So What Can Storage Virtualization Do?

By Sharon Linsenbach  |  Print this article Print


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

Two buzzwords, storage and virtualization, are coming together. Here's how to sort the myths from reality.


If storage virtualization isn't the answer to these customer complaints, then what can it do?

Tom Gallivan, senior vice president of worldwide sales at OnStor, says while virtualization certainly isn't a magic bullet for the storage and data-management complaints DeCaires describes, it can help customers cut costs and streamline storage processes and management. Gallivan says the focus with storage virtualization should be more on ILM (information lifecycle management).

"We really should be talking about ILM, tiered storage and how virtualization can help with deployment of more efficient, more manageable and flexible storage environments," Gallivan says. "VARs and their customers are being forced to think outside the box as far as storage and networking are concerned, and VARs can really bring value to customers by optimizing their storage environment."

Storage virtualization is the next great way VARs can help their customers reduce cost and increase their storage efficiency, Gallivan says, considering that for most companies, the bulk of their IT spend is focused on storage, with about 70 percent of that storage cost spent after their storage solutions are purchased. Power and cooling, service, support, and maintenance are big areas of spending for customers, and VARs who can help customers manage those costs are providing valuable services.

"This is the next arrow in VARs' virtualization quiver, so they can go back to their existing customers and say, 'Look at these tangible results you've achieved with server virtualization, and here's how you can apply that to storage infrastructure," Gallivan says.

OnStor's customers have been deploying the storage vendor's built-in virtual server capability to reduce their file-server count, move their data from expensive storage to lower-cost legacy storage and increase the efficiency of their storage networks.

"Storage virtualization allows users to load-balance their NAS [network-attached storage] environments so they can allocate resources for power users," Gallivan says. Gallivan adds that OnStor's storage systems are built with an open back end to be compatible with any vendor's hardware for integration into multivendor solutions.

"That's part of the flexibility and the choice we provide to our partners," Gallivan says. Of course, as customers grow and replace elements of their storage solutions, the goal is for VARs to drive them toward an end-to-end OnStor system, he says.

The key here, says Gallivan, is that VARs need to be where customers are spending money, and storage virtualization is where it's at right now.

"People are still spending money in a tight economy to manage and virtualize storage, and you want to be where that money is," he says.

Sharon Linsenbach Sharon Linsenbach is a staff writer for eWEEK and eWEEK Channel Insider. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, Sharon was Assistant Managing Editor for CRN, a weekly magazine for PC and technology resellers. Before joining CRN, Sharon was an Acquisitions Editor for The Coriolis Group and later, Editorial Director with Paraglyph Press, both in Scottsdale, AZ. She holds a BA in English from Drew University and lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her significant other and two neurotic cats. When she's not reading or writing about technology, Sharon enjoys yoga, knitting, traveling and live music. Sharon can be reached at Sharon.Linsenbach@ziffdavisenterprise.com.

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