Storage Swiss’ own George Crump recently examined ways in which you can simplify storage for virtualization, detailing the many complex and costly challenges created by traditional NAS and SAN in virtualized environments and offering some best practice strategies to solve these issues.
One of his recommendations is to keep it simple using, you guessed it, scale-out storage architectures.
Yes, virtualization has made servers more efficient, but it’s also magnified the problems associated with traditional SAN or scale-up NAS storage solutions, often cancelling out the hoped for cost savings and management benefits virtualization was supposed to create.
While SANs enable sharing of storage across multiple ESX Server hosts, each LUN requires a separate management point, either dedicated or shared across a set of virtual machines (VMs). If LUNs are dedicated to individual VMs, the number of management points grows quickly with the number of VMs. In addition, if VMs are consolidated on an individual LUN, changes to a storage device or LUN may impact a large number of VMs.
So, what happens? You’re stuck managing LUNs all day, not your data or your applications, which are of course slow due to handicapped VM performance.
Isilon solves this problem by creating a single, shared storage resource and single point of management for all your VMs, improving utilization, increasing performance and significantly reducing management. Don’t believe me? Ask Stronghold Data, or Surgient or the Public Library of Cincinnati, or OMRF…
I’m happy to respond to questions/comments about how scale-out can work for your virtual data center environment. Hit me up below!