Finding the Right Storage for Server Virtualization

Finding the Right Storage for Server Virtualization

August 20, 2010

Dealing with storage in a virtual server infrastructure is one of the bigger deployment challenges. In this environment the same storage area needs to be accessed by almost every connecting server and each of those servers may have dozens of workloads trying to access that storage at the same time. This Information Week report offers details and tips for choosing a storage protocol and system to help you decide what storage is best for server virtualization.

"When deciding what storage is best for server virtualization many vendors try to isolate down to a single capability that their storage happens to have that makes their product the best storage platform for the virtualized environment. One area of this discussion is often on what protocol to use. Your choices typically are iSCSI, Fibre Channel or NAS. In addition there are newer options coming out, shared SAS and ATA over Ethernet (AoE) are two examples. The choice you make can allow for that shared everything world to be more easily implemented. As we discuss in our recent article 'VMware Storage Simplification Strategies' protocol selection is important and depending on the environment may be a key issue for consideration, but the protocol is just one of the decision points.

"The capabilities of the system itself are critical. There are two capabilities to look for here. The first is its ability to adapt and scale to meet the unpredictable workload demands and rapid growth that is typical to virtualized environments. Almost every virtualized server environment we have been involved with sees virtual server count grow rapidly and often well beyond the initial projections. This impacts storage by requiring more capacity and I/O bandwidth. An ideal storage selection should be able to handle that growth without having to force you into a premature upgrade or the addition of a second storage platform. Either way life will become more complicated."

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