August 08, 2005, 4:51 PM — IBM Corp. last week gave some insight into how companies should properly manage their storage, the buzz word being virtualization, and how it will help a company with regard to costs and utilization.
"When asked, most companies do not really know how much of their storage is being used. This is quite frightening, especially after a survey we did revealed that a typical company's storage usage is sitting at around only 40 percent," says Steve Cliff, IBM software group sales manager for EMEA.
"Our survey also revealed that the majority of IT budgets are being spent on maintaining current storage solutions," he continues.
He maintains that one of the best ways to reduce the amount of money spent on storage, and, at the same time increase utilization, is to implement a virtualization solution.
"Although many companies are already dabbling in the storage virtualization arena, there are many that are a bit sceptical about the entire concept," he says. "The excuse that most companies come up with is that they simply cannot afford the downtime required to implement a virtualization strategy."
Cliff says that virtualization is key in order for a company to properly manage its storage resources. "Should a company employ a virtualization solution, it should be able to drive its usage from 40 percent up to 80 percent," he adds.
He goes on to say that virtualization will enable the separation of the logical presentation of a resource from its physical implementation - thus creating a pool of storage.
"A storage pool will do away with an administrator having to run numerous applications, each one for a specific vendor's product. Instead he or she will be presented with a single GUI, allowing for administration from one location."
Virtualization is also claimed to allow for an easier back-up and disaster recovery method to be implemented, as data can now be taken from a central location.