May 23, 2017
In addition to desktops, networks, and servers, the data storage industry is moving towards virtualization. Software defined storage (SDS) is on the rise. Yet, its value and even its definition is unclear for many IT directors. Software defined storage benefits organizations of all sizes in a wide variety of ways, and moving forward, SDS will prove to be a strategy of choice for data centers across the country.
Briefly, software defined storage separates the control plane from the data plane. This means that many of the administrative and management functions normally found in storage hardware will be made available by a third party software. It’s simpler, it’s easier, and it opens the door to a number of key benefits.
Software Defined Storage Benefits
Through software defined storage, IT environments can use multiple storage developers without the usual headaches. So long as the hardware in your environment is compatible with the SDS solution, an IT administrator can manage the entire storage environment from a single interface.
SDS also frees a company from being locked into a single vendor for capacity upgrades. The company can shop around for the best hardware to suit their needs at the time.
In addition to adding new vendor options for a business, SDS also provides the ability to design a more flexible storage solution. If the company needs flash for certain applications and hard disk storage for others, this can be more easily arranged in an SDS environment. Administrators can quickly configure resources for specific applications.
Keeping Up with the Times:
The storage industry like the rest of the technology industry is in a constant state of change and innovation. Software defined storage empowers a business to stay on the forefront of these technological advances. Instead of forklift storage upgrades to take advantage of new deduplication techniques and administrative features, a business with an SDS strategy can upgrade their application virtually and access the cutting-edge of the industry.
At the end of the day, every storage solution breaks down to a number of petabytes and an administration interface to manage the storage pool. Software defined storage removes the administration interface from the equation. This allows businesses to purchase commodity hardware at lower costs and save money on capital expenditures without compromising their storage solution.
Your Environment Determines Your Needs
While software defined storage benefits environments of all sizes, the best time for your organization to make the switch will be determined by your exact needs. The end of the refresh cycle is a logical time to explore these options, but other opportunities exist. For example, if your new environment is in need of a new storage administrator, it may be worth considering a new systems administrator proficient in software defined storage instead. Assess your technology roadmap for the next few years and consider making the switch to a software defined storage solution. The benefits and impact it has on your environment may surprise.
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