I am trying to understand various types of virtualization techniques. The concept of Hardware virtualization/Virtual machine was simple enough.

However, I am struggling to understand the concept of storage virtualization. One definition I have found

grouping the physical storage from multiple network storage devices so that it looks like a single storage device.

How does doing the above exactly help?

Basically, I want to understand what goal are we trying to achieve with storage virtualization?

  • 1
    It's basically the same, abstracting away the implementation details of what and how implements it (hardware, machine, storage, etc).
    – Kromster
    Commented Feb 21 at 15:21
  • @Kromster but what did we achieve by doing this?
    – Max
    Commented Feb 21 at 15:43
  • 1
    One common example is RAID - you have one logical drive, which can consist of several physical drives with data redundancy, mirroring and/or parallel read/write access.
    – Kromster
    Commented Feb 21 at 17:10

2 Answers 2


Storage virtualization is a prerequisite for OS virtualization. Imagine, you would have to provision a separate physical hard disk for every VM! Imagine you would have to physically move hard disks between nodes in your hypervisor cluster every time a VM gets migrated from one node to another!

If you want to abstract computation from the physical hardware, you also need to abstract storage – after all, typically, you want to store the result of that computation somewhere or the compute process needs to store some temporary intermediate state.


Hard drive failure is a real problem with hosting servers. Those things break A LOT, they are physical platters that spin around at a million miles per hour 24/7

A solution to this issue is to put the same data on multiple physical media and pretend its just one drive. Then if any one fails you can just read off another copy and every thing is fine.

This is "virtualising" the hardware. The software things there is just one drive, but in fact you are just looking at some abstraction layer and have less dependency on the physical hardware.

The benefit is you are protected from hardware failure.

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