Software Defined Storage: What’s the Buzz Around it!

As data becomes the new currency, Storage that holds the data becomes the critical and most valuable component in IT Infrastructure. Legacy Data Centers (DC) loses its grip in handling the restricted silo-ed storage environment. Any further attempt to improve traditional storage environment results in higher capex and opex.

With escalating costs and decreasing budgets, a new approach is sought to better the storage environment. The newer approach of designing, deploying, managing storage as a software component, rather than hardware component is called Software Defined Storage (SDS).

What is SDS?

In brief, SDS is a software-based technology that decouples and abstracts the underlying hardware storage elements, such as HBA, RAID, SSD, HDD from the software that is used for storage management. It is achieved by creating a virtualized software management layer that operates above the storage hardware. Also, SDS provides Block, Object and File based data storage in a single entity.

Traditional Storage Challenges

The two key challenges face by traditional storage are;
Tightly-linked hardware & software: As data demands more, IT Operations struggle to find the right balance between the two giants. Inflexible hardware upgrade in steps, inability to scale out, system down time are routine in legacy storage.
Vendor lock-in: Storage arena relies on vendor specific storage appliances that makes use of proprietary hardware and software. As business needs evolve, customers cannot easily switch to alternate offerings and rely on the same vendor for purchase, service and upgrade which ends-up as an expensive solution.

Software-Defined Storage Solution

SDS is the perfect solution to alleviate the challenges cited above. As SDS is software driven, it doesn’t directly deal with the underlying hardware components and provides flexible handling with on demand scale-out with no system down time. Following are the core benefits of SDS for any data driven enterprise.

Data pooling: SDS combines storage capacity from multiple storage devices into a unified pool across the cluster; thereby enhances efficiency, throughput and optimal utilization of storage.

No vendor lock-in: Rather than buying a proprietary product, SDS allows customers to choose the less expensive standard X86 / X64 hardware and use it with enterprise grade SDS software.

Easy integration: SDS makes the integration process easier by offering policy-based storage management that can efficiently span across different nodes with unified simple administration of storage.

In a nutshell, SDS breaks the hardware and software link, save customers from vendor lock-in, provide a highly scalable, modern, robust and cost-effective data storage.