Why Data Storage Is Broken in a Virtual World

Michael Vizard

As server virtualization continues to evolve, it's becoming pretty clear that storage management is having a tough time keeping pace with all the innovation.

For instance, application workloads and the virtual servers they run on are highly mobile, which is the key to delivering the IT agility that is seen as one of the key benefits of cloud computing. Unfortunately, storage systems are still pretty static in that volumes are still largely attached to a physical server or a virtual machine environment running on that specific virtual server. The end result is that while a virtual machine can be provisioned in a matter of minutes, the overall environment can still take as much as 45 days to set up while the IT organization waits for the storage and associated networking requirements to catch up.

To solve this problem, Sanbolic CEO Momchil Michailov says IT organizations need a more modern approach to storage management that is not tied to any one server or storage subsystem. Sanbolic makes a Melio file system that extracts the complexity of managing the underlying storage system in a way that Michailov says not only virtualizes the storage, but also makes it simpler for storage to be dynamically allocated to a server.

Sanbolic recently released version 3.5 of Melio, which adds additional platform support and updates to the management environment that give IT organizations more granular control over what applications receive I/O priority.

Michailov argues that beyond providing faster disks and more capacity, there has not been much innovation in storage management since the 1980s. Many storage vendors might take issue with that statement, but the fact remains that server innovation is outpacing advances in the storage realm at a pace that is starting to become a significant problem for IT organizations everywhere.

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