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GCN : June 2014
Sponsored Report Government IT managers, look- ing for ways to increase the agility and exibility of their data center infrastructure, are showing a keen interest in extending virtual- ization beyond servers, not just to storage but to an integrated server- storage platform, according to a recent survey. It makes sense. The bene ts gained by virtualizing compute resources---e.g., increased exibil- ity, scalability and manageability--- also can be had by virtualizing other aspects of the enterprise. For starters, a growing number of organizations are taking a look at software-de ned storage as an underpinning of a virtual data cen- ter environment. SDS involves the separation of storage management policies from the hardware layer. In this approach, overall intelligence is abstracted into a distributed software layer instead of residing in specialized hardware. The survey, by the 1105 Public Sector Media Group, revealed more than two-thirds of respon- dents said their agencies have either already implemented or are investigating SDS. All told, 24 percent of respondents indicated their agency has fully adopted SDS, while another 47 percent said their agency is investigating the approach. In its May 2013 report, "Soft- ware-De ned Storage Will Sound the Death Knell for Traditional Stor- age Provisioning," market research rm Forrester Research notes that storage budgets have outstripped rapidly expanding data stores, thus making a strong case for use of SDS. By adopting SDS, organiza- tions can tailor speci c perfor- mance and capacity requirements to increase storage ef ciency, the report states. A number of technologies and applications are increasing orga- nizational data loads at the same time that organizations are scaling back storage budgets, the report notes. The applications that are increasing the data load include enterprise content management, machine-created data logs, audio and video data, social networking and collaboration initiatives. Despite the advent of cloud storage, storage provisioning re- mains a slow and clumsy process that is ripe for an architectural overhaul, the report states. SDS addresses the ongoing storage challenge that organizations face by accelerating the delivery of storage resources. "SDS does not equal software- only storage today, but will become a major force in storage over the next ve years---though we do not expect hardware storage appliances to disappear anytime in the foresee- able future," the report states. But software-de ned storage is only part of solution, experts say. To leverage the full bene ts of virtualization, organizations should consider managing compute and storage resources in tandem. This concept of a converged platform --- a server appliance with built-in storage---is rapidly gain adherents. The bene ts of an integrated ap- proach are numerous. Studies have shown that integrating compute and storage virtualization delivers data I/O with low latency. Addition- ally, it provides a much greater ability to scale up a data center without the constraints. Finally, an integrated environment is much easier to manage. In the survey, 68 percent agreed that such an approach leads to improved performance of ap- plications, while only 14 percent disagreed. • FULL REPORT ONLINE, Go to GCN.com/2014VirtualizationPlaybook Virtualization brings agencies a wealth of benefits Virtualization, increasing data drive innovation Agencies face daunting storage challenges Options abound for sharpening storage management Virtualization Playbook Research Report Articles THE VIRTUALIZATION PLAYBOOK THE FUTURE OF THE DATA CENTER IS SOFTWARE-DEFINED % of respondents who say it makes sense to bring together compute and storage resources Source: 1105 Public Sector Media Group study 68% AGREE 18% 14% DISAGREE NEUTRAL The value of combined solutions