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Because of storage protocols that operate over extended distances, various distributed storage applications that improve the efficiency and reliability of data storage are now possible. Distributed storage applications improve efficiency by allowing any network server to transparently consolidate and access data stored in multiple physical locations. Remote backup and mirroring improve the system's reliability by copying critical data. These processes improve efficiency by eliminating backup downtime and manual backup operations. Business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities enable enterprises to recover quickly and transparently from system failure or data loss. Storage protocols and gateway devices enable rapid and transparent data transfer between mainframe applications and open-systems applications. NAS applications provide shared file access for clients using standard LAN-based technology, and can integrate with SAN architectures to provide truly distributed network capabilities. All these distributed storage network applications enable IT managers to improve data availability and reliability while minimizing management overhead and costs.