What is Unified Storage? Unified storage combines Block-­‐based & File-­‐Based in the same platform. Block-­‐based storage traditionally is associated with DAS &SAN (Fibre SAN & IP SAN), and file-­‐based storage is associated with NAS. Now a new breed of unified storage systems makes it possible to combine file and block storage on one device, along with many other functionalities never before available with DAS &SAN or NAS. Difference between iSCSI storage & Unified storage Unified storage has to run iSCSI protocol when both iSCSI storage (some people said IP SAN) and unified storage put together. Technically, there is no difference between those two storages in this scenario. But unified storage has following benefits in the practical environment. 1. Multi-­‐application support : Unified storage combined 2 kinds of storage architectures (block-­‐based & file-­‐based), it gives unified storage the capability to handle multi-­‐applications. Such as 50% of storage capacity is for NAS application, and another 50% of storage capacity is for SQL server external storage usage. (see diagram below ) 2. Simplify administrator management : With unified storage, many of the limitations inherent in file-­‐based or block-­‐based storage can be eliminated. For example, if a NAS and a SAN are coexist in a network, it requires two sets of infrastructure and dual skill sets to manage the systems. Such requirements can generate greater challenges and complexity, especially for environments in mid-­‐size enterprises or large enterprises, where more resources will have to be added, resulting in increased cost of ownership. That is why today unified storage is a popular storage product for small business and SMB users.