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Storage and Virtualization
Gemini virtualizes enterprise storage at the disk level, creating a dynamic pool of shared storage resources available to all servers, all the time. With read/write operations spread across all drives, multiple requests can be processed in parallel, boosting system performance. Gemini Storage Virtualization allows users to create hundreds of virtual volumes in seconds to support any virtual server platform and optimize the placement of virtual applications.
Storage virtualization can be structured in three ways:
- Host-based. Here, physical drives are handled by a traditional device driver, while a software layer above the device driver intercepts I/O requests, looks up metadata and redirects I/O.
- Storage-device-based. In this type of setup, virtualization can be built into the storage fabric; for example, newer RAID controllers allow other storage devices to be attached downstream. A primary storage controller (usually a dedicated hardware appliance, though some systems now use switches) handles pooling and manages metadata, allowing the direct attachment of other storage controllers. Such systems may also provide replication and migration services across different controllers.
- Network-based. In this configuration, storage virtualization is viewed as a network-based device, generally using Fibre Channel networks connected as a SAN. Here, too, an appliance or switch-based implementation is most common.
Increasing Performance with Storage Virtualization - How?
Create any size virtual volumes without allocating drives to specific servers or dealing with complicated capacity planning or performance tuning.
Present network storage to servers simply as disk capacity, regardless of tier, RAID level or server connectivity.
Automatically restripe data across all drives in the storage pool when adding more capacity.
Dynamically scale the storage pool and implement system upgrades without disruption.
Use virtual ports to increase port capacity, disk bandwidth, I/O connectivity and port failover.