Matt Prigge had a really great article on his InfoWorld Data Explosion blog called "VMware vSphere raises the bar -- again". In the piece Matt makes two really important points.
1. VMware has taken the world by storm over the past few years. A technology that can lower both CapEx and OpEx costs and ease the burden of administration is a great thing for the data center. And,
2. With all the advantages of virtual server optimization, storage administration, is a big issue.
VSphere has done a lot to help the issues of storage administration (specifically storage performance for virtual servers) but that is only a part of the challenge. Customers consistently tell us that by developing a virtualized server environment, their storage requirements have grown by as much as 4x. The savings that have been realized by server virtualization are soon eclipsed by the need for more storage. This is one of the reasons it has taken a while for server virtualization to really take off in production. In talking to customers, virtualizing a lab or test environment where data can be deleted once it is 'used' without worry is one thing, but in production, where the production data needs to be kept for a long time starts to cause issues.
Now, with all the hype around primary storage optimization, end users can couple the benefits of server virtualization with primary storage optimization to maximize their ROI in the datacenter. The important thing to remember, just like server virtualization didn't force customers to sacrifice anything in terms of performance, availability, process and supportability, you need to look for the same thing from a storage optimization solution.
The valuable features added to vSphere around SIOC combined with the optimization capabilities from Storwize can allow IT to maximize storage performance, maximize their existing storage resources and not affect data integrity or data availability. There is a new white paper on the combined solution of VMware and Storwize that outlines how VMware and Storwize can provide customers with the maximum ROI in the datacenter.
Datacenter solutions add value when they not only save capital expense; in the case of VMware, fewer physical servers to purchase and in the case of Storwize, less storage to acquire, but also when they save money on all of the ancillary downstream issues that come with managing a datacenter. In the server world there are always upgrades that are costly to manage as well as the power, cooling and floorspace it takes to 'run' the servers. On the storage side it is much the same. When new firmware upgrades come out, equipment needs to be set up for downtime impacting data availability not to mention the time and process it takes to make this happen. (Not to say that Storwize will relive you of having to do firmware upgrades, but you'll just have to do fewer of them.) Additionally, because Storwize integrates with existing storage processes, it doesn't take extra set up or configuration time in order to achieve the benefits Storwize compression will yield. Finally, just as in the server world, the reduction in storage will also allow IT to control costs around power, cooling and datacenter footprint.
Give the paper a read and see how Storwize can benefit your VMware storage environment.