General-purpose file consolidation is primarily driven by the inherent characteristics of scale. The solution must be able to start small and scale easily, in some cases into petabyte levels while also maintaining a simple to manage front end. Costs and complexity must stay linear while ease of use must remain steady as workloads grow and/or consolidate onto the ever-expanding platform. For these reasons, the loosely coupled scale-out architecture is the correct architecture choice for this workload.
There are some scenarios such as Oracle and/or some virtualization deployments, where transactional NAS performance takes on an increased importance over typical file use cases. For these scenarios, the critical nature of these applications requires the use of arrays that can provide consistent single digit ms latencies. True transactional NAS platforms are inherently more complex, however their enterprise class latencies begin to trump basic scale and management simplicity. For these reasons, the scale-up/down architecture is the correct architecture choice for this workload.
The Spiderchart(s) below show the distribution and weighting of the primary workload requirements for this use case.