blade.org has a useful white paper on storage consolidation:
Economic factors are driving a number of advances in the data center in order to reduce cost and increase overall efficiency. Server virtualization and network consolidation are enabling increases in server and network efficiency, improving ROI, and simplifying data center management. Storage consolidation has also improved manageability by pooling what were previously distributed storage assets. Further advances in storage efficiency through features such as thin provisioning, cloning, and deduplication, are complimenting server virtualization to deliver dramatic improvements in storage asset utilization, rapid deployment of resources, and ease of management. This paper addresses many of the benefits of storage consolidation, new storage virtualization technologies which enable greater storage consolidation and efficiency, as well as items to consider when planning a storage consolidation project.
Benefits of Storage Consolidation: Efficiency across storage area networks (SAN) has been increased greatly by sharing data across multiple servers on private networks. Operational benefits from storage consolidation include: reduced power and cooling costs, increased capacity sharing, storage provisioning, network boot, software updates, performance, data protection, scalability, simplified backup and recovery, and improved lifecycle management.
Server and Storage Virtualization – Complimentary Technologies: Storage virtualization compliments server virtualization by increasing storage efficiency and by enabling rapid deployment of storage resources. The result is increased overall operational efficiency, improved asset utilization, and accelerated business processes.
Storage Virtualization: Storage virtualization is delivering dramatic increases in storage utilization. Deduplication, thin provisioning, and rapid cloning, as examples, are greatly reducing the physical storage required to store the exploding data collection and retention in today’s business environment.
Storage Consolidation – Before You Start: By utilizing a combination of virtualization and SAN-based or host-based replication technologies, IT personnel can minimize data and application down time during storage migration while allowing users to still access applications with little or no downtime.
Download the Storage consolidation for Data Center Efficiency Paper