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Imation (NYSE:IMN), a global data storage and information security company, today shared research compiled from a survey of more than 1,200 IT professionals at small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) on competitive advantages achieved from server virtualization. Highlighting best practices for the use of storage systems to support virtualized environments, the complimentary report on the research, “State of Storage in Virtual Environments: Insights from the Midmarket,” can be downloaded at:
The report shows that organizations are increasingly turning to hybrid storage solutions to meet the performance and manageability demands of virtualized environments. In addition, the study finds that organizations that make broader commitments to virtualizing their environments yield a higher return in terms of storage optimization, performance and operational capabilities. Highlights include:
Rise of hybrid storage systems: According to survey, 69 percent of respondents with greater than 250TB of virtualized storage are employing or planning to deploy a hybrid storage approach to meet storage demands of virtual servers – heavily randomized I/O operations, for instance. Given that hybrid storage systems are relatively new to market in the past four years, current and planned adoption rates are impressive.
Dramatically improved consolidation ratios: Organizations that have virtualized at least 60 percent of their environment achieve a consolidation ratio – the average number of virtual machines residing on each physical server – of 16:1 or greater. This is double the ratio achieved by organizations with 20 percent or less of their operations virtualized.
Increased adoption of virtualized applications: When asked about applications currently virtualized or that are planned to be virtualized, respondents with greater than 40 percent of their environments virtualized are virtualizing a far wider range of applications. This includes more specialized applications such as procurement, accounting and financial management.
More effective use of virtualization tools needed: Use of VMware’s vSphere APIs for Array Integration (VAAI) could enable speed improvements of up to 80 percent in management operations, yet among respondents with less than 20 percent of the data center virtualized, a super-majority (80 percent) was unaware of the availability of VAAI. Only half of SMEs that have virtualized 80 to 100 percent of their environments have either activated VAAI or are actively considering it.
“The IT professionals who responded to this survey yielded insight into a simple truth: The more strategically organizations see virtualization as an enabling technology, the greater the benefits that they reap, not only in terms of storage optimization and performance but also other operational capabilities – consolidation, rapid deployment and reconfiguration of virtual machines to meet changing business needs,” said Mike Stolz, vice president of marketing and technical support for Imation’s Nexsan solutions. “These benefits directly correlate to business agility, greater efficiency and competitive advantage.”