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If you have more than one person working on more than one computer in your company—or if you access company files by more than one device—your computers and devices need to be connected by a network. Think of your network as the software/hardware infrastructure by which your computers access and share company data, as opposed to having some files on one computer and other files on another. Network storage and virtualization are two key elements of your network that help you manage and process large amounts of information in a cost-effective manner.

What is Network Storage?

Just as your personal computer’s hard drive acts as storage for files you create and work with, network storage enables all shared files within the network to be stored in and accessed from a central location, whether physical or virtual. Network storage can take many forms, from network-attached storage (NAS) to storage area networks (SAN), and even virtualized storage. The end goal for each is the same: To provide a central point for storing and accessing all digital files within the network.

Once in place, a proper network storage structure can help optimize your computers’ memory and processing resources, so they run efficiently without adding costly hardware—even as the whole network can be expanded if needed.

What is Network Virtualization?

Techopedia defines network virtualization as “the management and monitoring of an entire computer network as a single administrative entity from a single software-based administrator’s console.” Similar to server virtualization as we’ve discussed previously, network virtualization contains the network functions within a software program, rather than attaching it to dedicated hardware.

Advantages of Network Storage and Virtualization

• Greater bandwidth using fewer resources. Hardware-based functions are cumbersome and slow, especially as you grow. Virtualizing your network and centralizing your storage helps you process data more efficiently and quickly.

• Upgrades are simpler and more affordable. Any function that is software-based (virtualized) can transfer easily within your network as your configuration changes, including the network components themselves. Updates become simpler because you don’t need to buy new hardware every time an upgrade happens. You’ll also use less storage and need to add storage less often.

Compared to more traditional configurations, network storage and virtualization can help your business compete with companies much larger than yours at a reduced cost. To find out if these solutions are right for you, call our offices for details.