Block virtualization metadata becomes a critical point of failure, but Incipient takes an interesting approach to protecting metadata from array failures that includes backup and restore capabilities from the GUI, three-way mirroring, and the flexibility to allocate multiple independent repositories.
For those worried about whether virtualization will cause a SAN performance penalty, Incipient doesn’t think it will be a problem. "One of our beta sites measured the I/O [rate] to a virtual LUN and to a regular LUN and there was no performance degradation whatsoever," Infantino says.
Incipient's new block virtualization software comes with an intriguing promise of delivering flexible, highly automated storage management that shouldn't be ignored. Moreover, its clearly defined price -- $137,000 for each SSM plus $45,000 to add snapshots -- should simplify customers' cost-benefit analysis.
iNSP's launch is a good opportunity to reconsider block virtualization. With the current abundance of solutions, the only certain mistake one can make is to ignore storage virtualization altogether.
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