Virtualise storage through SANs, says IDC

storage area network

The best way to virtualise your storage is through a storage area network (SAN), according to IDC.

In a new report entitled "Removing storage-related barriers to server and desktop virtualisation," the analyst firm claimed there is no need for high-end expensive systems to reap the benefits of virtualisation - just create a SAN with storage virtualisation software.

Carla Arend, analyst for European storage software and services at IDC, said in the report: "This hardware-independent approach complements server and desktop virtualisation without compromising availability, speed, or project schedules."

"Properly implemented, value-added functions like replication and snapshots can be used in a heterogeneous storage environment across storage model and manufacturer boundaries. Just as importantly, it can significantly lower capital and operational expenditure for physical and virtual environments alike."

The report said moving to a virtual environment will simplify management, improve disaster recovery and cut costs, but warned there were pitfalls too. These included initial investment and overlooking needs like shared storage.

Most importantly, IDC said any virtualisation software your firm purchases should not be tied to any one set of hardware. As well, make sure the storage virtualisation software you pick properly addresses your physical servers.

"Otherwise, you may end up fragmenting the IT environment that you are eager to consolidate," said Arend.

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Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.