Network Storage Consolidation

Network storage consolidation can help eliminate waste and effort duplication across your organization, but it can require capital costs up front that may make your CFO balk unless you do a good job of selling the long-term benefits. This Project Guide will help you figure out what network storage options make sense for your organization and then make the case for network storage consolidation.

The storage explosion continues, with no end in sight. Graphics, audio and video have become as common as word processing documents and spreadsheets on corporate servers, while databases have grown to sizes that match their critical importance to business. At the same time, demands for access across the network and beyond have escalated, making security considerations ever more complex. It's no wonder network storage solutions have worked their way to the top of the priority list for organizations of virtually every size.

Unfortunately, the dizzying array of storage solutions seems as varied as the companies that need them. IT decision makers must figure out how technologies like Network Attached Storage (NAS), Storage Area Networks (SAN), Fibre Channel, and iSCSI/Ethernet fit into their network storage equation. Then they must choose from solutions produced by countless vendors, such as HP, IBM, EMC and Hitachi. And those are only the tier one storage vendors. Then you get into a tier two landscape with emerging storage innovators, like Dell, NetApp and Xiotech.

Where do you begin when faced with this many options?

Network Storage Consolidation Needs and Options

As is the case with most IT decisions, you need to begin with a thorough understanding of your organizational needs and a matching comprehension of the benefits and costs provided by the various options that are available. Are you most concerned with infrastructure consolidation and improving backup capabilities, traditional drivers of storage consolidation? Where do capacity management, resource scalability, high availability and disaster recovery fit into your list of needs and wants?

These are important questions because storage consolidation does not typically bring with it the immediate capital savings that server consolidation does. If you are are not careful about matching the strategic storage needs of your business with the right solution, you may find yourself in hot water with your CFO. Comparing the TCO of the storage types that you consider is critical.

This Project Guide will help you define your storage needs and compare the storage technologies and vendors that might meet them. It provides background information on many storage technologies, including NAS, SAN, Fibre Channel, and iSCSI, and explains which ones are appropriate for different sizes of organizations.

The Project Guide also provides several tools from Info-Tech Research Group designed to help you understand and compare the options you should consider. You can download these tools from the IT Downloads section of IT Business Edge by clicking on the links below. Links are also provided throughout the phases of this Project Guide.

Begin reading this Project Guide with Phase 1: Understand Network Storage Needs.

This Project Guide includes content contributions and IT Downloads from our content partners at Info-Tech Research Group.

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