Published On: Thu, Jul 30th, 2015

You’ve Virtualised Your Servers So Virtualise Your Storage With SAN

By now you may have joined the multitude of IT departments and companies who have virtualised their servers. This technology has been around for about a decade, so there’s a good chance some virtualisation has taken place.


virtualised their servers

If so, you may feel you couldn’t go back to the physical hardware world with its high cost and hungry physical space requirements. You may be wondering, in fact, if you can virtualise more of your IT set up.

How about storage?

The SAN solution

In one fell swoop, the benefits you enjoy from your virtual servers compared to the physical type are available through virtual storage software.

Basically, virtual storage is the pooling of physical storage from various storage devices into what might appear to be a single storage set up controlled from one location.

The SAN software typically converts a server, typically an X86, into a storage controller and the storage inside the server into a storage system. Because the storage set up is simplified, it’s easy for the system administrator to conduct backups, archiving and recoveries.


Multiple locations (branches, hotels, regional offices) – married to virtual machine software such as VMware vSphere, SAN storage is a boon in providing effective and easy to administer IT facilities to other locations in an organisation with multiple locations such as branches, regional offices and so forth.

From one location, full backups can be provided which negates the need for the individual branch or office to have its own equipment and suitably skilled personnel on site. SAN storage specialist StorMagic’s product SvSAN uses just two servers to enable full data storage to be achieved across multiple locations.

Mobile – (forces in the field such as the military) when reliable data access is required, SAN storage is ideal as it means very little equipment needs to be transported – important when ease of mobility is required – and it’s possible to provide power from portable units.

The benefit of being able to control the storage centrally means people in the field don’t have to possess storage expertise, and once it’s set up at the central IT site those using it in the field only need to switch on to be operational.

Serving remote sites – (oil rigs, wind farms) difficult to access sites can prove problematic when it comes to maintaining IT support. It might take days for a particularly hard to reach location to be accessed by an IT professional or engineer, and the often harsh conditions can affect hardware performance so a SAN storage solution managed from a central location is ideal.

Working with other vendors – well-designed SAN software should be able to work with another vendor’s product. As mentioned above, StorMagic works with leading hypervisors VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V but also with any commodity x86 servers and offers hyperconverged solutions with industry heavyweights such as Cisco.

Adapting to suit your needs

One of the main trump cards for virtual storage SANs is their ability to adapt and grow as your needs change. Instead of having to invest and go through the upheaval of installing new hardware, simple configuration at a console can revise your system quickly.

You could say SAN storage is your partner in growth.