More on storage virtualization
According to various IDC surveys of IT users, storage is one of a few categories where buyers are reluctant to cut spending. But while storage budgets aren't on the chopping block just yet, storage professionals remain charged with cutting costs. One area where small businesses potentially can reap high return on investment is storage virtualization.
The essential idea behind storage virtualization is to unite multiple storage devices into what appears to be a single storage pool, which you can centrally manage. Thus, it becomes easier to manage these devices and back them up. Vendors that offer storage virtualization solutions are beginning to offer storage area networks that operate over existing Ethernet connections as opposed to requiring expensive Fibre Channel networks.
Although the typical SMB virtualization foray often begins with free offerings, such as ESXi without vCenter, Hyper-V without System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) or XenServer, decisions about storage for the virtualized infrastructure must be made. Shared storage is one of the most critical design elements of virtualization environments, big or small, and it is further complicated because there may not be a shared storage infrastructure present.
Other factors to take into consideration include, connectivity, drive type and the number of drives, and hypervisor compatibility.