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Storage Virtualization Sneaks Up

Could storage virtualization be about to step out of the shadow of its more widely deployed server cousin? Despite a relatively slow uptake of the technology, announcements this week from EMC and VMware hint that virtual storage could be on the upswing.

"Our research shows a strong correlation between server virtualization and storage virtualization," says Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Tony Asaro.

Attempts by EMC and VMware to present coherent storage virtualization strategies is only part of the picture. A quick glance at other vendors playing in this space, such as IBM and HDS, suggests that there is more demand for this type of technology than was originally thought.

IBM, for example, has over 10,000 customers for its SAN Volume Controller (SVC) solution, according to Asaro. "That's significant, that's a market now," he says. "IBM has gone after every one of their storage customers and said, 'Hey, you should really install our SVC.' "

It's a similar story over at HDS, which has sold over 6,000 of its Universal Storage Platform (USP) V systems, according to the analyst. In total, ESG estimates that around 15,000 storage virtualization systems have been shipped worldwide by a range of vendors, which includes FalconStor, DataCore, Sanrad, and NetApp.

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