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Author: Colm Keegan, Lead Analyst at Storage Switzerland LLC.

Shared storage, whether it be networked attached storage (NAS) or a storage area network (SAN), has become an essential component of any IT environment – large or small. While the cost of shared storage technology has dropped significantly over the last 10 years the costs of physical storage solutions are still prohibitive in achieving remote site redundancy. In addition to high Capex and Opex costs, the complexity of implementing and managing physical storage solutions can be daunting for even the most seasoned IT professionals.


In most instances the storage capacity available internal to the physical hosts will suffice for supporting on-site applications. The challenge for organizations managing multiple remote sites is that physical storage solutions require high capital investment for acquisition, deployment, management and maintenance. These physical solutions re-introduce complexity into virtualized environments and are a single point that introduces higher risk of extended downtime.


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Although the retail sector has a lower probability of store downtime, it does suffer from a higher cost of downtime per hour. This high cost of downtime is a result of employee dependency on the in-store infrastructure.


For infrastructure management teams, implementing network storage in-store ensures availability of business applications. However implementing SAN storage in business and mission-critical retail locations actually increases risk because of its inherent complexity. Additionally, the capital and management costs make no business sense for these environments as they raise concerns and challenges such as:

-          High Capex and Opex associated with acquisition, management and implementation of physical solutions across multiple stores/sites,

-          Physical storage solutions re-introduce complexity into virtualized environments.

-          As a single point of failure if the storage fails your site goes down.

-          Potential extended downtime as physical solutions require on-site IT for hardware failure resolution


The combination of server virtualization and virtual storage appliances (VSA) changes the landscape providing a solution that is simple to use and cost effective while still providing high availability.

In this recent webinar we discuss how StorMagics SvSAN has reinvented network storage for retail environments:

-          Simple to implement over dozens, hundreds and thousands of remote locations

-          Ease of ongoing management and support across remote locations

-          Changes the business economics including capex and opex

-          Ensures in-store application availability cost effectively

-          Examination of a real world use case of a major retailer with over 2,000 locations


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