What is Software Defined Storage?


Any one following trends in  IT will definitely  a see new approach in data centers  towards software defined model.The new buzz word for this is SDDC-software defined data center. In SDDC all infrastructure components are virtualized and delivered as a service. Similar trend can be observed in Storage which is heart of DC called SDS-software defined storage.

The exact definition of SDS is still evolving, but the generally accepted definition is that software defined storage is “where the management and intelligence of the storage system is decoupled from the underlying physical hardware.”


The following are the areas that will make difference with implementation of SDS.

Administration: As a storage admin I follow different process to achieve  same task(provisioning, reclamation) in  arrays manufactured from different  vendors  like EMC, NetApp, Hitachi. With implementation of SDS we can manage all storage infra in data center  from single pane and also follow same steps for  tasks irrespective of manufacturer. SDS makes extensive use of  API to  communicate to the arrays. In data centers  with private cloud implementation SDS will definitely help in improving automation and  orchestration. Example would be EMC ViPR.

Use of commodity hardware:Any  new storage array we buy  ,we end up buying license for similar set of features like Snapshots, Cloning, Replication, Data Mobility, Encryption, and Thin Provisioning. In SDS since intelligence of the storage system is decoupled from the underlying physical  hardware we can save our  costs on this repetitive  features. We can also make any  x86 commodity hardware into a robust enterprise storage with help of some SDS solutions like Data core, Nexenta.

Cloud integration: any new software or HW solution is not complete without integration to public cloud and same is the case for SDS. SDS can  be used to pool resources from cloud and also manage both  in house and public cloud assets under single pane. Since SDS is the solution that can abstract storage from underlying physical hardware it will be useful in seamless  data transfer between private to public cloud and vice versa.

In short software-defined storage solutions is a fundamental component of software defined data center , providing a range of scale-out solutions to meet rapidly growing and changing data demands.