Virtualization is well into its second decade in the modern enterprise era (it actually had a previous life in the earlier mainframe days), and it has now become so ubiquitous that it is getting hard to find server infrastructure that has not been virtualized.
Virtualization has always been about freeing the data environment from underlying hardware, and this has had a profound effect on the way we view IT infrastructure. But it has never been a complete win-win for the enterprise because data itself was still locked in a one-to-one relationship with individual users, which means that if multiple users wanted simultaneous access to the same data set, it would have to be copied and stored somewhere.
This is where the concept of data virtualization, or more specifically copy data virtualization (CDV), comes in. As explained by Ash Ashutosh CEO of data management firm Actifio,CDV enables the creation of a single “golden master” version of data, which can then be turned into virtual copies of production quality data for everyone on the organizational chart. Not only does this streamline workflows and speed up production cycles, it cuts down on storage hardware and storage management costs – both of which are crucial considerations as the enterprise takes on the challenges of Big Data and the IoT.