Storage virtualization divides physical storage into numerous devices that appear to be a single storage device. It is also a collection of available storage devices control from a central console.
This virtualization gives several benefits, including quick data backup, achievement, and recovery. This entire process takes very little time and is quite efficient. Storage virtualization in Cloud Computing masks the true complexity of the Storage Area Network (SAN). This virtualization applies to all SAN levels.
Why is storage virtualization required?
Despite the push for digital transformation, IT departments are held back by the ongoing requirement to administer, tune, and maintain storage infrastructure that supports apps and data. To achieve high storage availability, IT must deal with hardware complexity and administrative expense.
Surveyed firms believe that fragmented data visibility across hybrid clouds creates business risk. Organizations must radically alter the piecemeal technology used to manage data and infrastructure. They must dismantle all the complexity and silos for their data and infrastructure throughout the hybrid cloud.
How can it assist enterprises?
By incorporating virtual storage into the infrastructure environment, IT can avoid overprovisioning, decrease infrastructure costs, and accelerate reaction times to any business demand. Storage virtualization allows IT to focus less on administration and more on innovation.
Furthermore, organizations that update and virtualize their storage gain a competitive advantage by reducing interruptions, limiting unexpected downtime, eliminating data migrations, and simplifying upgrades.
Various kinds of storage virtualization
Storage can be deployed to a virtual environment in three ways: host-based, array-based, and network-based.
Host-based virtualization relies on software to direct traffic, most commonly employed in HCI systems and cloud storage. This method can assign physical storage to almost any device or array. The host, a hyper-converged system made up of numerous hosts, provides virtual discs to guest machines of any configuration, such as enterprise virtual machines (VMs), PCs accessing file shares, or servers accessing data via the cloud.
Servers are located physically in Array-based storage virtualization, and the array used is not apparent to the servers or users accessing the storage. In this case, a storage array serves as the primary storage controller, pooling storage resources from other arrays via virtualization software. Rather than a scattered collection of devices, the array can provide multiple types of physical storage as tiers. Such tiers can make up solid-state drives (SSDs) or hard disc drives (HDDs) on the various arrays.
Network-based storage virtualization is the most popular type. A network device connects all storage devices in an FC or ISCSI SAN. Within their storage network, these networked devices appear as a single virtual pool.
How does storage virtualization work?
In storage virtualization, physical storage hardware is mirrored in a virtual volume. To construct a simple virtual storage environment, multiple physical disks are combined into a grouping that uses a single server. Virtual storage or logical storage blocks are assigned to the same server and help to redirect the input/output (I/O) traffic.
The physical disks are separated from the virtual volume by a virtualization layer that enables operating systems and applications to access and use the storage. Virtual storage software takes the I/O requests and sends them across the overall pool of storage to the appropriate storage devices.
Physical disk division:
The physical disks themselves are divided into small blocks of data, or objects known as logical unit numbers (LUN’s), logical volume (LV), or RAID groups. These blocks are presented to remote servers as a virtual disk. They look just like a physical disk to the server, rather than the collection of storage devices that make up the overall pool of storage in the virtualized environment.
In a more complicated environment, RAID arrays can function as virtual storage. Here, multiple physical drives mimic a single storage device that stripes and replicates data to multiple disks in the background. This process improves I/O performance and protects the data from a failure in any single drive.
The way data is accessed from the physical drives requires an additional step for the virtualization software. Along with creating a barrier between the physical and virtual storage devices, the virtualization software creates a map using metadata that allows the stored data to be located quickly. In some cases, the software creates an algorithm to find the data even more quickly.
Creating virtual storage can be achieved on both block-level and file-level storage environments. Virtualizing a storage area network (SAN) involves adding a translation layer between the hosts and the storage arrays. In this type of storage virtualization, servers are redirected to virtualized LUNs instead of LUNs on the individual storage array. These virtualized LUNs remain on the virtualized device. Virtualizing a NAS involves removing the dependencies between the data accessed at the file level and the location where the files are physically stored.
Advantages to your enterprise by virtualizing your storage
Because virtual storage does not necessitate the normal hardware redundancy required in standard enterprise storage systems for disaster recovery, fewer appliances and software licenses are required. Virtualization saves businesses money by avoiding significant upfront financial commitments.
Virtualized storage can reduce scheduled and unplanned downtime and make updating far less time-consuming and disruptive.
With virtual storage, enterprises no longer need to foresee or pay for their long-term storage demands. Instead, IT can use dynamic provisioning to respond to changing demands in the market.
Virtual storage simplifies and improves resource consumption by allowing quick storage addition/deletion without disrupting programs. It also allows for easy data movement and the implementation of additional features across the storage pool.
Reduced risk: If a disc drive, storage controller, or power supply fails, each is already replicate the virtual array, reducing the chance of disruption. This virtual redundancy improves storage efficiency and flexibility while limiting sluggish performance.
Virtual storage provides 100% availability and the potential to expedite app and service deployments, allowing for faster value realization.
The most significant advantage is faster storage with improved capacity utilization. It also improves data access and processing stability. Furthermore, virtual storage provides 100% use and little possibility of capacity exhaustion.
SolarWinds Storage Resource Monitor
SolarWinds Storage Resource Monitor (SRM) is a powerful, easy-to-use solution for multi-vendor, agentless NAS and SAN performance monitoring and capacity monitoring and forecasting for your storage devices. Configure a wide range of custom and pre-defined alarms and reports quickly and efficiently to get a comprehensive picture of your storage system. SolarWinds SRM can help to avoid downtime and keep your storage infrastructure working at peak performance.
Because it designs to enable end-to-end, unified storage monitoring, SolarWinds SRM gives a comprehensive view of your organization’s data storage health. SolarWinds Storage Resource Monitor (SRM) provides dashboards created with ease of use and customization that can assist you in identifying crucial performance and capacity statistics at the device (array/filer), pool, and LUN levels. SRM works with various devices and suppliers to provide real-time, uniform insight across all layers of your storage system. You can reduce unplanned downtime with a rapid setup, simple UI, and detailed reports.
- Support for multiple storage vendors.
- Storage Performance Monitoring and Detection of Hotspots.
- Automatic Capacity Planning for Storage.
- Greater insight into your storage infrastructure and beyond.
- IT Data Cross-Stack Correlation.
- SolarWinds Virtualization Manager (VMAN) and Server & Application Monitor integration (SAM).
Unified Storage Monitoring: This tool monitor the storage arrays EMC, NetApp, Dell, and Huawei.
Save Resources: SRM’s automated warehouse capacity planning saves both time and money.
Resolution in less time: Deep visibility into storage arrays, RAID groups, and LUNs allows for faster identification and resolution of storage issues.
Informed Decision Making: SRM provides hundreds of out-of-the-box reports to assist you in making informed decisions.
End-to-end IT monitoring: SRM provides an overall picture of IT health. The AppStack dashboard provides real-time insight into your infrastructure, from applications to storage.
IT Systems with Multiple Stacks: It correlates network data to assist in the identification and resolution of problems.