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Virtually Nowhere

Despite all the talk about storage virtualization over the past year, recent surveys find virtually nobody is implementing it (see EMC & IBM in Virtual Skirmish, IBM's Monshaw Talks Virtual, and IBM's Got Virtual Vision). Now, server virtualization is another story.

Few large IT shops even have storage virtualization on their immediate roadmaps, according to a survey of 100 Fortune 1000 CIOs conducted by Citigroup released this week. The survey found 63 percent of the respondents said they have yet to deploy or even evaluate storage virtualization.

Another survey of Fortune 1000 firms conducted by research firm TheInfoPro Inc. (TIP) finds that server virtualization is as smoking hot as storage virtualization is ice cold. According to TheInfoPro, only 16 percent use storage virtualization and 41 percent have no plans for it compared to 59 percent who use server virtualization with another 30 percent planning to implement it (see TheInfoPro Releases Survey).

Is storage virtualization a bust? It's still too early to give it that label, but it clearly has a slow adoption rate. One problem is that there hasn't been much to choose from among the major vendors until recently. IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) has been shipping its San Volume Controller (SVC) virtualization appliance since 2003, but Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) rolled out TagmaStore last September and added virtualization to its midrange arrays in July, and EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) is still in beta stage with its Invista appliance (see Hitachi Struts Mr. Universal, Hitachi Plans Midrange Rollout, and EMC Unveils Invista).

The technology might catch on once reality matches promise. Respondents to the InfoPro survey said they’re laying off storage virtualization because different vendors’ hardware don't work together, and they're put off by hype about solutions that aren't production ready.

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