Software Defined Storage

The past decade and a half has seen virtualization technology transform applications, servers and networks into software abstractions that enable data centre and IT managers to build adaptive and agile data centres. The rise of the Software-Defined Data Centre promises to build on the progress of virtualization by completely abstracting every component of the data centre from its underlying hardware so that IT can truly deliver IT resources as customizable, on-demand services.

This is the transformative potential. However, unlike applications, servers and networking, storage and its valuable data is still too often tied to proprietary hardware. A major reason that storage has lagged behind server and network virtualization is its inherent heterogeneity.

Storage hardware and operating systems vary much more than server, client or network platforms. Storage platforms are incredibly diverse; even different arrays from the same vendor will feature different operating systems, proprietary APIs and unique feature sets. Storage naturally evolved this way over decades as a response to new and different application workloads that require unique performance and protection characteristics.

Software defined storage systems therefore, have the task of transforming physical storage systems into a simple, extensible and open virtual storage platform. The value proposition of the SDDC and cloud computing – easily consumed IT services, simple API access, and single management view – is now available for storage.


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