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Storage arrays for virtualization: Proprietary vs. nonproprietary
This article is part of the Virtual Data Center issue of October 2009, Vol. 15
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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Features in this issue
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Server hardware is changing rapidly to meet the needs of virtualization software, but which hardware should you buy? An expert explains processors, memory, compatibility and other considerations.
There are two options when it comes to storage arrays for your virtual infrastructure: proprietary and nonproprietary. Their similarities and differences will guide your decisions.