Blade.org has recently published two papers focused on data center efficiency beginning first with Network Consolidation and more recently Server Consolidation. The third pillar of improved data center efficiency is Storage Consolidation.
Network consolidation or convergence contributes to an increased need for storage consolidation. Most companies with large IT departments may deploy or have deployed disparate storage networks including intranets, high performance computing networks, and traditional LANs. Each network may have a unique architecture and management team. Additionally, each network often has its own preferred or inherited network technology. By consolidating network technologies, greater storage consolidation is also possible by combining into one pool storage that was once dedicated to a specific network technology.
Server consolidation can be achieved by shrinking server hardware as well as through server virtualization. High density servers, such as blade servers, are designed to fit many physical servers into a very small footprint. This optimization favors compute density and improved server manageability over other IT priorities, such as maximizing local storage capacity. As a result, utilizing blade servers encourages the use of networked storage.