Network-resident virtualized name-spaces are created by network-mounted devices (commonly referred to as network file managers) that reside between the clients and NAS devices. Essentially serving as routers or switches for file-level protocols, these devices present a virtualized namespace across the file servers on the back end and route all NFS and CIFS traffic as between clients and storage. NFM devices can be deployed in band (F5 Networks) or out of band (EMC Rainfinity). Network-resident virtualized namespaces are well suited for tiered storage deployments and other scenarios requiring nondisruptive data migration.
File and block storage virtualization may be IT’s best chance of alleviating the pain associated with the ongoing data tsunami. By virtualizing block and file storage environments, IT can gain greater economies of management and implement centralized policies and controls over heterogeneous storage systems. The road to adoption of these solutions has been long and difficult, but these technologies are finally catching up to our needs. You will find the current crop of file and block virtualization solutions to be well worth the wait.
This story, "Deep dive: SAN and NAS virtualization," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in virtualization, storage, and managing the data explosion at InfoWorld.com.
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