There are so many ways that organizations use data and for the most part each use case needs a different storage system. The problem is a “storage system for every use case” strategy is expensive, complex to manage and very difficult to protect. Even so-called unified storage systems only cover the basic use cases, forcing IT to buy specialized systems for archiving, data protection and file sharing. The industry needs the next generation of unified storage, i.e. unified storage 2.0.
Use Case Sprawl
Years ago there were two basic types of data; structured data that was part of a database environment and unstructured data (files) which were essentially user home directories. Those use cases not only still exist today they are becoming more critical to the enterprise. In addition, there are also expanded use cases that IT needs to account for like storage for data retention and compliance, storage for data protection and data for mobility.
The sprawl of use cases is leading to a sprawl of storage systems. It is not uncommon for a data center to have a storage system or two for its databases, another for virtualization, another for user home directories, another for enterprise file sync and share, another for archiving and still another for data protection. It is not uncommon for even a mid sized data center to have 6 to a dozen different storage systems all from different vendors.
Unified Storage Falls Short
Unified storage systems were supposed to consolidate storage but these system only concentrated on the original two use cases, block storage (SAN) and file storage (NAS). True storage unification takes consolidation to a whole new level and provides a single storage system that can deliver the performance and capacity a SAN and NAS need, while providing the economics that archiving and data protection require. In addition, IT needs to move quickly to respond to user demands for robust file sync and share capabilities or IT will have to have to deal with ShadowIT.
Unified Storage 2.0
Unified Storage 2.0 consolidates these diverse use cases. It provides the functionality required to make the storage system perform all of these tasks. Companies like Nexsan with its Unity™ storage system are delivering unified storage systems that truly meet the demands of all the data use cases IT has to deal with.
The Unity solution is available in all-flash and hybrid-flash configurations so it can deliver the performance databases, virtual environments and production unstructured data requires. But it adds capabilities to meet compliance requirements and protect against ransomware attacks, along with capacities and costs to make it attractive for backup and a unique capability to meet the demands of enterprise file sync and share, eliminating shadow IT.
To learn more about eliminating storage silos with Unified Storage 2.0, check out our ChalkTalk video, “Merging Data Storage Silos“, where Nexsan’s CTO and Founder Gary Watson joins me as we sketch on the whiteboard the challenge of these use cases and how the Unity storage system can solve them.