Storage Virtualization is a type of virtualization where multiple devices are attached storage to network, in what appears to be a single storage unit. This is the definition of storage virtualization, but it needs some explanation in brief with examples to make a normal reader understand, how storage virtualization basically works.
Storage Virtualization often used in storage networks, a high-speed subnetwork of shared storage devices and it backup and restore the data more quickly and easily. Storage virtualization generally implemented via software and it can provide storage which can be accessed by SAS and other methods. Originally, the flexible Mapping of physical drives to logical volumes was meant by Storage virtualization, So anything other than the RAID technology with flexible partitioning can act as storage virtualization system.
Basic operation of Storage Virtualization
Storage virtualization helps to achieve location independent storage of data. The virtualization technology gives the user a space for storing data. The virtualization software uses the metadata to redirect the requirements of input-output (I/O).
Storage Virtualization creates a layer of abstraction between the logical view that is the host of storage and physical storage. It takes the advantage of SAN connectivity for access to all storage resources and isolate the host.
Features of storage virtualization
Storage virtualization provides various features. Not every brand offers every feature and provides the specific feature under varied circumstances. In brief, with storage virtualization, we get :
- Vertical Scalability / Horizontal Scalability / Load Balancing
- Thin provisioning or over-provisioning
- Replication / mirroring to increase availability
Advantages and disadvantages of Storage Virtualization
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One clear disadvantage of storage virtualization is the availability of solutions. A failure usually leads to failure of the entire storage solution. Thus, the virtualization designed for high availability. This increases the costs. But, this in turn creates a good point! It becomes highly available.