IBM’s New Virtual Storage Solution Cuts Costs

Last month, IBM rolled out a new virtual storage solution that will help companies dramatically cut costs by reducing virtual desktop infrastructure storage requirements by up to 80 percent.

The IBM Virtual Storage Optimizer (VSO) solution will not only result in lower costs, but it also will increase energy efficiency.

“We’re all familiar with the desktop sprawl — the desktop PCs and the laptops and the things that go with having to keep those updated — and the difficulty managing the versions and the software and the virus patches, etc.,” said Jack Magoon, business development executive in IBM’s end-user services, part of Global Technology Services.

“The idea here is by using virtualization techniques, [a user could] virtualize those desktops and use a thin client; you basically have a stateless device out there that provides you with a window back into your data and applications.”

IBM has been trying to bring added value to and reduce the cost of storage associated with the storage of virtual images, Magoon said. About a year ago, the research team came up with a way to reduce the amount of physical storage needed to store the virtual images for all the virtual clients on the desktop.

“It does [so] essentially by recognizing that as you create a virtual machine or a virtual image, there’s a great deal of commonality across every image that is created that could be stripped out and stored in a template, and not re-created for every virtual image,” Magoon said.

Thus, the common set of elements that exist when each virtual machine is created are stored in a template that reduces the amount of storage required for each virtual machine.

“By doing this effectively, you create only the file you need for that particular end user and those things that are common are back in a master copy,” Magoon said. “You could project forward how that will have a very significant impact on the amount of physical storage needed to implement a solution like that.”

– Deanna Hartley, dhartley@certmag.com

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Deanna Hartley

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