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April 2013

Emerging storage architectures may make storage arrays obsolete

Cloud storage, virtualization and the relentless growth of unstructured data have all contributed to a rethinking of the way storage architectures are packaged and presented. A changing compute world -- where physical data center infrastructure is yielding to virtualized systems and clouds, and desktops and laptops are supplemented with mobile devices -- is challenging traditional computing paradigms and reshaping everything computer related, including storage architectures. While trying to fit into a virtual world, storage has also been tested by a relentless deluge of unstructured data, with voracious contemporary applications and services demanding more data storage capacity. The traditional SAN and NAS shared storage systems that have become so familiar typically consist of storage processing hardware, attached disks (or solid-state devices) and proprietary storage software that delivers a set of storage features; they're accessed via block- and file-based storage protocols. These systems are relatively rigid and complex (...

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