Storage virtualization is the process of pooling all available storage resources from numerous locations, making them appear as a single storage device in the system.
This approach simplifies the management and accessibility of physical storage. Storage virtualization also enables storage to become location-independent and more efficient to use.
See below to learn all about the global storage virtualization market:
Storage virtualization market
The storage virtualization market was estimated to be valued at $13.5 billion in 2022. It’s forecast to maintain a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.6% from 2022 to 2026, reaching $32.5 billion by the end of it.
Regionally, the U.S. market is set to grow at a CAGR of 29.2% over the analysis period, reaching a value of $18.3 billion by the end of it.
By industry, the market is led by the banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI), IT, and telecommunications sectors.
According to a 2020 State of Virtualization Technology report by Spiceworks, storage virtualization technology, in particular, is used by 40% of reporting entities, while another 12% are planning on implementing it gradually over the upcoming years.
“The same study also says that one-quarter of businesses plan to deploy storage virtualization technologies instead of buying physical storage arrays in the future,” says UpGrad in a post.
“More and more companies are storing their data in the cloud. When it comes to cloud storage, companies are a little skeptical due to security challenges.”
Storage virtualization features
Storage virtualization is a type of virtualization that aggregates physical storage resources behind a single layer of abstraction that separates them from the primary operating system.
The objective of virtual storage is to make it accessible from all authorized locations equally and easily. Whether it’s individual users, applications, or the operating system, data can be accessed and treated as if it’s in a singular, direct-access location.
There are a couple common approaches to data storage in a virtualized environment:
File-level data storage, also known as file-based storage, is a hierarchical approach to data storage and organization. It can be used in direct-access hard drives or on network-attached storage (NAS) devices.
When combined with virtual storage, file-level data can drastically minimize downtime as a result of data migration and enables data accessibility for users regardless of device or location.
Block-level data storage, or block-based storage, divides data into individual blocks that get stored separately for organization and access. This type of storage is often paired with storage area network (SAN) environments.
When it comes to virtualization, block-level storage is the most common type, as it enables multiple storage environments and systems to access the data simultaneously. Additionally, the layer of abstraction means data can be left in its initial location and retain its original coordinates.
Virtualized storage is also divided into several categories depending on the location of its primary components and engine:
Host-based virtual storage is one of the most used approaches to storage virtualization. Usually connected to virtual machines (VMs), they can be accessed and treated as a hard disk without any of its files or underlying dynamics
By being host-based, the virtualization storage shares the server host and makes it available across multiple disk arrays for mirroring and protection.
Network-based storage virtualization uses SANs admins for storage expansions across the enterprise. It can be run on a smart switch or the network’s primary server, enabling devices to access its data and files as a single storage unit.
Array-based storage virtualization is a type of storage hardware-tiering to use flash storage without needing to commit to an all-flash array approach. The array accessed by the user isn’t visible behind the abstraction layer, only serving as the primary storage controller.
Storage virtualization benefits
The virtualized storage approach that many organizations take can help them manage, access, and store the large amounts of data they handle on a regular basis.
Some notable benefits of storage virtualization include:
- Simplify storage management
- Reduce costs
- Streamline data-reliant workflows
- Enable access to data
- Simplify data duplication and disaster recovery
- Centralize data management and accessibility
Storage virtualization use cases
The following case studies highlight how organizations in different industries are using virtualized storage technology:
Rossi Residencial is a major real estate developer and construction company based in Brazil.
Rossi Residencial was looking to move their storage and systems to a provider that could ensure scalability and availability.
Working with Google Cloud, they were able to migrate their SAP environments, from the computing engine to the VMs and storage, to Google Cloud servers with no impact on operations.
“Out of the cloud options we researched, Google Cloud offered us the best financial conditions and a solution that truly catered to us. And out of the many partners we contacted, Sky.One offered the best work planning and service,” says Eduardo Araújo, IT manager, Rossi Residencial.
“This is the first time, after three previous migrations to private and public clouds, that our users have not felt any impact, and we didn’t have system outages. It was a six-hands project that worked very well.”
Switching to Google, Rossi Residencial was able to cut its cloud storage expenses by half, ensure zero downtime since the migration, and spend less time and effort on backup-related operational issues.
Archdiocese Salzburg, also known as the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Salzburg, is one of the oldest Catholic Church districts in all of Europe.
Archdiocese Salzburg’s network and data centers are accessed by thousands of employees and volunteers on a regular basis. Looking to offer an always-on infrastructure, they needed to connect their data centers and make them more accessible.
Working with IBM, they decided to implement the IBM FlashSystem Solution with IBM Spectrum Virtualize to automate data availability.
“That was the most important thing, that we get a solution based on TCP/IP, with 2x 10 Gbs, which provides a reliable, affordable, and low-latency network that still enables the high performance of FlashSystem technology,” says Alexander Würflinger, CTO, Archdiocese Salzburg.
“We are now much more flexible in terms of infrastructure planning and onboarding of new services.”
With IBM, Archdiocese Salzburg was able to eliminate bottlenecks, improve response time and save an estimated $80,000 on bandwidth dedicated to data.
Spectrum is one of the internet and TV service provider in the U.S.
With more expansion on the horizon, Spectrum was facing challenges in ensuring content availability around the clock and securing customer data without suffering from bandwidth constraints.
Reaching out to Commvault Systems and their partners, Spectrum deployed the Commvault Continuous Data Replicator (CDR) to handle 30 TB of their data across seven locations, along with the Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform G800 for customer data security and accessibility.
“With Commvault, we can deliver high-performance services to our customers during peak viewing hours and update our content daily to give viewers maximum choice,” says Justin Slaughter, principal engineer, Spectrum.
“With content replicated to local sites, customers can enjoy a great viewing experience and watch their favorite shows when and where they want. Commvault helps us deliver a great customer experience and maintain our reputation in the market.”
Partnering with Commvault and Hitachi, Spectrum was able to optimize their use of storage resources, ensure content is available on-demand for customers, and boost their reputation through robust customer data security and safety policies.
Storage virtualization providers
Some of the leading providers of storage virtualization in the market include:
- Lynx Software Technologies
- Google Cloud
- Parallels International
- Plesk International