Special Report

Is unified storage right for you? The latest on multiprotocol storage

By combining block-based and file-based systems, unified storage arrays can be managed as one system. However, this can cause management problems. Consolidating systems doesn't reduce the number of file shares to be managed, and some organizations prefer to manage network-attached storage (NAS) and storage area networks (SANs) with different groups.

Multiprotocol storage systems included a combination of protocols -- NAS, Fibre Channel (FC) and iSCSI -- on one system. This blurs the line between traditional NAS, FC SANs and iSCSI SANs, but can simplify management of storage for organizations that need several types of storage systems. This has made multiprotocol or unified storage popular, with nearly every storage array vendor offering systems with several protocols.

We've collected our most popular technical and articles related to unified or multiprotocol storage to help you decide whether or not the technology is right for your data storage environment. Read about the pros and cons of unified data storage and how to properly implement it. See what NetApp's CEO has to say about the future of unified storage. And catch up on the latest news about multiprotocol storage arrays such as Compellent zNAS and TwinStrata CloudArray.

Unified storage benefits, implementation and challenges

Multiprotocol systems can support both file-based NAS and block-based SAN, as well as attach to servers with either IP or Fibre Channel (FC), offering users a lot of flexibility. This tip discusses the benefits of unified storage, how to implement unified storage in your environment and also explores the challenges of unified storage. Read the full tip on unified storage benefits.

Compellent zNAS adds ZFS multiprotocol storage access to Storage Center SANs

Compellent Technologies Inc. took steps to simplify its Storage Center SAN last April by adding a new multiprotocol storage option to it. The multiprotocol storage option, Compellent zNAS, adds file-based access to the Fibre Channel and iSCSI-based disk arrays, allowing customers to provision and manage NAS volumes in one step through a single interface. Experts and analysts feel Compellent is taking a step in the right direction in today's industry as more and more vendors are simplifying data centers as storage continues to grow. Read the entire article on the Compellent zNAS multiprotocol storage option.

NetApp's Georgens: Be multiprotocol or be obsolete

NetApp CEO Tom Georgens proclaimed 2010 as "the year of multiprotocol storage." NetApp has offered multiprotocol storage in its FAS platform since 2002, and recently, more vendors have added multiprotocol storage to their offerings, including EMC Corp. and IBM. According to Georgens, technologies such as virtualization and storage clouds are making multiprotocol systems mandatory. Read more about Georgens' take on the future of multiprotocol storage.

TwinStrata offers multiprotocol storage access, cloud-based snapshots for public cloud

TwinStrata Inc. introduced its CloudArray product last May. CloudArray offers multiprotocol storage access, cloud-based snapshots, data migration and more for public cloud data storage repositories. Read more about the TwinStrata CloudArray product.

This was first published in December 2010

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