Strategy: Storage Virtualization
Storage Anonymous: Add Flexibility Via Virtualization
It’s time to face the hard truth about enterprise storage: Apart from the intelligent software embedded in the controller, that Tier 1 SAN you just broke your budget to pay for is likely just a conglomeration of commodity components. A 15,000 RPM enterprise-class hard drive mounted on a fancy set of rails with a shiny corporate logo is still a 15,000 RPM physical disk, even if you did pay a jaw-dropping markup. Controllers are generally based on standard appliance or x86 platforms running Windows or modified Linux variants, with a custom Java-based Web interface for management slapped on top.
We don’t see this as a negative—in fact, it makes a lot of sense to use standard building blocks rather than redesigning the OS and hardware set from the ground up. And, there’s real value in the software stack that provides intelligence and management. But it’s time to ask the question: If my storage system is mostly constructed from commodity components, am I in need of intensive therapy for paying these prices?
“SAN storage isn’t sorcery anymore,” says Jake McTigue, IT manager at medical device maker Carwild Corp. and an InformationWeek Analytics contributor. “If you have disks and management software, you can make pretty much anything happen. The question you have to ask yourself is this: What exactly am I paying for here?”
What indeed. Unfortunately, this is one of the last bastions of closed design, and some big storage vendors are determined to keep the status quo. In this report, we’ll explore what you get for your money when you buy a Tier 1 SAN (software, integration and support) and explore alternative architectures enabled by storage virtualization. (S2001110)