I often see customers and partners confused over some of the storage buzzwords. Here are brief definitions for admins who are tasked with desktop virtualization project and have to hear different Storage vendors pitch their technologies. Citrix StorageLink allows Citrix Ready StorageLink partners to write adapters and take full advantage of storage technologies creating an open ecosystem which is eventually beneficial for you as a customer.

Thick provisioning
Allocation of physical data blocks for a storage volume for a given size. Also known as Traditional Provisioning.

Thin Provisioning
Similar to Thick provisioning, but the number of physical data blocks allocated are limited to only what are needed. This allows for allocation and growth on demand for the storage volume.

Clones
An exact copy of a storage volume made by allocating the same number of physical data blocks as the original storage volume, and copying data into the new allocated physical data blocks.

Snapshots
A point-in-time record made of the physical data blocks allocated for a storage volume.

Data Deduplication
Releasing duplicate physical data blocks from a set of allocated physical data blocks for a storage volume. The storage array does this by scanning for duplicate physical data blocks, and referencing all duplicate physical data blocks to a single physical data block. Also known as Dedupe.

Remote replication
Making an exact copy of a storage volume on a remote site by allocating the same number of physical data blocks as the original storage volume, and copying data into the new allocated physical data blocks on the remote site. Enables StorageLink’s Site Recovery functionality. Supported in Citrix StorageLink v2.0 onwards.

Please feel free to write to me if you have better definitions/recommendations.

Vishal Ganeriwala
twitter: @vishalg