Although hardware storage prices have come down, storage administration and software expenses can still run many times the cost of storage hardware. For many businesses, controlling these costs is crucial to lowering the total cost of ownership. Storage consolidation can provide a partial solution by expanding device connectivity and reducing points of management. However, once storage is consolidated, the job is only half done. You still need a centralized, flexible method of management that masks the complexity of the storage environment and reduces administrative overhead. That’s where virtualization fits in.