What is Storage Virtualization?

Storage virtualization is the combination of multiple network storage devices into what appears to be a single storage unit. In the simplest terms, it is the pooling of physical storage resources from multiple network storage devices into what seems to be a single storage device, which is completely handled via a central console. The process of storage virtualization helps storage administrators to perform the task of backup, archiving, and recovery more conveniently, and in less time by masking the actual complexity of a storage area network.

Storage virtualization involves encapsulating the internal functions of a storage device from the host applications, or host servers in order to facilitate the application and network- independent management of storage. It can also be recognized as cloud storage. Basically, storage virtualization uses virtualization technology to ensure smooth functionality, and more advanced features in computer data storage environment.

What are the three types of storage virtualization?

In the context of a storage system, there are two important types of virtualization:

Block Virtualization: It involves the abstraction (partition) of logical storage from physical storage so that it can be accessed without any intervention of physical storage.

File Virtualization: It overcomes the Network attached storage (NAS) challenges by omitting the dependencies between the data accessed at the file level and the location on which the files are physically resided.

How does storage virtualization work?

Storage virtualization works by creating an abstract layer between the OS and the underlying physical disks. The storage virtualization program will create a virtual logic space that will be mapped to each and every drive in the physical memory. When users seek control, they seek it through this logic layer, unknown that there are several underpinning storage devices.

When should storage virtualization be used?

Storage virtualization can be used for a number of things, given the advantages it has over normal storage. Some common uses include –

  • Migrations
  • For creating more than one storage arrays
  • For smoothening data flow
  • For enhancing data accessibility

What is the need of storage virtualization?

Storage virtualization can help administrators to backup, restore and manage data more efficiently and smoothly than traditional data. A single organization can have data stored in several hundred servers and so managing each and every storage component can be an issue. Restoring data from individual disks can be a nightmare in itself. This is where storage virtualization can help administrators. It allows for easy management of data from one place.

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