The concept of virtualization has been around for some time. Virtualization is really just the abstraction of an actual entity or construct into logical representations of those entities or constructs. Most of the time, the term “virtualization” is tied to server virtualization — a technology made popular by VMware, Microsoft, Xen, etc.
However, while server virtualization is the hot trend in enterprise IT, storage virtualization is making significant strides in functionality; people just do not realize it yet.
Storage virtualization involves abstracting the physical data storage process to more logical constructs inside of the storage device. Let’s take a quick look at how storage virtualization is taking shape:
As you can see, from traditional file storage to thin provisioning, storage virtualization has played a major role in advancing how we use our storage infrastructure and reap the benefits from our investments.
Storage virtualization techniques and technology continue to advance. Object storage, pNFS, and server virtualization functional offload will become more commonplace as new storage device models and feature sets are developed and introduced.
Storage virtualization is not the process of storing virtual machine disks. Rather, it is a beast of its own, and continues to provide valuable benefits.