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Top 8 Software Defined Storage (SDS) Tools

Nutanix Acropolis AOSStarWind Virtual SANStarWind HyperConverged ApplianceDataCore SANsymphony SDSZadaraRed Hat Ceph StorageHPE StoreVirtualMicrosoft Storage Spaces Direct
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    Offers numerous good features and is user friendly. Ability to create multiple VMs.
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    Having the ability to scale horizontally if needed is a huge plus for future growth.The ability for us to manage all of our nodes from the same console makes systems administration very easy.
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    Being able to log on to the GUI to see specific data and usage statistics, executing clones, starting and stopping VMs, etc., is great. We also opted for 24-hour support monitoring for any issues. They are extremely quick to respond on issues we even cause ourselves such as bumping a network cable.
  5. The documentation repository is really useful and kept updated.CDP is an important feature for avoiding data loss in the event of ransomware attacks. You need more storage capacity, however, you get the possibility to return at any time and use the data saved up to that point. The recovery is much faster than with a classic restore.
  6. One of the most useful features is that they provide iSCSI as a service.The most valuable feature is the flexibility in terms of deployment options.
  7. The configuration of the solution and the user interface are both quite good.Ceph is the software defined storage of the future.
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  9. A very flexible solution. All of the administrative tasks are easy and everything is centralized.
  10. The flash ability, in terms of tiering and caching, is amazingIt's mainly about the storage expansion, like in hyper-converged solutions.

What is the purpose of software-defined storage?

Today’s businesses are growing at a very rapid pace, and SDS provides the much-needed solution to maintaining scalability, cost-effectiveness, and profitability. An effective SDS solution can ensure that administrative tasks are reduced and, by using automated protocols, improve response time needed to adjust to changes in storage requirements. SDS gives greater control to businesses to optimize growth and remain competitive in the marketplace.

Traditional storage solutions can reach storage capacities very quickly and do not allow for the flexibility and agility growing businesses need today to stay sustainable, productive, and profitable. Traditional storage solutions keep businesses locked into a defined infrastructure that can inhibit growth and effectiveness. By using storage virtualization protocols, SDS gives businesses the ability to respond quickly to storage capacity needs, helping them to stay competitive, productive, and profitable. SDS is where business enterprise is going and growing toward now and in the foreseeable future.

Although SDS can still be very much a do-it-yourself solution, there are many competitive vendor storage options available to meet the needs of every unique business enterprise in the marketplace today. These vendor storage solutions can meet businesses’ specific needs for agility, flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and user-friendliness, making an SDS vendor solution an even better choice. These vendor storage solutions have all the hard work already done and have simplified the overall process, making an SDS solution even more efficient, effective, and productive.

What are the primary components of software-defined storage?

Software-defined storage gives an enterprise the freedom and flexibility to choose which hardware solutions to integrate with and the ability to choose how much storage is needed. It also allows for flexible options to quickly and easily improve storage capacity when needed. In most cases your SDS solution should:

  1. Offer flexible scaling options. This unique approach allows for flexible, fluid growth without impeding overall performance and productivity.
  2. Be fully automatable. Automation represents a simplified management process that keeps costs down. SDS can be designed to work on its own - without human interaction - to simplify processes, effectively reducing redundant human administrative tasks and increasing overall productivity and ensuring profitability.
  3. Offer standard interfaces, including an application programming interface (API) for management and maintenance of storage devices and services.
  4. Offer a virtualized data path: Block, FIle, and Object interfaces that support applications written to these interfaces.
  5. Offer independence. Enterprises can choose whatever hardware options they like best and what solutions work best within their current operational ecosystems. SDS enables businesses to quickly and easily make changes and adjustments as enterprise needs change. This provides for a more securely protected future to correspond with the unique needs of any enterprise while maintaining cost-effectiveness, productivity, and profitability.
  6. Offer transparency. The ability to monitor and manage storage use while knowing what resources are available and at what costs.
  7. Offer additional security. The additional transparency allowed by creating a unique SDS storage system increases monitoring capabilities and gives absolute knowledge of all anticipated growth capabilities, uses, and costs.

Benefits of Software-Defined Storage

  1. Flexibility - With SDS there is no vendor lock-in, which allows for a greater level of independence on specific hardware solutions. SDS will run anywhere the software can run. SDS not only offers a scale-up approach but a scale-out approach as well, which makes overall scalability easier to manage as enterprises grow while also maintaining peak performance. SDS will give greater day-to-day control and can also be used on-premises or in the cloud or hybrid cloud.
  1. Efficiency - There is no vendor commitment. SDS can work with a wide array of hardware solutions, many with less expensive third-party options, which makes it a very attractive solution. SDS can also integrate with older hardware solutions and devices, making it unnecessary to continually purchase newer licenses and upgrades.
  1. Profitability - An effective SDS solution can allow for tremendous cost savings by reducing administrative costs, minimizing hardware product costs, and shrinking storage costs, therefore making enterprises more profitable. The cost-effective strategy of SDS reduces overall expenses to the bottom line, making organizations more productive and profitable in the long run.

Features of Software-Defined Storage

  • Automation - SDS systems can make changes and adaptations with minimal human interaction, reducing redundant human tasks. This is an amazing cost-saving feature that warrants switching over to an SDS-driven solution.
  • Scalability - There is no limitation on scalable options with SDS. Enterprises can scale up and out with tremendous ease and flexibility. As it is all software-based, performance is never affected as it would be with a hardware solution. SDS allows for workflow, data, and storage to work together seamlessly, better facilitating storage to scale quickly as workflows continue to grow. As business needs change, SDS gives businesses complete control to make changes as they need it, when they need it - and to do it very quickly.
  • Security - SDS can offer improved levels of data encryption to keep access to enterprise data safe and reduce the threat surface to an enterprise. SDS allows for easier protocol definitions to minimize access, which in turn adds an additional layer of security.
Find out what your peers are saying about Nutanix, StarWind, DataCore and others in Software Defined Storage (SDS). Updated: October 2021.
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