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Insider: Users Cite Virtual Savings

File Storage Virtualization (FSV) technology for NAS may be delivering significant ROI for customers, but IT managers are still keen to see the technology mature, according to the latest Byte and Switch Insider. (See Insider Studies NAS.)

The latest report, entitled, File Storage Virtualization: Toward a Universal NAS, is the second in a two-part virtualization series. Last month, the first installment focused on the pluses and minuses of Block Storage Virtualization (BSV). (See Insider Tackles SAN and Insider: Virtualization Needs Standards.)

Unlike BSV engines, which work at the most basic level of SAN communications, FSVs work with upper-layer file system protocols. In a nutshell, FSVs are devices that use virtualization to transparently aggregate and redirect files to various locations on back-end NAS.

Despite the relative immaturity of FSVs, some firms are already reaping the benefits of the technology. Fortune 500 firm Mohawk Industries, for example, claims to save at least $200,000 implementing FSV software through 300 separate sites.

Whereas IT managers highlighted the need for rigorous testing when implementing BSV engines, they are finding FSV deployments much more straightforward, citing both the "elegance" and the "simplicity" of the technology. "We could implement it without going to any crazy courses to learn how to use it -- now we're using it as the first step in our move to grid," says Martin Cooper, CTO of engineering firm Arup.

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