Definition

storage stack

Contributor(s): Megan Kellett

A storage stack, also called an integrated stack, is a bundled storage product that includes servers, networking components and server virtualization software. 

Storage stacks are generally easy to install because they are pre-configured and tested before they’re delivered to the customer. Essentially, customers only have to unpack the stack components and add the associated software applications to get up and running. 

Although storage stacks are packaged and sold by a single vendor, some elements of the stack, such as networking interfaces and switches, might be supplied by a different vendor. Storage stack vendors will often form partnerships to procure the parts of the stack they don’t manufacture. For example, NetApp and EMC Corp. don’t make or sell servers or networking equipment, so they currently partner with Cisco Systems Inc. for those components.

Proponents of storage stacks believe the value of pre-configured, tested and certified technology with a single point of contact for tech support outweighs the possibility that the components of a stack may not be best of breed or the most appropriate storage solution for a particular business requirement.

See also: converged infrastructure, one throat to choke

This was last updated in September 2011

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