What is Software-Defined Storage (SDS) - Benefits + Applications

What is Software-Defined Storage (SDS) - Benefits + Applications

Data storage is something that nearly all enterprise-level companies and many small-to-midsize businesses have to manage on an ongoing basis.

There are many data storage approaches and solutions that are available on the market. However, not all of these are created equal.

In this article, we are going to break down software-defined storage, one of the best data storage architectures in the world right now. Here is a closer look at software-defined storage, also known as SDS.

What is Software-Defined Storage?

Software-defined storage is a type of data storage architecture in which the data storage software is separated from the hardware. Software-defined data storage is an alternative to traditional data storage architectures such as network-attached storage (NAS) and storage area networks (SAN).

Software-defined storage is designed to be a high-performance and optimized platform for data storage that is based on software. Software-defined storage is an efficient and future-proof storage solution that enables companies to not have to worry about the infrastructure in their applications. SDS is compatible with any industry-standard system.

What are the Benefits of Software-Defined Data Storage?

  • Software-defined storage eliminates dependence on proprietary hardware, allowing for maximum amounts of flexibility.
  • It allows for extremely efficient scaling when more data storage is required. Hypothetically, infinite scaling is possible with software-defined storage. This is because SDS is not limited to a network with a limited number of nodes. So, no matter how large your data storage needs are, SDS can handle them.
  • It is cost-efficient because it allows you to scale out instead of scale-up. SDS gives you the power to adjust capacity and performance independently.
  • It can be automated. SDS can make automatic adjustments based on your day-to-day capacity needs. New connections and new hardware are not needed to make storage adjustments – nor is administrator intervention. This saves time and money and makes the entire data storage process much more efficient. Data storage automation is a tremendous advantage for companies.
  • You can use a wide variety of data sources to build your storage infrastructure. All of the following items can be networked: external disk systems, flash or disk resources, object platforms, cloud-based resources, virtual servers (VPS), and more. Because all of these data storage items can be networked through SDS, it gives your company the power to build a unified storage platform.

How Does Software-Defined Storage Work?

Software-defined storage is designed to be a solution for the problems of traditional data storage. With traditional data storage, a bundle of hardware and proprietary software is sold to the client. The hardware is industry standard. The problem with this model is that it results in a distinct lack of flexibility and efficiency.

Unlike traditional data storage methods, software-defined storage abstracts the data storage resources from the underlying hardware. In other words, SDS prevents data storage clients from being forced to rely on the proprietary software and specific hardware that a data storage company may offer. Instead, SDS works as a layer of technology that enables data storage to occur on a wide variety of hardware sources, in addition to other sources such as cloud platforms.

Essentially, SDS frees companies from the constraints of traditional data storage by allowing them to store data in many different places. This makes file storage significantly easier and more efficient for companies that need to store large quantities of data. When software-defined storage is done correctly, it increases performance, availability, and efficiency. It also saves money, saves time, saves stress, and frees up administrative resources that can be put to use elsewhere. Further, SDS also makes governance, security, and data protection much easier to control and implement while facilitating SLAs and QoS.

Virtual SAN, also known as vSAN is an enterprise-class storage virtualization software that many companies rely on for SDS.

Use Cases

  • Remote Office/Branch Office (Robo) – Software-defined storage enables your company to get more out of your existing servers. With SDS, you can also make data storage easier to manage and protect at remote offices and branch offices.
  • Implementations for Hybrid Clouds – Software-defined storage makes it possible for you to manage the data that is stored at your premises and on your servers in addition to data that is stored on hosted private clouds. This enables you to get the best of both worlds by creating a hybrid solution. Thanks to the simplicity and ease of software-defined storage, there is no variation in reporting, tools, or training when you make the switch. Everything is easy and efficient.
  • Challenging Environments – Software-defined storage is ideal for challenging environments like first-responder situations, environmental disaster situations, tactical situations, and mobile situations. SDS is much more agile and swift than traditional data storage methods, so it is a far better option in challenging environments and situations where speed, flexibility, and swiftness are key.
  • Modernization Situations for Infrastructure – Software-defined storage is a great option for any company or organization that is trying to modernize its data storage systems. SDS is more cost-efficient, more reliable, more ideal for scaling, safer, easier to use, and can be automated. It is quickly becoming the industry standard for data storage. Any company that wants to be on the cutting edge of data storage technology should implement software-defined storage.

The Importance of Having a Reliable Software-Defined Storage Provider

Despite the fact that SDS has many different benefits, it is still crucial to have a reliable software-defined storage provider. This is because, with many different technologies, they tend to work best when the vendor is high-quality. A reliable software-defined storage provider will be able to keep your data storage systems up and running 24-7 with no downtime and will be able to give you complete peace of mind.

After you have created a great app or have created many different important files, the last thing that you want to happen is for your data to be corrupted, stolen, or damaged. A good SDS provider will make sure that that never happens and that your data is secure at all times. A good SDS provider also makes it easy for you to automate many different processes related to data storage.

Conclusion - Benefits of Software-Defined Storage (SDS)

If your company needs to streamline its data storage, wants to cut costs on data storage, wants to modernize its data storage, or just improve data storage in general, then you should strongly consider switching to software-defined storage. Data storage does not have to be inefficient, tedious, and overly expensive, as has been with traditional data storage for years.

It can be easy, efficient, and, dare I say, fun with software-defined storage. Being able to manage data storage across many different data mediums from one software platform is incredible. Many companies that start using SDS never go back to traditional data storage because they enjoy SDS so much more. There are simply too many benefits of SDS to ignore.

Considering the fact that more and more amounts of data are being produced every year and that data is becoming increasingly important for companies, it is now more crucial than ever for companies to have data solutions that they can rely on. For these reasons, SDS is a great option.

OVHcloud offers cloud solutions to help businesses move, manage and store their digital assets anywhere. From simple storage to complex sharing of resources, we offer flexible, scalable, and cost-effective services tailored to your needs.

To learn more about Software-Defined Storage and how it can positively impact your organization, speak with an expert today.

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