Sidebar: Provisioning Pretender

Being able to grab unused storage from one part of the company and use it in another is a hallmark of thin provisioning and a feature that sets this allocation method apart from a related provisioning strategy -- dynamic volume expansion.

Supported by various operating systems, dynamic volume expansion is an online way of increasing storage volumes as necessary and is a capability often confused with thin provisioning, according to Tony Asaro, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.

"Dynamic volume expansion does not support shrinking the size of a volume," Asaro explained in a recent thin-provisioning report.

Because it does nothing about storage that has been allocated for future use but is idling within an organization, dynamic volume expansion doesn't prevent storage hogging or the tendency among users to overestimate the amount of space needed over a given period of time, Asaro says.

Special Report

Storage: New Wrinkles 2006

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Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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