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Unified storage is a system that can accommodate dual access to both file-based storage and block-based storage, often through a common method or interface. The actual use of the term unified storage varies, and its exact meaning is debated within certain IT markets. Unified storage systems may also include object-based storage or other features.
Unified storage is also known as network unified storage
Generally, unified storage systems should support different kinds of storage including storage area networks (SANs), fiber channel and Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI) storage. The unified storage system should also accommodate file-based storage methods such as network attached storage scenarios. Unified storage is sometimes provided along with cloud services to enable greater data security.
Experts point out that those looking for unified storage solutions need to be careful and ask specific questions about the architecture of such a product or service. This includes questions of versatility, where truly unified storage systems can accommodate switching from one type of storage to another. It also means analyzing any potential conflicts that have to do with data caching methods, memory allocation, or any other issue where mixing block-based and file-based storage can tax systems not set up to handle this kind of dynamic use.