As data growth continues to explode, the complexity and cost to store and manage data intensifies, and the need for regulatory compliance is an increasing priority, software-defined storage (SDS) will continue to increase in prominence. Because of this, companies in the U.S. will and should progressively adopt SDS solutions in its data centers.

Continue reading to learn more about SDS and find out just a few of the growing advantages of implementing SDS in the data center. (For more on modern storage, check out How Data Storage Infrastructure Is Being Redefined Today.)

Who Should Implement Software-Defined Storage?

Companies across industries, from media and entertainment to government, finance, health care and life sciences, should implement SDS to leverage existing data storage and assets, with primary benefits including cost and efficiency. SDS can reduce the burden on the IT teams of companies that have vast amounts of data, yet don’t have the budget to keep up with the demands put upon their IT department. Organizations should begin moving to SDS to reflect its commitment to a flexible and agile infrastructure.

It’s important to note that while all types of businesses should consider implementing SDS technology, large organizations should avoid the software-only SDS solutions and opt for a turnkey SDS solution that provides support from a single source for hardware and software instead.

Key Advantages of Implementing SDS

Optimized: One significant advantage to implementing SDS solutions is that with the right architecture, this technology can take advantage of the rapid improvements in off-the-shelf hardware to provide automated and optimized storage management capabilities as well as improved data security and compliance. As an example, as Intel has added new extensions for security like SGX and AES instructions into the CPU, software-defined storage companies can add new capabilities that can take advantage of those improvements through a software update.

Accessible: Today, everyone is getting used to using high-tech solutions like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home’s virtual assistant devices, which are expressly designed to be simple and easy to use by the average person. Fortunately, enterprise IT is headed in much the same direction with out-of-the-box solutions that are straightforward and intuitive to use, which reduces the burden on IT administrators and enables greater user self-service.

Profitable: Software-defined storage will continue to grow in adoption because it is the most flexible and cost-effective approach for long-term organizations. At first, SDS looked like a complex do-it-yourself problem, but today, SDS is becoming mainstream, and the top storage vendors are likely to all have an SDS solution flagship product within the next five years.

How to Transition to Software-Defined Storage

To transition to SDS, begin by revalidating business processes and IT architecture. It may be as simple as dropping in an SDS solution in place of legacy storage; however, it may make more sense to rethink your current architecture, review a hybrid cloud strategy and evaluate the current staffing profile to determine the best SDS solution for your company to adopt. Consider how your SDS solution will fit into the long-term vision of the organization. (To learn more about storage, see How to Optimize Your Enterprise Storage Solution.)

Additionally, it’s crucial to find an SDS solution that will meet your business’ current storage requirements and future requirements such as compliance and security. Be discriminating and find a solution that will reduce complexity and tasks for the IT department. Then, begin to migrate workloads that are the easiest to transfer. You may also need to migrate data sets that have special requirements that are currently being unmet such as encryption, performance or accessibility.

Through SDS implementation, organizations can find enormous flexibility and scalability, not to mention serious cost savings. SDS is becoming a key technology in enterprise data centers, and the organizations that adopt SDS solutions into the data center will be those that enjoy success in 2018 and beyond.