The past few years have witnessed flurry of action and hype around Software Defined Storage (SDS). There are numerous vendors claiming to grind out SDS solutions and products every other week. The Technology is great and disruptive, but there are adoption barriers for end users. The intent of this white paper is to provide a perspective to the technology, benefits and challenges of adoption, and how and where System Integrator can fill the gaps and help the user in leveraging the best benefits of SDS.
Data: New Currency Of Today’s Business
The storage required for exponentially growing data due to IoT, digitalization, social media, mobility etc., is in the range of about 40% to 60% per annum, as per industry reports and analysis.
Based on this level of growth, storage capacities double every 18 months. For many datacenters the growth rate is in excess of 100% per year. Yet, only 65% of enterprise storage is effectively utilized. Before we discuss what Software Defined Storage is and how it is helping datacenter metamorphosis let’s look at the challenges of today’s storage world.
Key Challenges in Storage World:
- Managing Storage Growth
- Proper Capacity Forecasting
- Storage Reporting
- Storage Provision Takes Time
- Managing Costs
- Migration Data and Volumes Require Lot of Time
- Managing Complexity and Heterogeneity of Storage
- Required Storage Performance Can’t be Met in Current Scenario
- Vendor Lock-ins
- Opex is Even More Than Capex
- Lot of Manual Intervention Required for Storage Management
In the past and in many datacenters now, legacy systems deliver storage through dedicated hardware devices. Configuration of these devices is done box by box. Troubleshooting is even more complex, requiring deep expertise in product architecture and that too different skill set for different vendor configurations. Managing storage includes a mundane set of activities like creating volumes, assigning LUNs, backup, repeated configuration tasks,fulfillment of requests and keeping the lights on. Most storage products are proprietary and with very limited openness either in software or hardware. Proprietary storage management software from the respective product vendors is needed to manage this complex infrastructure. Thus, traditional storage architectures are a vertically integrated stack of proprietary closed systems. These problems are driving end users to look outside their datacenters for an answer. Cloud technologies and services represent the fastest way for the business to reach new buyers.
SDS Changing The Game
SDS abstracts storage capabilities, dynamically derived from physical/virtual devices, independent on class/type of storage to offer agility, scalability, quality of service while optimizing costs. These services are orchestrated via interoperable, programmable interfaces through the software layers (typically REST APIs) that are separated into a control plane (management and policy implementation) and data planes (infrastructure and data transport), independent of where data is placed and stored to meet a defined policy or SLA.
Multiple layer of abstractions allow to introduce more innovative and cheaper solutions, which can be integrated with existing ones using APIs thus demoting the vendor lock-ins.
Figure below shows how SDS architecture is different from traditional storage with SDS controller and storage resource manager that can help in managing different types of storage from single pane of glass.