Storage virtualization is becoming ubiquitous. Everyone is buying in to the concept and it is poised for expansion. CIOs, taking a holistic view of virtualization, are intent on transforming their data centres, repositioning storage as the core of their cloud strategy, and realizing the full benefits of the technology they are embracing. Issues of efficiency, reliability, performance, management and data growth are seen to be issues that will be resolved as they cross the traditional data storage thresholds and transform their data centres into lean, mean processing centres in the cloud. It further, becomes a viable solution in a world that has suddenly become borderless, unanchored and mobility of business can only be matched by mobility of data.
As a result, data centre transformation emerges as a multilayered process with conflicting demands. Unprecedented scalability requirements tussle with reduced management complexity, seamless mobility and tight orchestration. This is no “rip and replace” exercise. Convergence and seamless integration are seen to be complementary facets of the evolving and transforming network. Storage virtualization investments are seen to be very attractive to enterprises for the following reasons:
1. Improved disaster recovery capabilities
2. Efficient use of server resources
3. Improved systems availability/reliability
4. Server and storage consolidation
5. Reduction in operational expenses
6. Flexibility in adapting to changing business needs
7. Reduction in capital expenses
But, storage virtualization is not just a matter of creating a plan and taking appropriate action. It is not that simple. CIOs must look for depth and breadth of capabilities to protect current investments and build transformed data centre infrastructures of the morrow. CIOs, therefore, agree that the greatest need is to understand the new technology as applicable to the enterprise specific environment. They concur that architecture planning, developmental roadmaps and needs assessment are not skills that may be available in house and it may be necessary to engage outside talent in the initial phases of the transformative process to orchestrate the process efficiently and effectively or to derive all benefits that accompany storage virtualization and data centre transformation.
Of course, the larger picture can never be allowed to mask the bottom line of business—the profitability. The strategy driver for data centre transformation remains–cost savings. By extension, the strategy is acceptable to CIOs, because it creates spin offs in operational gains, better use of resources, improved reliability and flexibility. Consolidation and potential disaster recovery are additional benefits that can be expected.
Data centre transformation relieves pains associated with inefficient use of existing storage and server resources. It creates an environment of reliability/ availability. Variable workloads; changing business needs or aging infrastructure need no longer bother the enterprise that has gone in for a holistic data centre transformation.