Small and medium businesses are constantly being told about the cloud – about how great it can be for their businesses, and how much it can save them in the long term. While in many respects, the price on the face of the cloud is a significant improvement over the cost of physical server options, there is now data to show that many SMBs underestimate the cost of storage in a virtual environment, sometimes to a serious determent.
A recent survey by vendor DataCore across 450 IT organizations showed that 43 percent of them underestimated the cost of virtual storage, and 66 percent of them stated that they’ve seen a substantial increase in their costs over time. Add to this the fact that 40 percent of those who responded said that their storage architecture was actually slowing down their performance, and a problem begins to emerge.
Storage has become the leading problem in virtualized environments, in large part because the ways of handling data in physical-server days do not work in a cloud or virtual space. Old storage methods produce a situation in which there is an I/O imbalance and server load is unpredictable. This can mean that on a machine with separate and private server instances, the I/O use of one company can impact the performance of another SMB, without the second company having any time to prepare or be aware of the fact that their service will be impacted until it occurs.
While virtualization for small and medium businesses can be a viable option, it must be tempered with the knowledge that the system has not yet been perfected, and costs for storage may not be as they are advertised, along with promised server uptimes and efficiencies.