All virtualization systems must have some way of addressing the management of stored resources. The three main virtualization platforms used in business environments today are Citrix, VMware, and Hyper-V. In some ways, all three systems use similar approaches to address storage management needs. One common technique shared by all three is RDM, also known as Raw Device Mapping. All three also retain the capacity to write either directly to stored resources or to a file instead. Likewise, all three can make use of dedicated file systems.
One thing that makes Citrix stand out from the other two platforms is the management console known as XenCenter. This interface provides managed services staff with simple access to any of the storage devices they choose and allows them to establish several different types of storage. With XenCenter, companies can use storage based on NFS or they can connect to software-based storage.
Another advantage of XenCenter from Citrix is the ability to add on StorageLink technology. With this in place, managed services personnel will be able to integrate IT solutions for storage provided by third-party vendors. Since the interface is a generic one, users can even manage arrays and SAN fabrics. Ready storage solutions such as these mean that other features, important to a virtualized environment,s can be accomplished simply. Such features include fast cloning, thin provisioning, and the ability to take rapid snapshots of the virtualized environment.
StorageLink even allows managed services staff to establish storage profiles for new VMs as they come on line.