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Killing I/O bottlenecks, VirtenSys virtualizes storage

VirtenSys' new I/O Virtualization switch creates 'I/O clouds' or pools of server I/O resources that storage manager can allocate to different systems based on demand.

A new VirtenSys storage virtualization switch launched Wednesday virtualizes storage controllers and disk drives, giving virtualization users a way to add I/O resources quickly and more easily eliminate I/O bottlenecks, according to the company.

VirtenSys Inc.'s I/O Virtualization (IOV) switch creates "I/O clouds," which are essentially pools of server I/O resources that IT pros can allocate to different systems based on demand. The storage virtualization IOV switch can virtualize the LSI MegaRAID host bus adapters (HBAs) and share them between multiple physical servers without changing the systems, applications, HBAs or device drivers. The Serial-Attached SCSI (SAS)/Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) disk drives are also consolidated inside the switches and allocated between the connected servers.

Servers connected to an I/O cloud have full connectivity bandwidth to the corporate network and storage infrastructures.

The Switch also eliminates the need for multiple layers of aggregation switches, I/O adapters, disk drives and cables, which can be complicated to manage and expensive.

In February, VirtenSys introduced pre-production units of its IOV switch, which uses the PCI Express bus. The Beaverton, OR-based company claims to be the first to market with an I/O virtualization product using PCI Express, which is in the majority of servers today.

VirtenSys claims the storage virtualization switch reduces data center operational expenses, improve I/O utilization to greater than 80%, improves throughput, reduces storage hardware cost and reduces I/O power consumption by more than 60%.

Other companies offer ways to virtualize storage as well. Xsigo System's virtualizes I/O, EMC's Invista network storage virtualization software runs on SAN switches and directors, like EMC's Connectrix series of switches and DataCore Software offers storage virtualization software, and there is also Storage Foundation for Windows from Symantec, which provides host-based storage virtualization.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Bridget Botelho, News Writer.

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