Question

What are some of the benefits of software-defined storage?

Answer

Software-defined storage (SDS) as a concept is revolutionizing the ways that businesses handle data storage. In conjunction with the principles of virtualization, integration and interoperability, software-defined storage systems are helping to make the storage process more dynamic and flexible.

Many experts describe the main benefit of software-defined storage as related to flexibility. Software-defined storage systems can help businesses to handle diverse types of workloads, and tie workloads to storage in a more effective way. Software-defined storage systems can also help with the speed of provisioning and improve the responses of firms to problems, along with the routine processes that businesses use to allocate resources within a system.

Another benefit involves more agile scalability. Some vendors will characterize their software-defined storage systems as delivering “real-time scalability” where platforms and products can respond to peak demand. These systems can automatically provide more CPU or memory or whatever is needed in the virtual environment, without requiring labor-intensive administration and observation by human teams.

Part of the value of software-defined storage is the bar that is set within the industry. For example, Forrester Research has set forth a number of key guidelines for software-defined storage systems – one is the use of API integration for interoperability; another is quality of service features. Quality of service can also provide its own benefits to an enterprise IT platform.

A third standard for software-defined storage is virtualization – in general, software-defined storage systems will include an element of virtualization, whether that’s a traditional hypervisor approach or some other type of virtualization setup. In either case, this virtualization principle will allow for that “loosely coupled interchange” between hardware and controlling software that is the hallmark of software-defined storage. Boiling down the concept to its most basic premise, IT experts explain that the software-defined storage method essentially separates the control plane from the hardware plane, through the use of virtualization strategies. Again, the benefits of this are often related to how it helps the business to better handle storage responsibilities with fewer resources.

Related Terms

Justin Stoltzfus
Contributor

Justin Stoltzfus is an independent blogger and business consultant assisting a range of businesses in developing media solutions for new campaigns and ongoing operations. He is a graduate of James Madison University.Stoltzfus spent several years as a staffer at the Intelligencer Journal in Lancaster, Penn., before the merger of the city’s two daily newspapers in 2007. He also reported for the twin weekly newspapers in the area, the Ephrata Review and the Lititz Record.More recently, he has cultivated connections with various companies as an independent consultant, writer and trainer, collecting bylines in print and Web publications, and establishing a reputation…