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Storage provisioning is the process of assigning storage capacity to servers, computers, virtual machines or any other computing device. A broad term, storage provisioning incorporates manual and automated mechanisms used to allocate server storage space within a networked computing environment.
Storage provisioning is implemented in a computing environment where the core storage resides in a storage area network (SAN) server. Storage may be provisioned to all connected devices - either manually, by the storage administrator, or automatically on runtime and on demand through a SAN software appliance.
The storage provisioning process requires careful planning on the front end. This helps the administrator or SAN software predict future storage requirements and optimize the underlying network for faster and more reliable data storage and retrieval.
Storage provisioning may be classified as fat provisioning or thin provisioning.