IT’s grand unified theory of storage

Ask IT professionals what their number one priority is in the next 12 months and in coming years and they’re likely to tell you increased usage of virtualization. No big surprise really since, for some time now, virtualization has been one of the most effective tools for driving efficiencies and effectiveness (and of course, saving money) across IT.

Driving those efficiencies, it turns out, will come in large part through convergence and consolidation virtualization brings about, and unified storage (or multiprotocol or federated storage) may be the key to making it all a reality. Why? Because while separate specialist storage platforms have gone a long way to increasing IT effectiveness, they’ve also taken their toll on resource efficiency – something unified storage can finally put a serious dent in.

Most IT pros know this already, of course. Which is why a recent survey revealed that 70% of organizations are either already using unified storage or planning to consolidate NAS and SAN storage resources into a unified storage architecture soon. In other words, unified storage isn’t simply a fad or trend, it’s an IT reality for the long term.

All told, unified storage – supporting block, file and object data – can impact both cost reduction and business process improvements through better utilization and lower capital, management and environmental costs, as well as improving business processes, through greater flexibility and responsiveness.

And then there’s just plain ease of use. For many, the complexity of many traditional networked storage solutions has gone too far. A unified solution with its inherent flexibility, storage efficiency capabilities, simplified management and support, and smaller footprint turns out to be just what the IT professional ordered – or many, at least, especially small businesses, department level installations and branch offices.

And then there are other, maybe less sexy, ways unified storage simplifies life for IT users – training staff for example. One unified storage solution mitigates the need to train across multiple architectures and systems. And, since everyone ends up speaking the same language, the need to hire IT staff to handle different systems is also reduced. Storage provisioning ends up faster too. Managed from one interface, most storage and application actions are simply easier to perform.

The next generation of unified storage products isn’t just a lot of hype or some grand illusion. It’s a fusion of simplicity and suitability, merging many features and functions to serve a variety of needs and delivering advanced functionality to both enterprise and growing mid- and lower markets.

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About Mike Peck

Mike is an accomplished pre sales specialist at Softchoice with a practiced understanding of the EMC solutions portfolio.