Advantageous Features of Software-Defined Storage (SDS)

Software-Defined Storage

Data plays an increasingly valuable role in business. Hence, enterprise data storage needs have also expanded substantially over the years. There are many options for enterprise-grade data storage available in the current business landscape, Software-defined storage (SDS) being one of the most popular ones. Earlier, Anand Jayapalan had spoken about how SDS is a method of managing data storage services through software rather than hardware. The software does run on hardware, but it is not bound to it. Rather, it is an abstracted layer and can be moved between different pieces of hardware.

SDS is popular for being a flexible storage option, particularly for companies with data centers. As SDS infrastructure can run on a variety of hardware, it allows for more hardware options. This essentially lowers the odds of vendor lock-in, an industry term for customers getting trapped with a single vendor due to legal, monetary, or compatibility reasons.

Here are the most advantageous features of software-defined storage:

  • Rather than scaling up, SDS is distributed and scales out. Hence, it allows the users to independently adjust performance and capacity. This proves to be pretty cost effective over time.
  • One may join multiple data sources for building the storage infrastructure. To create a unified storage volume, one may network object platforms, disk or flash resources, external disk systems, virtual servers, as well as cloud-based resources.
  • With SDS enjoys the flexibility to select the hardware that shall run the storage services. The SDS does not have to be from the same company that sold the hardware. One may use any commodity or x86 server in order to build an SDS-based storage infrastructure.  This basically means that one can effectively maximize the capacity of their existing hardware with an increase in their storage needs.
  • SDS can automatically adjust based on the capacity needs of a business. As it does not rely on hardware, automation is easy in SDS. It can pull from any storage volume it is connected to. No administrator intervention or new connections would be needed to adjust the storage system as per the data needs and performance.
  • Traditional storage area networks are limited to the amount of nodes they can use, but SDS does not have such limitations.

Earlier, Anand Jayapalan had mentioned that SDS can run on any industry-standard servers and disks. As opposed to many other storage options, SDS relies more on its own software than the hardware it sits on. It assumes that the hardware underneath will eventually fail, no matter the age or cost of the hardware. As a result, SDS plans for that failure by distributing workloads across the infrastructure. This essentially implies that SDS can run both on the server’s standard operating system and in a virtual machine (VM). A few SDS products may even run across containers.

One must also remember that even though both SDS and storage virtualization does involve abstracting something from storage hardware; these concepts are not the space. Storage virtualization allows the capacity of many storage devices to be pooled so it looks like all the storage is sitting on one device. On the other hand, SDS abstracts the storage services, and separates them from the device itself.

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