The single-byte character sets were essentially build for the English language that doesn't have that many symbols nor accented letters. The multi-byte character sets accommodate languages with more characters and symbols. It is up to each application to understand how its data is represented. All the storage system sees is bits. It doesn't know whether those bits are letters or the instructions of some program.
From a storage management perspective, you would treat all data as the same. There is nothing here that a network administrator needs to worry about.
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This was first published in March 2002