When your entire workforce shifted to a work-from-home model, was your storage able to keep up? Think of how much easier—for you, your employees, and your customers—it could have been if you had the infrastructure in place to quickly pivot to new circumstances, enabling your business to withstand the uncertainty.
Even before the rush to remote work, scalable storage solutions were top of mind for businesses that were accumulating files faster than they could store them, with unstructured data making up the largest chunk. Then came the pandemic and with a remote workforce, the number of mixed workloads, protocols and data multiplied almost beyond measure.
Businesses soon found that it wasn’t all about keeping up with the changing requirements of today’s applications, but how to make their data center simpler to manage, better aligned with their priorities and more cost effective to scale. That’s where unified storage stepped in, enabling organizations of all sizes to scale as they needed and evolve effortlessly.
As a leader in all things storage, iTBlueprint sees modern unified storage as a gamechanger in managing and supporting your entire storage infrastructure easily. So, let’s take a look at what this scalable storage solution is and how you can benefit from taking a more unified approach.
Getting IT Together: Unified Storage
In traditional environments, the limits of the system, the resulting server sprawl and management challenges can make for an IT engineering nightmare. From a variety of costs (real estate, utilities, racks upon racks, and someone to manage it all) to limited agility and lack of flexibility (especially supporting a remote workforce), you need something that can scale with you, not hold you back.
Unified storage replaces file servers and consolidates data for applications and virtual servers onto a single, efficient, and powerful platform. As scale-out and scale-up storage, this uses standard file protocols such as Common Internet File System (CIFS) and Network File System (NFS), standard block protocols like Fibre Channel (FC) and Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI), new protocols such as SAN for block and NAS, as well as cloud storage platforms. Unified storage enables users and applications to access, from anywhere, data consolidated on a single storage pool that simultaneously supports all locations and workloads.
Unified storage delivers benefits across the spectrum, enabling your business to scale quickly, your IT staff to work smarter, your end users to maintain their productivity and your budget to stay intact.
Scale on Your Terms
Your organization’s physical limitations are erased with the ability to scale up and scale out, giving you the freedom to upgrade both capacity and performance. Unified storage removes the complexity of managing different platforms for different kinds of data so you can seamlessly handle colossal amounts of data without having to expand data center space. Unified storage allows you to use any available capacity in the pool to support a variety of data types. No matter which application needs it or which protocol it uses to connect, you can use what you already have instead of paying for more and wasting valuable capacity.
Everyone can benefit from your technology working smarter. Using a single storage platform to manage multiple sets of tools and pools of disparate storage frees your in-house staff to spend more time on driving innovation, instead of mundane management tasks. Analysts, executives and number crunchers will appreciate unified storage’s ability to read and write data types via any protocol, without the need for conversion to each user’s preferred file type, making spreadsheets and other data-based workflows easy to access, share and manage.
By combining separate storage platforms, such as network-attached storage (NAS) for file-based storage and disk arrays for block-based storage, your team has less to manage. Less storage products means less floor space, reducing your need to maintain power, cooling and other resources necessary to support your infrastructure.
Consolidating your storage over existing networks—using data compression, deduplication and virtual server environments—means enhanced efficiency with a higher return on investment (ROI) and lower total cost of ownership (TCO). In fact, the initial investment can be less than you may have thought for the simple fact that there is no need to think long-term expansion.
Unified storage makes applications more powerful and expands their lifecycle by allowing them to work with file-, block- and object-based data, even though they may have been written only to work with files—without needing to re-code them. Added features and functionality, such as replication and tiering capabilities, enable you to more effectively manage data across multiple platforms, including the cloud. Other features, like data encryption and access controls, help reduce security risks and provide peace of mind by protecting data when it’s at rest and in motion.
iTBlueprint and NetApp – Unified Storage Leaders
To realize your unified storage dreams, you need a dream team of storage experts to make it happen. A 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant Primary Storage Leader, NetApp provides you with leading-edge storage technology to modernize your IT and deliver a seamless data storage and availability experience—on-premises and across clouds. NetApp’s agile and scalable unified storage solutions ensure your data is always on and always available.
As a NetApp Gold partner, iTBlueprint is committed to providing you with the unified storage solutions that fit your unique needs, addressing today’s demands and positioning your business for a successful future. Our network and security specialists can help you develop a comprehensive roadmap that details how NetApp unified storage solutions can not only benefit your business agility, but also drive profitable business outcomes.
iTBlueprint and NetApp bring together the best that unified storage has to offer. Find out what we can do for your business.