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What Does Consolidation Mean?

In computing, consolidation refers to when data storage or server resources are shared among multiple users and accessed by multiple applications.


Consolidation aims to make more efficient use of computer resources and prevent servers and storage equipment from being under-utilized and taking too much space.

Techopedia Explains Consolidation

The two main types of consolidation are server consolidation and storage consolidation.

Server consolidation involves reducing the number of servers and server locations within an organization. The intended result is more efficient use of server resources and occupied space. However, this also increases the complexity of the servers, data and applications, which may be challenging for users. Server virtualization attempts to address this problem by masking that complexity from users. Another option is to use blade servers, which are actual servers in the form of modular circuit boards on a card. They occupy less rack space and consume less power.

Storage consolidation, or storage convergence, is a method of centralizing data storage through any one of three architectures:

  • Network Attached Storage (NAS): Dedicated storage hard drives do not have to compete with other computers for processing resources.
  • Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID): Data is located on multiple disks but appears as a single logical drive.
  • Storage Area Network (SAN): Fiber channel technology is used to provide high throughput, data sharing, data migration and service to many clients (also called subscribers) over a large geographical area. SANS is the most sophisticated storage consolidation method of the three.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.