How convergence can make your storage more valuable


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The benefits of convergence

In the data center, convergence in various domains (such as network, compute, storage or switching) can help rein in the number of installed devices while reducing the number of separate pieces that must be touched every time an IT service is built or modified. Consolidation can happen through feature development or the virtualization of technologies into unified solutions. Convergence can help achieve important IT goals such as:

  • Deploying technology faster by reducing the time and effort required to integrate technologies.
  • Increasing IT flexibility with building block technologies that can scale more easily and therefore adapt to changing business demands.
  • Increasing infrastructure efficiency by bringing components closer together and reducing external connections.

Those benefits may seem abstract, but there are many examples of how convergence can benefit storage operations from data protection to data replication.

Unified storage leads convergence

Unified storage characterizes the first generation of storage convergence. Unified storage has been a popular storage system alternative for a number of years and has helped alleviate the complexity of storage management. But while unified storage can consolidate file and block storage, it runs out of steam as capacity and performance demands grow

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and threatens to sprawl like its file and block cousins. Next-gen unified storage promises ample scalability, as exemplified by newcomers like Nimbus Data Systems and Scale Computing, along with established vendors like Dell with its Fluid File System products running on EqualLogic PS storage. Consider the cost of a single storage system upgrade and migration, and the benefits of unified storage are clear, especially over a period of time where additional migrations and upgrades can be avoided.

This was first published in June 2012

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