|By Rick Delgado||
|August 19, 2014 11:00 AM EDT||
How Businesses Can Benefit from Storage Virtualization
Virtualization has almost become a no-brainer for most major companies out there. The added benefits of greater efficiency and lower energy costs are certainly excellent reasons for adopting a virtualization strategy and the vast majority of big businesses are taking advantage of it. Trailing behind them are the small businesses which, with limited resources, have slowly but steadily been catching up to their bigger competitors. For several years now, the focus has been on how server virtualization can give small businesses a boost, but many of these same companies are beginning to realize the benefits that come from storage virtualization too. According to one report, more than half of small businesses have implemented storage virtualization already, and as the rest begin to integrate it into their operations, they'll find many of the same advantages that will help them keep up with the demands of an aggressively competitive business world.
For small businesses with increased storage needs, storage virtualization shares many of the same benefits that are seen with cloud storage. The most prevalent benefit comes from the reduced need for more hardware. Storage virtualization works by pooling together resources from multiple different storage sources and combining them into one virtual source. This allows people to access any storage resources from any location as long as the source is connected to the network. This pooling of resources means less spending on new hardware. Whereas before, new servers and storage devices would need to be purchased to keep up with storage demands, with storage virtualization, small businesses can make the most of the hardware they already have. With IT budgets already tight, this benefit can be extremely valuable to a small business looking to find savings anywhere.
It's a similar advantage seen in server virtualization, mainly getting more out of the hardware you have already bought. Without virtualization, storage hardware will often only run at 20 percent capacity, but that increase to as much as 80 percent when storage virtualization is put into place. That means existing machines are operating at a greater rate of efficiency. The effect of more efficient productivity results in lower energy costs. Storage hardware, like what's seen with servers, can cost a lot to keep cool, so any measures taken to reduce the energy output required can end up saving smaller businesses a lot of money in the long run.
Storage virtualization also makes storage networks a lot more flexible and vastly easier to manage. Managing a complex storage system can require a lot of time and effort, but storage virtualization allows IT personnel to handle the complicated task from the convenience of a single console. Before, an act such as data migration may require up to 40 steps to complete while potentially disrupting applications, but the simplified approach offered through data migration is preferable. This type of management definitely requires some planning ahead and the right training, but once it has been mastered, moving data between different storage sources is much easier once storage virtualization has been achieved.
Another major benefit can be seen in the unfortunate circumstance that disaster strikes the business network. Storage virtualization essentially helps to enhance the efforts of disaster recovery by making it easy to store backups frequently. These backups are saved, allowing businesses to return to previous states before the disaster happened. Storage virtualization basically help with business continuity, ensuring that companies won't suffer from extended down time in the event of a network or hardware crash.
For those small businesses looking to implement storage virtualization, there are many options to choose from, from VMware storage systems to Symantec. Storage virtualization brings with it many benefits mirroring those of server virtualization while also providing for more security measures. As businesses see the increased efficiency and cost savings, they'll understand why so many companies are turning to virtualization to be more competitive.
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