Storage virtualization, software defined environments and SMBs

An infographic that speaks to the flexibility, extensibility, and effectiveness of storage that is managed using storage virtualization techniques that uses traditional and newer technology storage devices recently came to my attention (the infograpic can be found here.).

Here are a few of the points the infographic makes. Decision makers of small to medium size businesses ought to take notice as well.

Intelligent storage sizing

Storage systems can be sized to address the typical requirements of workloads rather than for the maximum space workloads might use in the future. This certainly could reduce storage related costs for SMBs. It also means that workloads can have access to the storage they need.

Deploy the appropriate storage media for the job

The industry is constantly working to improve storage performance, the size of objects that can be stored, and the highest levels of reliability and availability. This highlights that SMBs need to use the best mix of traditional rotating media and solid state, so called "Flash", media. Storage virtualization technology makes it possible for the storage system to move files and database components to the storage tier that offers the best mix of cost, performance and reliability for the task at hand. This is called "auto-tiering."

Databases are no longer the only game in town

While many organizations rely upon database management software to store and retrieve structured data, that is no longer the only or best choice.  More and more of an organization's data, and that includes SMBs, resides in documents, spreadsheets, presentations and other non-database files. Big Data tools can make all of this data into useful and searchable.

Off the shelf solutions are avaialble

Utilizing a mix of traditional disks, flash caches and drives and even tape no longer has to be a complex computer science project. SMBs can purchase off-the-shelf products from many suppliers to create just the right mix of products and vendors to address their operational requirements.


SMBs now have cost-effective access to the newest storage virtualization technology along with a broad mix of storage solutions from suppliers, such as IBM, HP, HDS and others. It would be wise to speak with them to learn more about how a "software defined" IT environment can help the bottom line and also improve performance.


This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I've been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

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