Storage Virtualization

Over the last couple of days, I've being try to find a storage virtulization solution. that operates much like VMware storage vmotion, but is not dependant on vmware and is operational at block level. Much like NetApp's DataMotion, but without the restrictions.

Wouldn't is be great if we could move volumes or lun for FC disks to SATA disks and back, without zero downtime to the application or move from one storage system to another again without zero downtime. I know these features are realy complicated, but if companies like IBM with SVC and HP with SVSP, can do something like this surely NetApp can do better.

NetApp had aquired a great company Topio awhile back, created replicator-X and then dumped the project. Surely NetApp must have got some technology from that aquasition to be able to achieve the ability to manage the virtualization layers. The last great break was moving from Traditional Volumes for Flexible Volumes (Virtual Layer), in this space.

Let me know your opinion or is this out there already and I've missed the bus?



P.S. don't comment on the spelling (maybe an addon for the community)

Re: Storage Virtualization


It's a very complex topic & I can say only one thing: never trust the slideware!

I've recently had an opportunity to look more in-depth into HP SVSP & can confidently say (& prove it) this product simply doesn't stand to a technical scrutiny. It's a fruit of StorAge acquisition by LSI, now being exclusively OEM-ed via HP. The total number of installations worldwide is around 200 & in my opinion most of them happened only because customers didn't realise upfront what they are going to buy

IBM SVC is a slightly different kettle of fish (e.g. much larger installation base & genuine IBM intellectual property), yet it has its own downsides too (e.g. snapshots are horrible & your entire FC traffic is routed via couple of x86 LInux boxes).

So, yes - having more flexibility on NetApp would be great, but it still has many great features not present in competitiors offerings.

Personally I am more concerned about controller-layer virtualisation & dynamic tiering behind the same controller (the likes of Compellent, EMC FAST & the recent Equallogic automatic tiered storage intro), rather than fabric-layer virtualisation (like SVSP and SVC).



Re: Storage Virtualization

Hi Radek,

Thanks for the reply, I only mentioned topio, because it has the jest of what would be nice. Agreed the these task should realy be done at the switch layer for various reasons. The controller should be responsible for the handling of these tasks.

It's just feels that NetApp is laging behind in the area of "Storage Virtualization"and replication (Snapmirror is good, but for some reason it not recommended is large scale deployments), whereas everyone else seems to have forged ahead big time. Surely the guys at the developement team, must have identified this as area where storage will be moving into.

Anyways fingers crossed that NetApp 8.1 has some answers to the above.