The advent of software-defined storage and hyperconvergence technologies makes virtual data storage a viable option for businesses looking to cut down on IT costs. In fact, since these solutions do not require the hardware redundancies typically needed in traditional storage architectures for disaster recovery, they could cut down on upfront costs as well as ongoing operating expenses by an impressive amount.

Virtual data storage permits IT departments to pool physical storage devices, such as SANs that appear to be one device or a virtual storage array. There are a variety of ways to implement the technology using host-based virtualization, for example network-based storage (which integrates storage devices from an FC or iSCSI storage system into one pool that is managed by a central management console). Host-based virtualization is typically used in HCI systems as well as cloud storage.

Virtual storage needs to be compatible with not just the hardware infrastructure, but also with the servers, hypervisors and networking components. It must also support data encryption and access controls, as well as robust backup and disaster recovery capabilities.

Virtual storage must also be able to address concerns regarding latency and performance. This includes ensuring that critical software can run without compromising performance or causing latency to data retrieval. This involves evaluating the storage controller’s capabilities, network bandwidth and capacity for disk I/O as much as deploying caching mechanisms. It also involves the implementation of advanced storage features like tiering, replication and virtualization at the virtualization layer.