When is it right to move to software-defined storage?

11th July 2016

When is it right to move to software-defined storage?

Software defined storage

Why is there so much talk about software-defined storage (SDS) of late? Is it simply a vendor-led fad, or could it be a profitable strategy for your organisation? This article examines when it makes sense and where the benefits are most likely to be found to help you decide if and when your business should move toward an SDS solution.

Producing cost savings and enabling business growth
Dating back to the push towards server virtualisation in the data centre, the executive IT landscape has increasingly grown more interested in software defined computing, networking and storage.

There are good reasons for the current trend, even though definitions and offerings are still evolving. To be clear on the definition, we consider software-defined storage an approach to data storage where the actual control of storage-related tasks has been decoupled from the physical storage.

So how can that help you drive an advantage? It’s largely about cost and scale. SDS follows previous gains made via data centre virtualisation, as it can assist by successfully leveraging software-managed pools of virtualised storage for real business needs. These needs today would include big data analytics, and the hyperscale capabilities required by today’s internet-driven and e-commerce enterprises.

If you look at the basic idea of SDS – running storage centrally on lower cost commodity hardware – you can see where some immediate cost savings and value exist via a solution that helps businesses to cost effectively support growth.

Cost and performance benefits follow when your hardware and software platform is tailored to meet your specific storage requirements. What’s critical is working with a partner who can help identify and articulate your IT environment’s needs for scalability and other specific ongoing requirements. This will go a long way to showing how significant your SDS-related savings can be over time.

Got performance and capacity needs?
Organisations have started seeing the value from decoupling storage services from storage devices, largely because it helps advance the delivery of IT resources on demand for the business. The focus here is using SDS to help deliver richer, more integrated, and more cost effective IT services to the business, something you may wish to achieve for your own organisation.

Several of the major web players like Google and Facebook are championing what SDS can do, and this is certainly furthering its cause. SDS can publish storage service catalogs and allow resources to be provisioned on-demand and consumed based on policy, so in that respect, it’s considered to be well ahead of what is broadly available today in storage-area network (SAN) and network-attached storage (NAS) arrays, distributed DAS architectures or cloud service providers.

So do your teams need more performance or capacity? With SDS, by standardising on storage capabilities in software, you can view hardware as merely a design choice and the means to scale capacity or performance as required.

Why work with us?
At Advent One, we help our clients build and manage a highly available and reliable IT infrastructure to more confidently meet today’s dynamic business needs.

We recommend IBM’s software-defined storage and infrastructure solutions as they offer a comprehensive portfolio of tools that dynamically manage workloads and data, helping to transform a static IT environment into a shared resource pool that is workload, infrastructure and data-aware.

Give us a call today to discuss how we can engineer a software-defined solution for you to improve your business agility while accelerating time to results and reducing costs and complexity.

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