Some businesses and organizations that have already implemented a managed services approach as part of their IT solutions suite may already have heard of "block level storage virtualization," but for others, the term will be a new one.
Storage virtualization enacted at the block level consists of a software layer that is able to intercept input/output requests from applications and users, and map those requests to the necessary physical locations where storage actually exists. In this way, block level storage virtualization runs as a service to improve the efficiency of storage operations by making them more logical and flexible, able to respond in an "on demand" way to the varying needs of the organization throughout the length of the work day.
Storage capacity can be provided when it is needed and where it is needed in a process that is transparent to users; for them, it seems like "business as usual," which means they will not have to have their workflow disrupted by training sessions in how to use the new storage system - everything is taken care of for them.
Is Block Level Storage Virtualization a New Technology?
The technology is not new per se; virtualizing storage at the block level has been in use as a technique for several years. However, it is not nearly as widespread as is server virtualization. But in recent times, more companies are beginning to adopting the strategy or considering it as one of their most viable options. According to a 2011 survey, almost a third of businesses queried had virtualized some portion of their storage capacity.
Interested in storage virtualization?