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Thoughts on File Virtualization
Does the scalability characteristics of the Filing virtualizing system need to be equal to the NAS/server?

File virtualization is getting a little attention in the blogosphere. Yesterday Hu Yoshida wrote about it briefly in his blog, repeating an observation that Jay Kidd from Network Appliance made in this interview on SearchStorage.com where he said that the performance and scalability characteristics of the Filing virtualizing system(s) need to be equal to the aggregate performance and scalability of the NAS/server systems that are "behind" it.  I don't agree completely with Hu and Jay because the performance of the virtualizing system(s) only has to be equivalent to the aggregate throughput and I/O demands of the NAS/server systems behind it.  One of the hypothetical benefits of virtualization is the ability to load balance resources that, by themselves, are unevenly utilized.  The performance requirements for file virtualization are driven by the clients, not the servers participating in the FAN (file area network).  

Chuck Hollis from EMC also weighed in on his blog. where he quoted this Mark Twain one-liner: "But don't sacred cows make the best hamburgers?", which preceded his argument that virtualization belongs in the network. It wasn't completely clear to me, which sacred cows or hamburgers Chuck was referring to but I'm wondering if there is a bloggers bible getting passed around that says quoting famous writers and thinkers gives your argument more credibility. 

My last blog on the topic is here. (continued. . .)

About Marc Farley
Marc Farley is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft.

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File virtualization is getting a little attention in the blogosphere. Yesterday Hu Yoshida wrote about it briefly in his blog, repeating an observation that Jay Kidd from Network Appliance made in this interview on SearchStorage.com where he said that the performance and scalability characteristics of the Filing virtualizing system(s) need to be equal to the aggregate performance and scalability of the NAS/server systems that are 'behind' it.




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