Storage Soup

Jul 16 2007   10:04AM GMT

Hitachi admits storage virtualization might not be for everyone

Beth Pariseau Beth Pariseau Profile: Beth Pariseau

Generally the drumbeat of messaging from HDS is as constant as a metronome: array-based virtualization is the answer. Storage virtualization will heal your environment, bring about peace in the Middle East, and solve global warming.

So when an HDS exec writes a piece on his blog about who might not benefit from storage virtualization, it’s definitely worth a read.

David Merrill, storage consultant and solution architect with HDS since 1996, recently got back from what sounds like a rather thorny customer engagement in Korea. The customer, who is not named, wanted to extend its XP array’s virtualization to legacy systems (the XP being a rebranding of HDS). During a TCO analysis, Merrill writes, “Total purchase cost for the virtualization solutions was, as you can guess, less than a monolithic, but the 4-year TCO costs were higher” due to power and cooling costs, and maintenance costs with legacy systems (“when virtualizing older systems, the old hardware maintenance comes along too,” notes Merrill).

The user still went with virtualization because there was a “tipping point” with 20% storage growth over the next three years during which the virtualization will become more cost effective.  “Moral of the story, be sure to look at many factors when considering different architectures. Just because you can virtualize does not mean that every old system needs to be kept around indefinitely…Your mileage will vary,” Merrill concludes.

Wonder what Mr. T would think of that.

2  Comments on this Post

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  • Thestorageanarchist
    Seems David's blog-site has lost all of his articles from June '07. In case you're interesting (as I was) you can find a cached copy of the referenced entry here: Hopefully David will get this repaired soon... tsa
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  • Loren Eslinger
    While I find David comments accurate and fair (and far beyond the scope of what most companies will do for TCO), i am left wondering about some of the details of how and why this company is virutualizing 18TB of data? Comments from David like "an existing HP XP storage array" lead me to believe this is a single monolithic storage array with 18TB on it. So why virutualize? No real explaination is given other than projected growth patterns and this is want the company wants to do. I currently use Virtualization so i am well versed in the pros of proactively moving to a virtualization strategy...but there is a lot of detail missing from David's blog that raises too many questions. My first question would be why would a company even consider keeping around storage that is this old as there "Top Tier Storage"? David's blog gives no indication that the company has any plans to change its current monolithic strategy on this storage array...quite the oposite. David implies that this company wishs to continues to use this storage array for another 4 years front ended with the virtualization storage array (from david's blog: Total purchase cost for the virtualization solutions was, as you can guess, less than a monolithic, but the 4-year TCO...) and at the same level of service. Why not just buy a new storage array and make it primary and move the old storage array to a low end need that doesn't require the support and maintenece costs? You could question the need for virtualization all together. If the company stays with the single storage array approach newer storage arrays offer many of the same features as virtualization...only limited to the single storage array. My last observation is companies should realize there is a "cost" to keeping around older technologies and this article just demonstrates what most people in the industray already know. Virtualization is a great way tool in the storage world but when put in place by bad philosophies and poorly thought out plans this is what happens. It seems this company has not properly thought out their approach and how it relates to their business and costs before deciding on a virtualization strategy.
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