Modern Infrastructure

The new face of scale-out storage

bluebay2014 - Fotolia

Get started Bring yourself up to speed with our introductory content.

Are all software-defined storage vendors the same?

What does software-defined storage mean? How is it implemented? And why does it matter for data center managers?

Software-defined storage is an overused and under-defined term, but the general idea is to implement storage services such that they can be dynamically reconfigured as needed, usually through the use of software-based virtual nodes.

Generally, software-defined versions of storage have extremely competitive price points, and deploy on virtual machines and/or commodity hardware.

Some software-defined storage vendors take aim only at the virtualization environment (e.g., VMware's VSAN product). Many offerings available today -- like those from  HP (StoreVirtual and StoreOnce VSA), Maxta (Maxta Storage Platform), Tarmin (GridBank data-defined storage) and Nexenta (NexentaStor) -- are cross-platform, global and more grid-like solutions that can be provisioned and grow across an organization as needed. The best of these freely scaling offerings offer built-in global replication, a single namespace and advanced analytics (for a storage system) like content indexing, distributed big data style processing and sophisticated usage and auditing management.

Several storage trends -- scale-out, object-based, cloud-ready and software-defined -- deserve your attention in 2015. There are many advantages to migrating all or part of a data center's storage base, but it is likely that most organizations will first deploy these scalable capacity tools for new needs not already tied to a storage system, and to mine data for potential business value.

About the author:
Mike Matchett is a senior analyst and consultant at Taneja Group.

Article 7 of 9

Dig Deeper on Enterprise data storage strategies

Join the conversation


Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

As I understand it, software-defined storage is when you're allowing your software to determine how much space is allocated for what specific data. When it works, it's a good method. And it should work in most cases unless there are shortcomings with the data.
Software defined storage will, in my opinion, be an even more disruptive and transformative technology than software defined networking, within it's respective domain.

Get More Modern Infrastructure

Access to all of our back issues View All