage virtualization reduces complications in the data center. Conventional data storage methods need distinct servers for different applications, but storage virtualization allows the same apps to operate on one or a much smaller number of servers.
If a disk drive, power supply, or storage control fails, each is replicated in the virtual array, reducing the chance of disturbance. Its virtual redundancy improves storage economy and flexibility while limiting sluggish performance.
The old methodologies of conventional isolated apps and data storage have long been discarded. Organizations may take advantage of the newest breakthroughs in virtualization, software-defined technologies, and hyperconvergence by transitioning to storage virtualization.
Virtual storage not only provides 100% uptime, but it also has the potential to expedite app and service deployments, allowing businesses to gain value sooner.
Organizations no longer need to estimate their long-term future storage demands or pay for all of that capacity upfront using virtual storage. Alternatively, IT may use dynamic provisioning to adapt to changing needs on demand.
The most significant advantage is quicker storage with higher capacity utilization. It also improves data access and processing stability. Moreover, virtual storage provides 100% use and a low possibility of capacity exhaustion.
Virtualization is an excellent method for lowering administrative expenses while increasing efficiency and scalability. Despite its origins decades ago, virtualization continues to be a driving force in corporate IT planning. Regarding IT modernization, the importance of virtualization is expanding drastically, and the benefits are just the tip of the iceberg.
Deployment takes minutes and is intelligence-based, making controlling hundreds of systems as easy as managing one. The platform is intended to solve the edge-to-cloud data explosion, collapse silos and complexity, increase agility and creativity, and lower business risk.
Applying storage virtualization simplifies data administration and assists enterprises in driving their businesses ahead.