Unified storage is a storage system that allows files and applications to be stored and managed from a single storage infrastructure. It combines both block-based (DAS & SAN- Fiber SAN and IP SAN) and file -based (NAS) storage on the same platform. Unified storage makes it possible to offer multiple functionalities and feature that are not found in NAS or DAS & SAN. Unified storage minimizes the hardware requirements lowering capital expenditure. It also simplifies the management process as it does not have to maintain two individual products.
With unified storage, limitations that come built-in with the individual file based or block based storages can be reduced. In case NAS and SAN are integrated it would require two types of infrastructure and two separate skill sets to manage which again may create greater challenges and complexities which will be complicated to manage for the small and medium enterprises. Moreover, it will require additional resources that adds to the capital costs which is not recommended.
The efforts and costs involved in unified storage are almost as similar as the block storage or file storage individually are. The unified storage users have the additional advantage of storage snapshots and replication which adds to the safety of the data of any user. Some of the unified storage providers combine a variety of systems and offer as a single storage pool. Block based storage systems continue to be popular but unified storage is gaining momentum as a storage product among the small businesses that look at every opportunity to cut their capital costs.
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