server virtualization, which has dominated tech headlines this year. Storage virtualization – managing a number of storage resources such as storage area networks as a single pool and presenting to the user as a single resource – has been slow to take off in Canada, partly because of the smaller number of large enterprise operations compared to the U.S.
But when VMware launched VMware Infrastructure 3 with support for an iSCSI SAN, that made the storage virtualization pitch more compelling for the midsized enterprise, says John Sloan, senior research analyst with London, Ont.-based Info-Tech Research Group. Many midsized companies would have direct attached storage on their servers, and would be sitting on the fence about consolidating and making a big investment in Fibre Channel, Sloan says. But now, as the server refresh window opens, companies are considering the more famous Baldwin brother. “This is where the pitch for server virtualization comes in,” Sloan says. And in order to get the best out of a virtualized production environment, “they really need to abstract the storage from the server.” Ironically, storage virtualization, which once had only large enterprise appeal, is more attractive to midsized businesses which don’t have an existing investment in Fibre Channel to write off.