Software Defined Storage (SDS) definition is floating, as it is varies from vendor to vendor offering smart storage products. The most common definition of SDS is that it separates the storage software and services from the underlying hardware for increased flexibility, scalability, automation and cost benefits.
As per SNIA – the Storage Networking Industry Association’s definition Software Defined Storage should include automation, standard interfaces, virtualized data path and scalability as its essential elements. And in order to propel storage, to where it needs to be, it should offer services like snapshot, deduplication, replication and thin provisioning on a software layer that can be deployed on industry standard servers.
Therefore, the best approach to formulate SDS architecture is to include three principles- abstract data from the hardware, integrate storage, compute and networking and orchestrate the whole integration via intelligent software. The approach should be to offer flexible solution to any environment without ripping and replacing existing infrastructure.
Thus, by creating a converged architecture of hardware resources and adding automation and monitoring tools, SDS transforms storage virtualization. It moves functions out of storage appliance and places them close to compute, enabling better load balancing, reducing operational task loads and improving responsiveness and flexibility.
Coming to growth of SDS market, for the first time, International Data Corporation (IDC) in 2014 measured the size of the SDS platform market. Specifically, IDC measured the platforms that deliver the full suite of storage services via a software stack that uses, but is not dependent on, industry standard hardware built with off-the shelf components.
According to IDC, Software Defined Storage platforms will continue to grow faster than any other market segment in the file-and-object-based-storage market. The primary forces to drive this market will be rich and diverse set of data-intensive use cases across multiple industries and geographies.
Customers are interested in going for solutions which offer quality and reliability and so are seeking vendors that can deliver pre-tested bundled solutions, from appliances to end-to-end reference architecture.
StoneFly, Inc. is one such vendor which offers smart storage driven by intelligent software. It is a member of SNIA and is a pioneer in offering iSCSI Storage. All its storage appliances run on its patented and award winning StoneFusion Software. Thus, all the products offered by StoneFly are software defined and are enriched with features such as Snapshot, Mirroring, Encryption, Asynchronous Replication, Deduplication, Thin Provisioning that provides advanced disaster recovery.