What is a Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA)?

The “Information Age” has left us with more information than we can easily handle. As a result, storage has become an industry in itself, and it is no longer just for backup and recovery. Simple access and retrieval can be difficult when you have terabytes of data to deal with. Virtualization has presented its own unique challenges for storage. If you have saved on hardware by running a virtual machine, do you really want to go out and purchase hardware to add storage to it? A virtual storage appliance (VSA) can help.

A VSA is a storage controller that runs on the virtual machine (VM) and allows you to create shared storage without needing to purchase additional hardware. The VSA can tap into several virtual machines and utilize available storage on each. It can then create a shared virtual storage pool for all of the virtual machines. The result looks like a networked storage appliance without the cost of actually purchasing one or maintaining a physical machine.

Companies that offer virtualization systems such as VMware and HP now sell VSA technology to small and medium businesses that cannot afford additional hardware and large enterprises that need to consolidate storage.