Unified storage offers savings and efficiency

Unified, or multiprotocol, arrays put file and block storage in the same box. It's convenient and, according to our survey, an efficient way to manage storage.

This article can also be found in the Premium Editorial Download: Storage magazine: Good match: iSCSI and vSphere:
Unified, or multiprotocol, arrays put file and block storage in the same box. It's convenient and, according to our survey, an efficient way to manage storage.

"Two for the price of one" has always been an effective marketing strategy, and while it's not entirely accurate when talking about multiprotocol or unified storage, the idea does seem to have some appeal for many data storage shops. In our latest Snapshot survey, 53% of respondents reported that their companies use multiprotocol arrays. It's not surprising why: 35% of these users said using disk capacity more efficiently was the main reason they went the multiprotocol route. But for 29%, the cost savings of having both block and file storage in one box was the key motivator, closely followed by those who felt it would be easier to manage the two together (28%). Current users seem to be sold on the unified storage concept; 80% have more than one multiprotocol array installed. Users were roughly split on how they divvy up their unified arrays: 37% allot more capacity for files, 34% allocate more capacity for block and 29% use an even split. Thirty-nine percent of the multiprotocol deployments were real 2-for-1 deals, with a single array replacing separate file and block arrays. For 41%, their new multiprotocol systems were additions to their environments. Mixing two IP-based protocols (NAS and iSCSI) was the most popular configuration (75%). So how's it all working out? Pretty nicely, it seems, as 44% are "very satisfied" with their multiprotocol experiences.

"We have no fixed SAN/NAS ratio. Storage is dynamically provisioned (and reprovisioned) as necessary." Survey respondent



BIO: Rich Castagna (rcastagna@storagemagazine.com) is editorial director of the Storage Media Group.

This was first published in August 2010

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