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High Availability  / Components  / Infrastructure Reliability  /  Storage Virtualization

Storage Consolidation

Storage components that are consolidated to SAN can be used flexible. The SAN is base for data protection, data replication, tests and to extra computer centres and it has also the function to centralise data deposition.

Purpose of storage consolidation is to bundle storage resources. It succeeds if a spanned storage management platform with large functions is chosen. The virtualization software operates as an interface for all underlying storage devices.  With the virtualization software the effort for administration can  be dramatically minimized. Storage consolidation is just a part of right understood storage management. Storage virtualization is completed effectivly with server virtualization without higher effort.

To achieve the highest security in storage consolidation the SAN solution should be redundantly constructed, two control units, two power supply sources and two network connections. There should be also easy to change components as disk drives, fans or power supply unit. The data paths had to be redundant, too because mirroring over networks guaranteed no high availability.

SAN management solution integrate tools for synchronous and asynchronous mirroring, Continuos Data Protection (CDP) and Backup-to-Disk. So data protection and recovery in consolidated storage environments can be done faster. The storage net is an important component in a high availability concept.

It is important that in case of exchange components or in case of extension that there is huge independence of manufacturers and systems. With the guaranteed transparency of the management software the advantage is given. That should be noticed while chosing the components for storage networking. Storages need for security and performance needs its own network. If open solutions (FC or iSCSI) are chosen that are supported by the management software they can be combined. So it is possible to integrate new technologies in a simple way.

Careful planning and documentation of SAN environment simplify later growth of the infrastructure and avoid useless complexity. So the management software shoul consist reporting and diagnosis tools that guarantee overview and monitoring of the SAN environment.

Experiences from test and proof installations deliver important facts for use in production. In virtual storage environments tests for production environments can be done in less time.

10 Reasons for Storage Virtualization

Virtualization solutions come out on top in different levels: desktops, server, applications and also storage. Lower costs, hardware independence, better utilisation of resources, higher productivity and faster reaction times are the requirements of the users.

Following 10 reasons why storage virtualization is useful:

1. Lower costs

1. Lower costs

Storage virtualization is the key technology for effective use of existing storage resources. By using thin provisioning functionality the preallocation of storage capacity can be managed. Thin provising is the dynamic allocation of storage volume. The volume is allocated in the momentarily needed size and can grow to a limited value. The sum of all highest limits can be larger than the real available storage volume.

The effective use of existing hardware is possible and protectes done investments.

In the moment it is the inly way to establish multi-platform infrastructures. Maintainance cost can be lowered dramatically. 

2. Simplicity

2. Simplicity

Virtualization software as a central interface for all existing storage devices can lower the adminitration and management dramatically. The consolidation of the storage resources based on a virtualization platform is only effective if it is done comprehnsive and hardware independent.

Applications with more than 100 terabyte show less personell efforts - normally an adminitrator and its substitute is needed. With storage virtualization there is an integrated sytem. Established one time all storage systeme behave the same way and so it can be managed as one. Specialists and special trainings are no longer necessary.

3. Flexibility

3. Flexibility

Virtualization software, implemented on a standard server make the mixed use of FC-, SCSI-, SAS-, sATA-storages possible. The user is free from manufacturers. Testing and production environments can be realized in less time. In case of exchange or extension of components the user has the maximum choice. The look and feel of all infrastructures is the same.

4. Overview

4. Overview

Advanced virtualization solutions are inside the data path (Inband) and can so manage and analyse each writing and reading process. Reporting- and analysis tools for the documentation of the whole storage infrastructure, administration and internal as well as external billing are integrated. So it is shown directly where performance bottlenecks are and where data groth is. These information can be analysed historical and deliver the base for funded decisions.

5. Easy Testing

5. Easy Testing

Testing and proof installations deliver important knowledge in case of emergency.

In virtual storage environments tests for production environments can be set in minutes. With server virtualization a test server including storage can be offered. This one go into defined production and can be migrated to the hardware-platform after tested successfully.

6. Optimization of Business Processes

6. Optimization of Business Processes

Is the virtualization software settled on Storage Domain Server the right understood storage management supports business and IT processes with high availability, outage protection and increased performance of applications. Storage and server virtualization complement each other effectively.  So no higher personell effort occurs.

7. Storage Tiering

7. Storage Tiering

Storage needs because of security and performance reasons its own network. Software solutions allow hybrid use of technologies, today. Virtualization IT-platforms deliver universal connections and guarantee allround and non-invasive outage security of business process from application to storage environment without regard to protocols (FC, iSCSI, mixed environments) up to service level.

8. Scalability of Storage Functions

8. Scalability of Storage Functions

With virtualization data and data paths can lay out complete redundant with synchronous and asynchronous mirroring.  Mirroring is possible via different networks (iSCSI, FC or mixed). A consolidated storage platform can be used in many ways. Next to centralisation, Thin Provisioning and other automatism virtualization is base for important storage functions for data protection, data replication, extra computer centers and testings.

9. Seamless Data Migration

9. Seamless Data Migration

Efficient tools for a completely uninterruptable data migration are integrated. So migration into and out of the virtualization platform can be realized. So complex migration scenarios are no longer neccessary. With the virtualized infrastructure each migration (each operating system on each volume) can be realized fast, efficient and over long distances. So the change of the complete hardware is possible without any downtime.

10. Continuous Data Protection (CDP)

10. Continuous Data Protection (CDP)

Extra virtualization services for CDP (continuous data protection) are integrated as well. So the problem of long lasting recovery processes are obsolete because each volume can be set to service with this technology. In consolidated storage environments protection and recovery is done faster.