With the rise of both structured and unstructured data and the rapid proliferation of technology, virtualization has become critical to helping organizations handle unprecedented technological challenges in terms of performance and capacity.
However, virtualization technology does not come without its challenges. A majority of IT professionals are facing occasional or ongoing storage performance issues as they look to maintain highly virtualized data center environments that can keep up with business growth, according to a recent report from Tegile Systems and ActualTech Media on the “State of Storage in Virtualization.”
The survey is based on conversations with over 1,000 IT professionals. The following slides explore the results of this research, highlighting the state of virtualization within the data center, common challenges, and the technology being leveraged to rise above these hurdles.
The State of Storage in Virtualization
Click through for highlights from a survey focused on the state of storage in virtualization, conducted by Tegile Systems and ActualTech Media.
More than half of data centers are majority virtualized; almost all have some virtualization.
A rising number of enterprises of all sizes are turning to virtual machines to power more and larger workloads. Ninety-seven percent of IT professionals have at least some workloads virtualized. Sixty-one percent say they have virtualized the majority of their data center, while 19 percent are close to complete virtualization. The benefits of virtualization – such as better workload capabilities and resource utilization, enhanced disaster recovery benefits and lower power consumption – have been key in helping IT departments reduce their costs and increase productivity within the data center.
Virtualization is increasingly mission-critical.
As virtualized data centers become more common, enterprises are now opting to virtualize more mission-critical systems. Sixty-six percent of respondents are using virtualized Microsoft SQL workloads, 53 percent have virtualized file sharing processes, and nearly half of respondents have virtualized Microsoft SharePoint and Exchange.
This uptick is placing a unique burden on storage systems to support the unique performance and capacity of each application. Fifty-eight percent of respondents experience some capacity issues and 53 percent indicate they experience storage performance issues.
Flash and Hybrid Storage
Flash is on the rise, and hybrid storage is the path.
Flash adoption is on the rise, but only 3 percent are running an all-Flash data center. Hybrid storage (a mix of Flash and disk) is the most popular infrastructure of choice among IT professionals with 47 percent deploying hybrid storage hardware.
Flash is being adopted because it is seen as a major improvement over disk in every way:
- 72 percent of respondents indicated they deployed Flash in their storage environment to improve existing application response times.
- 48 percent of respondents deployed Flash to mainly improve end-user satisfaction.
- 38 percent of respondents deployed Flash to aid in business growth and expansion.
- 25 percent of respondents deployed Flash to reduce operating expenses.
- 23 percent of respondents deployed Flash to help with data center consolidation.
More Flash storage is a boost for data reduction.
Hybrid and all-Flash systems generate dramatically better data reduction outcomes, validating the storage capacity benefits of switching from all-disk systems. With respondents who reported a 10:1 data reduction ratio, 78 percent of respondents are running a hybrid storage environment. Those respondents who reported virtually no data reduction typically are running an all-disk system environment.
Performance, Capacity, Functionality
Organizations are still struggling to deliver the right performance, capacity and functionality.
Data center environments are not getting any simpler, and storage is made even more complicated by the use of multiple vendors and protocols. Fifty-six percent of respondents are working in organizations with a multi-protocol environment, and 63 percent of respondents report using more than one storage vendor for their organization’s primary data. For virtualization, Fibre Channel and iSCSI are used by 48 percent and 42 percent of respondents, respectively. Meanwhile, 53 percent of respondents indicate that they experience storage performance issues, and 58 percent indicate capacity issues. This lack of multi-protocol support creates storage silos, increases costs, and adds complexity for data center admins.