Software Defined Storage (SDS) is now becoming a key technology in data centres. Here Gordon Grosse, our Head of Technical Services, answers 3 FAQs to help you decide if it could be the right data storage option for your business.
- What is SDS?
Much confusion has arisen around the actual definition of Software Defined Storage – some refer to it as a completely new type of storage, while others say that it is the software which is key as it manages that underlying storage, and therefore the hardware functionality doesn’t matter. In our opinion, Software Defined Storage is a delivery model rather than a new type of storage.
- How does SDS work in practice?
Software Defined Storage enables the use of multiple types of underlying storage hardware through a simple to use platform which can easily be upgraded. SDS allows the mixing of hardware and media, providing a heterogeneous pool of hardware resources – for example, by mixing of Flash and spinning disk technologies – to maximise value for money and performance where it is needed.
The storage is provisioned through the use of policies allowing users to become more agile in how they take advantage of virtualisation without requiring the purchase of new hardware. Managed service providers who are experienced in technologies from multiple vendors can help businesses to choose the right options for them and to ensure their data storage solution is optimised on an ongoing basis.
- What are the advantages of SDS?
The presence of Software Defined Storage within a hyper-converged environment allows the whole infrastructure to be potentially managed from a single pane of glass, including compute, storage and network infrastructure. This reduces both the complexity and space use of the environment.
Overall this provides benefits in efficiency and cost, as well as the possibility of utilising existing hardware within data centres before needing to consider full time replacements. SDS solutions are often outsourced to a trusted managed service provider, who can provide the business with a strong, well managed data storage platform, leaving the company owners to concentrate on running and growing their business.