Industry Trends and Perspectives: Storage Virtualization and Virtual Storage

May 26, 2010 – 9:51 pm

This is part of an ongoing series of short industry trends and perspectives blog posts briefs.

These short posts compliment other longer posts along with traditional industry trends and perspective white papers, research reports, solution brief content found at

The topic of this post is a trend server virtualization and recent EMC virtual storage announcements.

Virtual storage or storage virtualization has been as a technology and topic around for some time now. Some would argue that storage virtualization is several years old while others would say many decades depending on your view or definition which will vary by preferences, product, vendor, open or closed, hardware, network, software not to mention feature and functionality.

Consequently there are many different views and definitions of storage virtualization some tied to that of product specifications often leading to apples and oranges comparison.

Back in the early to mid 2000s, there was plenty of talk around storage virtualization which then gave way to a relative quiet period before seeing adoption pickup in terms of deployment later in the decade (at least for block based).

More recently there has a been a renewed flurry of storage virtualization activity with many vendors now shipping their latest versions of tools and functionality, EMC announcing VPLEX as well as the file virtualization vendors continuing to try and create a market for their wares (give it time, like block based, it will evolve).

One of the trends around storage virtualization and part of the play on words EMC is using is to change the order of the words. That is where storage virtualization is often aligned with product implementation (e.g. software on an appliance or switch or in a storage system) used primarily for aggregation of heterogeneous storage, with VPLEX EMC is referring to it as virtual storage.

What is interesting here is the play on life beyond consolidation a trend that is also occurring with servers or using virtualization for agility, flexibility and ease of management for upgrades, add, move and changes as opposed to simply pooling of LUNs and underlying storage devices. Stay tuned and watch for more in this space as well as read the blog post below about VPLEX for more on this topic.

Related and companion material:
Blog: EMC VPLEX: Virtual Storage Redefined or Respun?

That is all for now, hope you find this ongoing series of current and emerging Industry Trends and Perspectives interesting.

Ok, nuff said.

Cheers gs

Greg Schulz – Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press) and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier)
twitter @storageio

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