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December 2011

Shared storage model faces challenges from virtual servers

The landscape of computing is changing rapidly, largely driven by the move towards virtual servers, and that’s bringing change to storage too. Perhaps mere use of the word “change” understates what’s happening here. The advent of server virtualisation, led by the juggernaut that is VMware, has really stirred up the entire IT environment and could bring seismic shifts for storage. In a relatively short space of time -- say, four or five years -- the needs of virtualisation have helped consolidate the traditional storage array and then have moved swiftly on to sow the seeds of its downfall. Once upon a time, the world was a simple server-centric one. Applications ran on physical servers, and if they were important applications, they had their own dedicated compute resources. Storage was directly attached and all lived in one tin box. Then came server virtualisation. The logical business of a server application was liberated from its former physical surroundings, and many servers could run in one physical machine. This development ...

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