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Efficient Unified Data Storage Insights

By CIOReview | Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Today, businesses advancing toward the new innovative digital epoch rely heavily on data. Since the traditional data storage solutions were limited and complicated, a unified storage solution was developed, offering sophisticated and powerful storage in a cost-effective way. Introduced a decade ago, Unified data storage technology is proficient in handling today’s storage requirements via a shared memory device that offers a combined file storage service.

Unified data storage systems are capable of managing large storage requirements. The improved cloud compatibility as well as virtual systems support is driving its adoption in organizations. Trends like Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and increasing virtualization adoption are the key factors contributing to this growth. “Unified storage has come of age for organizations of all sizes with the value proposition of investment protection and the flexibility to adapt the storage to the needs of the business along with support for various applications,” says Greg Schulz, an analyst at StorageIO Group, reports “Whether the unification is in the storage system, appliance, or is software defined, unified storage is in your future for cloud and virtual storage, as well as unstructured big and little data environments.”

Almost all the organizations today have identified the significance and advantages of unified data storage and are leveraging its power. The evolution of technology to comply with growing cloud and virtual architectures also play a role in the acceleration of the global unified data storage market.

The Technology Insights

Unified storage is a shared storage device or system offering consolidated file services and sharing system for a network. The solution can handle both virtual and physical networks where applications and users can access data while in the same network. It utilizes file protocols like Fiber channel and Network file system to facilitate data sharing that is securely saved on a single storage.

These types of file sharing systems are ideal for organizations depending on general purpose servers that are configured with internal storage for file sharing and virtualization. Unified storage systems can act as a better replacement for file sharing servers and merge files and data for applications and virtual servers offering a single, powerful, and proficient system.

The benefits of using a unified storage system are plenty. Even if the installation expenses go over budget, the final ROI tends to be far better than other systems. Unified storage solution allows efficient management than old large and multi-level direct attached storage devices that were difficult to manage and safeguard. These systems are proven to be highly energy efficient and simple to handle, providing low operational costs. They can be implemented on an existing system thus improving the storage efficiency and providing the same flexibility of virtual systems.

Choose the Right Solution Provider

As IT is booming around the globe with digitalization at its core, there are numerous solutions providers in the market. Some of the best rated unified data storage solution providers include NetApp, EMC, HP, Hitachi Data Systems, Dell Storage solutions, IBM and Nimble Storage. The NetApp Unified Storage Infrastructure is an enhanced unified storage system offering cloud-integration, and flash-accelerated systems that can operate as all flash or a mix of flash and HDD. According to HP, the Storage X1000 Network Storage Systems offers Windows-powered unified network storage that is easy to install, manage, and expand within small or medium IT environments. On the other hand, Dell claims that the next-generation Dell Fluid File System version 4 (FluidFS v4), scales performance and capacity with optimized file storage offering better flexibility and efficiency. Meanwhile, IBM‘s Storwize is an enterprise-class solution designed for all-flash or hybrid storage, providing an effective storage infrastructure, transforming the economics of data storage.

As part of the technological evolution, unified storage is also gradually evolving from only hardware to include the software-defined side as well as the cloud. Now let’s wait for the next epoch of unified cloud storage. 

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