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October 2009, Vol. 15

Storage arrays for virtualization: Proprietary vs. nonproprietary

Most storage arrays in service today are proprietary. That is, storage is effectively consolidated into an appliance that uses a combination of hardware and software developed or customized by the storage system vendor. Proprietary storage arrays will generally use an operating system other than a standard version of Windows or Linux. As one example, NetApp uses its in-house Data Ontap 7G or GX platform operating systems. Similarly, the storage hardware typically includes modifications that optimize data throughput and resilience. By contrast, nonproprietary storage arrays are basically standard servers built to host a large number of direct-attached disks. Each server runs a common suite of computer hardware and OS software. More on storage arrays VMware users tepid on vSphere's storage array features Data center storage trends for 2010 In some cases, nonproprietary storage arrays adopt the Open Storage approach of Sun Microsystems Inc. (now Oracle Corp.) that touts open source software and industry-recognized hardware. But ...

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