Unified storage has yet to make an impact on IT decision makers, with few even able to define what it stands for and even less aware of the business benefits of implementation, according to a survey.

The study was conducted by Gartner and ONStor among 1600 IT and business decision makers from four continents and over 37 countries who attended the recent Gartner Data Center Summit and SNW Europe.

It found that only 58 per cent of those questioned were familiar with the term unified storage.

Unified storage has been defined as a single integrated storage infrastructure that functions as a unification engine to simultaneously support Fibre Channel, IP Storage Area Networks (SAN) and Network Attached Storage (NAS) data formats.

Despite this, of the 50 per cent who said they could define it, 43 per cent thought it referred to virtualised storage and 56 per cent believed it was a combination of back up and storage.

Narayan Venkat, vice president of corporate marketing at ONStor, said more had to be done to ensure IT professional were better briefed about unified storage.

“What is absolutely clear from these top line survey findings is that the market needs more education on the benefits of unified storage, and that is where the vendor community needs to join forces with analysts to drive this message home," he said.

Other key findings highlighted:

  • 21 per cent of the same who had heard of unified storage believed it would deliver a lower total cost of ownership

  • A further 21 per cent believed it would provide a more flexible network moving forward

  • The ability to protect the current investment in infrastructure was only cited by 8 per cent and only 6 per cent felt it would reduce operating costs and capital expenditure

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