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A virtual storage array is basically a software version of a storage array that can run independently of dedicated hardware, in a virtual machine or cloud service.
The virtual storage array approach offers you plenty of choic, depending on your scenario, for example:
You have a small site that doesn’t warrant a full-blown storage array, or you’d like to do some testing before buying one.
You’d like to extend your storage infrastructure into a cloud service provider, but want to keep control of your data and connect it back to your own data centre.
You’d like to buy your own choice of storage hardware, but need a proven set of data management capabilities, efficiency technologies and data protection tools.
You want to run workloads as a service in a cloud provider, but can’t be sure of performance characteristics and don’t like the costs associated with a lack of storage efficiency tools.
In the future you want an architecture built on a universal data platform so you can move a virtual storage array between cloud services and your own data centre as and when the need arises (in turn those virtual storage arrays could host multiple virtual machines).