Your Own Virtualization Flight Test

Industry watchers offer five key questions

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5. Do you have an exit strategy?

Keep in mind that network-based virtualization can get tricky, Nadkarni says. "It can get a little complex over time, so you have to make sure that whatever architecture you're implementing [can be withdrawn from]," he says. "You shouldn't be stuck with it."

Most storage virtualization products create metadata from your data. That's how the storage objects they virtualize are managed. "Unvirtualizing means figuring out how to reappoint your metadata back to original data," Nadkarni explains. "The second problem is, your data could be across multiple storage areas or multiple objects. In that case, you now have a challenge of trying to present the same data, in a committed manner, back to the host again."

Storage virtualization isn't an insurance policy against sloppy practices, Nadkarni says. "It's almost like taking a dirty room and stuffing everything that's out of place into a closet," he says. "You really need to put things back into their place. So storage tiering or other good storage practices need to be taken care of first. Then you can move to the next step and implement storage virtualization."

Collett is a Computerworld contributing writer. Contact her at stcollett@aol.com.

This version of the story originally appeared in Computerworld's print edition.

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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