For flexibility, multiprotocol storage arrays can be configured with some storage for block access using SAS, iSCSI, Fibre Channel (FC) or Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) to support databases such as Oracle or SQL Server while other storage is accessed via NAS for VMware or home directors. Some multiprotocol storage systems, such as the one I use in my own office, support multiple protocols for NAS (e.g., NFS, CIFS, AFP) along with iSCSI for block, as well as REST and HTTP for flexibility to meet my various needs. In other words, most multiprotocol or unified storage systems can adapt to your environment.
Think of it this way, SMBs may have multi-function printer, copiers, fax and scanning devices for flexibility and maximizing their investment; the same can be said for unified or multiprotocol storage systems.
This was first published in May 2010