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Storage management refers to the software and processes that improve the performance of data storage resources. It may include network virtualization, replication, mirroring, security, compression, deduplication, traffic analysis, process automation, storage provisioning and memory management. These processes help businesses store more data on existing hardware, speed up data retrieval, prevent data loss, meet data retention requirements, and reduce IT expenses. Storage management makes it possible to reassign storage capacity quickly as business needs change.

Storage management techniques can be applied to primary, backup or archived storage. Primary storage holds actively or frequently accessed data; backup storage holds copies of primary storage data for use in disaster recovery; and archived storage holds outdated or seldom-used data that must be retained for compliance or business continuity. Storage provisioning is a management technique that assigns storage capacity to servers, computers, virtual machines and other devices. It may use automation to allocate storage space in a networked environment. Intelligent storage management uses software policies and algorithms to automate the provisioning (and de-provisioning) of storage resources, continuously monitoring data utilization and re-balancing data placement without human intervention.

One example of intelligent storage management is SUSE Enterprise Storage. This software defined storage (SDS) solution separates the storage hardware from the storage management logic, allowing businesses to use off-the-shelf hardware and to access storage from disparate physical locations. Designed as a distributed storage cluster, this enterprise storage solution provides unlimited scalability from terabytes to petabytes. It allows data access to Linux, Unix and Windows servers in the cluster, enabling worker collaboration in heterogeneous server environments. With SUSE Enterprise Storage, additional storage can be quickly provisioned and delivered as business needs change, and data placement is automatically rebalanced.

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