Software Defined Storage in a Snap interview series.

Software Defined Storage in a Snap interview series.

It is true that SDS is a fast-growing market – with IDC showing the market to be growing at a 21% CAGR from now to 2019. The data does show a decline in spending on traditional external arrays, however these traditional systems still make up the vast majority of the overall spend in the market.

With ever-growing data stores, customers are demanding greater mobility, virtualization, cloud computing as well as ubiquitous data capacity and access while driving down costs. New workloads and computer models are forcing fundamental changes for certain applications in many, but certainly not all, data centers. To better address the business needs of today, organizations are looking for various ways to maximize efficiency while slashing storage costs.

Q- Does moving to SDS storage mean throwing away existing storage hardware investment?

We firmly believe that hardware still matters, but also recognize that organizations value having ready systems that are jointly-engineered, validated, tested and backed by a global service and support. This is not simply loading software onto a box and shipping it. It is a much more involved process that explains the necessity of having an end-to-end vendor where IT departments can enjoy more efficiency, agility, productivity and value to be future-ready.

Q-  Does moving to SDS storage mean throwing away existing storage hardware investment?

We believe that organizations looking to evolve their IT infrastructure should not be required to rip and replace existing assets, but rather, be deliberate about building a bridge between legacy IT and innovative technologies to optimize existing IT applications and performance for business growth. The move to SDS should be the same, where the workload determines the configuration and provides organizations with the flexibility to be future-ready.

Q – Is SDS already being over taken by cloud storage?

Regardless of where the data is residing, it needs to be protected, accessible, managed and scalable to meet organizations’ requirements. For the future-ready enterprise, it is important to have the flexibility in ability to deploy and manage applications across SDS, public, private and hybrid cloud solutions.

Q – What are the key drivers that will drive people to implement SDS?

Despite varying definitions, there is a general consensus that SDS can be thought of as a software layer, independent of hardware, providing storage services like thin provisioning, deduplication, replication, snapshots, etc., using industry-standard server hardware. SDS also aims to offer “unlimited” storage capacity with scale-out storage architecture and provide the reliability completely via software without depending on the underlying hardware. This derives two key advantages:

  • Ability to use industry-standard hardware
  • Early access to advanced storage features

This means organizations can lower costs by using commodity hardware and add new IT capabilities quickly with faster access to the latest software or hardware advancements. By separating software from hardware, storage admins can achieve high cost effectiveness by programming each workload with various levels of capacity, performance, availability and protection, in real time.

Q –  What is unique about your own SDS offering?

Even today, many software-defined approaches can be limiting by tying organizations down to individual solutions for every need. Given the diversity of customers with different workloads and requirements, we firmly believe that it is one-size-fits-none. This is why we have taken a forward-looking approach to SDS by partnering with leading companies like Microsoft, Nexenta, Nutanix, Scality and VMware to offer the industry’s broadest portfolio of SDS solutions. This allows customers to pick the right hardware and software with ViRSO IT and Dell’s industry-standard approach, add new IT capabilities quickly with faster access to the latest software/ hardware, reduce risk and save time with a single contact for service and support to be future-ready.

One SDS solution customers frequently choose is the Dell XC Web-scale Converged Appliance powered by Nutanix. It installs quickly, integrate easily into any data center, and can be deployed for multiple virtualized workloads including desktop virtualization, database and private cloud projects. Customers are also choosing our Dell Nexenta solutions that enable enterprise data centers to meet large-scale capacity requirements cost-effectively and to upgrade as needed, without disruption.

Most recently, we announced an example of our integration with Scality in delivering the SD7000-S, a purpose-built storage server for Scality RING software. As the industry’s densest object storage platform with 172TB of raw capacity per rack unit, it allows more efficient deployment and reduces datacentre power, cooling and rack space.


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