Failing to capitalize on all of the possibilities that networked storage offers is a mistake that many midsize organizations can and do make. “Disk drives” and “storage arrays” condition these organizations to think of storage as a “dumb” device so much so that they fail to realize that today’s storage systems and disk drives have little in common. It is for this reason that these midsized organizations must change their mindset when they adopt and implement a network storage solution, especially those classified as a unified storage platform.
It was just a little over decade ago that networked storage first moved outside of the server and started to displace internal disk drives and direct attached storage (DAS) arrays. Even at that time, the distinction between internal and external storage was not that great other than how they physically connected to the server.
Fast forward to 2010 and networked storage systems are much more than disk drives. They are now storage platforms that can manage data separately and distinctly from the servers which store data on them. As such, organizations are no longer bound to application, file system or operating system specific software and instead may use the software native to these storage platforms to manage the data that resides on them.
This storage technology has evolved to the point where new unified storage platforms can manage both block and file storage and is creating new data management possibilities that simply were not possible when servers and storage were tightly coupled or even when storage is only block or file. Now midsize organizations can leverage unified storage platforms like the RELDATA 9240i to accomplish the following tasks:
- Increased utilization of existing storage resources. By aggregating existing storage assets into a sharable storage pool, organizations are no longer left in a predicament where one application has too much storage capacity and another too little. Further, because the 9240i supports both block and file, organizations eliminate the creation of storage silos that can still occur when block-only or file-only storage systems are deployed.
- Complete data migrations independent of the attached application, file system or operating system. Migrating data from aging direct attached or networked storage to another new storage device is historically one of the largest challenges of managing storage. A unified storage platform such as the RELDATA 9240i includes its own data migration software. Because it does, it can non-disruptively migrate block or file data with minimal or no disruption to the attached application, file system or operating system.
- Standardized approach to storage management. The last thing any organization wants to do is develop one set of skills and procedures for managing and replicating data for block-based storage systems and then another set of skills and procedures for managing and replicating data on file-based storage systems. Using the 9240i, once an organization has individuals trained and policies set, they are the same for either file or block storage they can all be managed the same way going forward using the 9240i.
Realizing these new benefits that today’s networked storage systems deliver is only possible if midsize organizations start to view storage in a new context and select solutions that merge block and file storage. However not just any networked storage solution will deliver on these promises.
Only unified storage platforms such as the RELDATA 9240i can turn them into a reality. By supporting both block and file- level storage on a single storage system, enabling the migration of data from current storage assets to the 9240i and offering advanced storage management and replication features, midsize organizations can efficiently and cost-effectively accomplish these tasks in such a way that will meet their storage needs of today while positioning them for tomorrow’s requirements.