The continued virtualization of IT in the form of both servers and service is placing many companies in the position of having a portion of their technology in-house and portion maintained by a company that is outside their purview. Initially, this led many companies to be leery of a full move to a virtual or cloud environment due to both control and security issues, but as these have been increasingly addressed in recent years, concerns from companies have turned to a far more mundane but no less important topic: storage.
The efficient storage of data has become a hot-button topic for many companies as they come to realize that not only is it important that their data be stored as well for the same or better rates than they currently pay, but that this data must be easily accessible whenever they need it. While VPS options and new private clouds offer unique and more efficient ways to deal with I/O and application use, using old storage methods in new virtual technology has led serious issues in both performance and predictability.
Now, a number of methods are being developed to address storage issues, beginning with external storage array virtualization, which will allow for data to be migrated easily between virtual machines and with little to no downtime. In addition, dynamic provisioning options are being developed to allow storage to be provisioned in a matter of minutes rather than days or hours and to lower the possibility of total loss due to a catastrophic failure.
While storage mechanics are still in the development stage, new advances are giving virtual storage the ability to compete with traditional storage methods in terms of both speed and quality, giving companies greater piece of mind.