Time to Consolidate NAS Systems

Michael Vizard

One of the reasons that storage is difficult to manage is that Windows servers don't scale all that well. As a result, IT organizations wind up investing a lot of money in network attached storage (NAS) systems.

The folks at Sanbolic says that's the wrong answer. What's needed is a software-based approach that extends the file serving capabilities of Windows. Sanbolic this week launched ShareCenter, a new module in its suite of Melio Enterprise clustered file system software.

According to Sanbolic President and COO Eva Helen, 60 percent of Windows server deployments are focused on file sharing. But because Windows server doesn't scale well, Helen says IT organizations wind up buying NAS systems to compensate for that shortcoming. Sanbolic is making a case that instead of investing in NAS hardware, the smarter approach is to extend the NAS capabilities of the Windows server itself. Melio is a 64-bit clustered file system software that allows Windows servers to manage up to 18 million terabytes.


Helen says that capability obviously creates a significant opportunity to start consolidating NAS servers that are largely underutilized. When you consider the rate at which unstructured data is growing in the enterprise, it's also clear that a NAS-based approach to managing all that data is going to be increasingly cost prohibitive.

The real expense associated with NAS servers isn't just the cost of acquiring the equipment. Each additional server exponentially increases the cost of managing the server environment. Much of that infrastructure, however, might never be needed in the first place if the Windows server itself could better manage data storage.

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