A lot of enterprises are deploying Virtual SAN with all the bells and whistles as a way to extend, grow, and speed up the existing physical IT infrastructure. But what is virtual SAN exactly? What can it give to your business? And how can you benefit from making it a part of your IT setup?
Virtual SAN – The Basics
Virtual SAN (vSAN) is a software-based storage virtualization solution. And a lot of enterprise-level storage software vendors are taking advantage of the fact that the physical disk and the file system that runs on the physical disk are virtualized in a software-based environment. Most of them leverage Virtual SAN as additional storage to create a scalable environment. Virtual SAN is an accessible enterprise-scale storage infrastructure management software that runs on your physical servers and in your physical infrastructures like storage area networks, file systems, and the network.
Benefits of Virtual SAN Architecture
You get to reap the benefits of virtual storage. For example, when you have a SAN setup, you’ll be able to configure capacity to allocate the amount of storage you want to your various applications. In addition, a lot of physical IT infrastructures are being virtualized with the new hypervisor technologies. They are new game-changers aimed at helping enterprises consolidate, reduce physical hardware, move to the cloud, etc. But what are the key benefits of virtual SAN solutions?
#1 – Fully Virtualized Storage Environment
With virtual SAN, you can build out an entire cloud-like storage infrastructure that provides virtual storage, storage pools, and storage clusters that can be shared between multiple VMware virtual machines running on virtual servers. This can extend your storage pool and allow you to move virtual machines into new and different storage pools. As a result, you can share storage across your environments to help reduce storage footprint, complexity, and costs.
Virtual SAN lets you create a fully virtualized environment with storage pools and a shared environment that you can extend to multiple servers. You get access to your physical storage and applications through a single point of access. This means that you have centralized storage space and have the option of storage pools that are shared between different environments.
Also, if you are not using virtualization and have a physical SAN, it’s going to be a very manual process to move data between the physical storage arrays to your virtual servers. With virtual SAN, you get to manage all of your storage through a single set of management interfaces and APIs. Some even have a single-pane-of-glass management web UI.
#2 – Performance
Another benefit of virtual storage is the ability to create scalable storage pools that can be quickly and easily extended and scaled up and down as your storage needs change. Virtual SAN has a set of APIs that can be used to create, connect, and manage storage pools. This means that you can change the number of virtual machines you want to create by adding storage to your SAN. All you need to do is to make the change and add the storage required for your application. That’s it. You can also change the virtual storage used for each application to get the right amount of storage.
#3 – Storage Efficiency
When you use Virtual SAN, you are leveraging the modern standard of storage management technology. It’s a virtual storage infrastructure where you can strengthen all of the VMware vSphere functionality for storage. And with storage virtualization, you get the benefit of having physical storage arrays that can be easily combined into a single pool.
Besides that, multiple storage pools can be shared across multiple virtual servers, thus, providing the ability to manage and allocate storage as needed. At the same time, you can still get the benefits of a single and centralized storage pool to be shared, which adds scalability to your setup.
#4 – Storage Extension
It doesn’t stop there. A lot of traditional SAN devices like FC, iSCSI, and NAS storage arrays are being used to leverage storage virtualization. You have the ability to extend the storage pools with the use of old, legacy SAN devices. It is all about leveraging all the storage that is available to you. And Virtual SAN provides a lot of the features to help you do that. There are many new and emerging storage array features to extend your storage from the traditional physical storage arrays to your new virtual infrastructure.
#5 – Storage Pool Management
You also have the ability to use the vSAN tool to manage your storage pools and optimize the way you use storage. You have the ability to define storage policies. They are very important when you are trying to use your storage the way you want to or defining your storage use for different applications.
What Does It All Mean?
Storage virtualization is an emerging technology. With the vSAN tool, you get a lot of the benefits of the new storage virtualization features. The tool can manage your storage pools and policies to get the best results for your storage and IT infrastructure.