June 15, 2024

Use and Advantages of Software-Defined Storage (SDS)

3 min read

Software-defined storage (SDS) is a system of abstracting data storage to help make sure that provisioning and management of storage are separated from the underlying hardware. This allows for distinctive pools of physical storage resources to be managed together as a singular logical device.

Anand Jayapalan has previously spoken about how traditional data storage infrastructure ideally comprises of disparate storage hardware that is coupled with proprietary management software.  Such type of storage has a monolithic and rigid architecture that binds storage operations to a certain device or manufacturer. It also makes data migration and hardware replacements a huge challenge. If a storage capacity of a system runs low, physical hardware needs to be purchased and added.  Data siloed into several storage solutions leads to data fragmentation, and may even cause a lack of holistic visibility across storage resources. Managing storage resources across various technologies becomes more complex as storage has to be scaled up, and might require specialized skills and tools. To avoid such concerns, it is better to use software-defined storage.

SDS sits on top of the on-premises, private, and public clouds that can store valuable business data, and deliver a unified, flexible, hardware-independent storage pool for a variety of applications. Storage hardware can be upgraded and expanded with minimal disruption to operational procedures and lowered capital investment.  When leveraging SDS, companies no longer have to depend on proprietary infrastructure. Rather they can select any hardware device or vendor that meets their requirements, and therefore steer clear of vendor lock-in. Companies are able to automate and orchestrate storage more easily, while enjoying superior flexibility, efficiency, and scalability.

SDS offers several advantages for organizations, including all of the following:

  • Cost-effectiveness: SDS solution enables companies to optimize spending, as well as maximize the value of their storage resources. With it, one can make use of low-cost storage devices rather than investing in expensive proprietary solutions and incorporate existing hardware for optimizing storage resources and lowering capital expenses.
  • Hardware Independence: SDS solutions typically run on standard x86-based storage hardware. Therefore, it is able to remove dependence on varied vendor-specific storage solutions. Companies gain improved flexibility and more options for developing their data storage infrastructure. After all, they do not have to commit to a single vendor, rather they would be free to use several vendors for capacity upgrades based on their current needs.
  • Programmability: SDS brings built-in automation capabilities that help companies to eradicate certain manual processes, lower operational expenses and manage storage resources more efficiently. Administrators may use an application programming interface (API) or command-line interface (CLI) in order to program storage to manage the entire storage environment and automation tasks. These tasks can include provisioning storage and configuring policies.

Earlier, Anand Jayapalan had spoken about how traditional data solutions are limited by the physical capacity of the storage devices used, which can be an issue for many businesses. Fortunately, SDS can manage both physical and cloud storage, and hence it makes it easy to scale and increase storage capacity to handle the needs of a new application or improve system performance.

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