Unified Storage: A Must-Have for the Cloud

Arthur Cole
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Accelerating the Enterprise Adoption of Public Storage Clouds

Seven key attributes public storage cloud must possess to earn the confidence of enterprises.

Now that the cloud is poised to make major gains in enterprise infrastructure this year, it seems one of the chief beneficiaries will be unified storage.

According to analyst Greg Schulz, unified storage and the cloud are two sides of the same coin, providing the kind of flexibility and simplified operational requirements that enterprises need to handle Big Data and dynamic workflows. As he told onestopclick.com, the ability to reconfigure and redeploy storage resources across a wide range of formats and protocols will prove invaluable as enterprises seek to transition their static architectures to more dynamic computing environments.

Unified storage could be particularly useful to small and mid-sized organizations, says Veeam Software's Rick Vanover. Let's face it: Unless you only require direct attached storage, you probably have a smattering of block and file storage in iSCSI, Fibre Channel or SMB or NFS configurations. The ability to deliver disk resources in multiple protocols not only eliminates the need to mount duplicate disk drives, but you also get a leg up on tools like replication, snapshots and cloud backup.

A number of small storage firms are already starting to leverage the cloud-unified storage connection. IceWEB, for instance, just teamed up with nDataStor to combine their respective storage array technology and networking solutions into a cloud-ready unified storage environment. Built around IceWEB's Model 6000-HR array, the platform provides up to 225 TB of capacity across SSDs, ENT SAS and NDL SAS drives. The companies are pitching the system to cloud providers by virtue of the fact that it offers rapid scalability without the need to add storage controllers.

As well, Infortrend just launched a new line of EonNAS solutions designed to provide file- and block-based storage for SMBs and SOHO users. The EonNAS Pro and EonNAS 1000 utilize the Zettabyte File System, as well as snapshots and remote replication, for improved data protection. It also supports third-party devices and backup software platforms to enable more flexible deployment options in multivendor environments.

Storage remains one of the primary applications for most cloud deployments these days, which by their nature encompass a diverse set of resources and configurations. Along with virtualization, unified storage should be a high priority for enterprises looking to extend their footprint onto internal or external cloud infrastructure.

It's the best way to ensure interoperability among data sets no matter where they come from or where they are going.

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