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Server consolidation via virtualization dictates that associated storage solutions must have certain characteristics. As virtualization results in multiple applications now running on the same physical servers, the need for high availability is greater, at both the server and storage layers of the system. The fundamental requirement to deploying a highly available virtualized environment is access to shared storage, most commonly a SAN (Storage Area Network). Since building a highly available virtual infrastructure is predicated on the fact that the servers have access to shared storage in the form of a SAN, the underlying storage must be always available.
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