The Direction of Storage Convergence
eLABorations: Big system strengthsstorage consolidation and simplified managementare on their way into the NAS marketOver the last few months, I have seen EMC, Hitachi Data Systems and other large storage vendors expanding the functionality of their behemoth systems. The big guys are throwing everything from iSCSI to NAS capabilities into their boxes as they try to stay relevant and expand market share. The big question that needs to be asked is, why throw tons of money at a solution to give you the file sharing capabilities that currently cost a fraction of that amount? The short answer is that storage consolidation and simplified management are highly desirable and they are strengths seen in large storage units. These benefits, however, may soon find a way into the NAS market.
NAS in general is limited on a scalability basis by the head units. As NAS solutions scale, the only way to make them larger is by adding head units, which increases management costs because each head unit is an "extra" that requires management.