Virtual server environments are on the rise and the role of storage is currently presenting many opportunities for the channel, according to Oracle vice-president of storage, Jason Schaffer.
Storage is paramount when it comes to the overall performance, efficiency, and usability of today’s broad scaled and very complex virtual server environments, he said.
“When you look at today’s very complex enterprise server virtual environments, what you see is hundreds if not thousands of virtual machines serving every workload and use case possible, creating very complex structures that traditional storage vendors have to tie in with to provide the right scalability and capacity for those environments.
“So there needs to be visibility to simplify that environment,” he said.
Schaffer said in the world before VMware, storage was different. Provisioning involved connecting storage directly to the large, monolithic applications of the time, where it was a straightforward and relatively easy task to match configurations to applications needs.
But with the arrival of virtualisation, everything changed, according to him.
“Sitting applications on top of a hypervisor has made it much more difficult to monitor and predict patterns. Frequently, the result is a mismatch between VM provisioning and storage administration. Instead of dealing with the demands of a small number of large applications, VM administrators find their time consumed with a variety of smaller, harder to pin down workload patterns,” he said.
As such, he addressed the need for more simplification and agility. He said the benefit of virtualisation is that businesses are able to move applications as their business needs change.
“That’s a powerful and compelling value proposition. Partners using VM environments are integrating workflows, developing scripts, and integrating our analytics into their tools to provide a much more comprehensive view of the customer environment.
“The net result of that is a much more performance and business efficient eco-system that includes applications, servers, and storage. So, this is something the channel can bank on. Leveraging analytics and creating best practices and solutions around simplifying server virtualisation environments is key,” he mentioned.
Schaffer said businesses have some sort of an understanding about virtualisation and many are adopting it but without the understanding of the complexity it creates on the storage end of the infrastructure.
“Server utilisation rates are better than they used to be. Their application performance rates are strong but what’s getting lost in that though is the complexity that it creates for a storage environment. With analytics, they’ll be able to see real time what’s happening on a VM level.
“Today’s successful partners are working with solutions like analytics to bring out more value in simplifying a complex virtual server environment. It’s about having a comprehensive, value-added service for customers,” he added.