What are the advantages of software-defined storage?

advantages of software-defined storage

LINBIT has been in the software-defined storage industry for over 20 years, since its inception in 2001. It all started with an idea from our CEO, Phillip Reisner. He believed that the way to create reliable, redundant, and lightning-fast storage was not through adding more expensive hardware but introducing software that could transform any containerized, virtualized, or bare metal environment.

What is software-defined storage?

Software-defined storage is a term used to describe the provisioning and management of storage that separates hardware and software components. This allows for greater control, flexibility, and efficiency when building out and managing storage environments. SDS usually includes a software component that “virtualizes” and manages your physical storage. In other words, it can take your hardware and partition it into several smaller storage volumes.

What are the benefits of software-defined storage?

  • A simplified storage system for easier programmability and automation
  • Good for edge-computing deployments
  • Increases efficiency and accessibility of storage
  • Quick ability to scale up or down, depending on business needs
  • No hardware vendor lock-in 
  • Reduced storage management costs
  • Offers a “single pane of glass” for monitoring performance and health metrics

Architecture/Capabilities

Generally, an SDS platform will separate the “control plane” from the “data plane.” This means that the process responsible for managing and monitoring the storage is separate from the processes responsible for making the storage available to its consumers. This separation makes updating the platform less painful since you can upgrade the control plane without interrupting access to storage that has already been provisioned. Of course, this isn’t universal to SDS solutions, but it’s a nice feature supported by some.

Another common characteristic in SDS solutions is the ability to mimic enterprise feature sets using generic consumer off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware. Features like storage tiering, read/write caches, and automated snapshot schedules are features you’d expect to find in proprietary hardware SAN and NAS solutions. SDS solutions often offer the ability to enable these same features easily.

Savvy Linux administrators have had the ability to craft enterprise-like storage using COTS hardware for decades, but thanks to the heavy lifting of SDS platform developers, it’s now much more accessible to the greater IT community.

Conclusion

Software-defined storage is the way of the future. The modern enterprise should focus on adapting to ever-changing business needs while also choosing an infrastructure strategy that will make future growth a breeze.

LINBIT has found its niche in the global storage industry by combining our belief in open source solutions and delivering exceptional software products to our three million users worldwide. To learn more about how to help transform your storage strategy, check out our open-source software-defined storage solution. We look forward to hearing from you.

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