Gartner Research

Decision Point for Server Virtualization Storage Selection

Published: 09 July 2012

ID: G00235896

Analyst(s): Gene Ruth, Matthew Brisse


Server virtualization adds complexity to storage infrastructures. Maintaining connection to data as virtualized machines migrate across physical servers requires a flexible and adaptable storage infrastructure to ensure connectivity, store data efficiently, and be scalable. Thus, virtualization drives unique architectural and technology choices for the type of storage used within a storage environment. Understanding the needs of server virtualization and the challenges it places on storage is important when constructing a server-virtualized environment. This Decision Point provides guidance for the selection of a data store in virtual server environments.

Table Of Contents

Decision Point

Decision Context

  • Support VM Migration
  • Maintain Storage Connectivity
    • Direct-Attached Storage
    • Network-Based Storage
  • Maintain Data Availability
  • Enable Storage Scalability
  • Provide Adequate Storage Performance
  • Provide Dynamic Storage Provisioning
  • Simplify Infrastructure Management
  • Provide Data Protection
  • Contain Cost and Storage Utilization


  • Raw LUNs Device Mapping
  • Network-Attached Storage
  • Cluster File System

Evaluation Criteria

Decision Tool

  • Data Store Position
    • Raw LUNs.
    • NAS file-based data storage.
    • Cluster file system.

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