IT storage is the collective term for the tools, technologies and processes that maintain the data storage infrastructure for an organization. It includes the IT components that directly or indirectly handle stored computer data, such as hard disk drives, tape drives, direct-attached storage (DAS) devices, storage area networks (SANs), network attached storage (NAS) and software-defined storage (SDS). SANs provide block-level storage, typically via a Fibre Channel connection. NAS devices provide file-level storage via a standard Ethernet connection. SDS systems provide file-, block-level or object-level storage via public or private clouds.
IT storage usually refers to storage and backup management hardware and software on site, as well as off-site storage facilities for cloud and remote data storage. IT storage is governed by policies and procedures that control data storage and retrieval for the entire organization. Policies may include data collection and distribution, access control, data center storage security, storage quotas, backup schedules, data retention schedules, and so on.
Enterprises that need to unify the management of file-, block- and object-level IT storage may use a software-defined storage solution such as SUSE Enterprise Storage. Powered by Ceph, an OpenStack distributed storage app, this option provides limitless storage capacity for large data file applications such as video surveillance, CCTV, online presence, streaming media, medical (x-rays, mammography, CT, MRI), seismic processing, genomic mapping, CAD and backup data. It supports the iSCSI storage protocol, allowing other Linux, Unix and Windows servers access to the Enterprise Storage Cluster as a heterogeneous storage solution. SUSE Enterprise Storage with CephFS enables native file system access, reducing the capital and operational costs of IT storage.