by Michael Letschin, Field CTO
If you’re like other storage buyers – you’re going to invest in a solution, you want storage on your terms – optimized for your organization, its requirements, now and in the future. When it comes to distinguishing the wealth of Software Defined Storage (SDS) solutions from one another, you probably have a better shot of telling monkeys apart (note: there are 260 species of monkeys). Even respected analysts like Gartner, IDC, 451 Research and TechTarget have different SDS definitions – SDS must be software only, SDS can be hyperconverged, SDS is open source, or SDS can be hardware-based. What most people seem to agree on is that SDS enables storage services through a software interface, and often runs on commodity hardware, enabled by the decoupling of storage software and hardware.
Yet that still doesn’t help answer the question, what meets YOUR needs? It may seem a little unconventional for a vendor blog, but our goal in this series (expect another six blogs after this one) is to give you some practical information on SDS types – what are the flavors, what works best where, how different SDS types rate against common use cases, and what you should select to bring up your organization’s SDS IQ.
We’re going to cover six types of SDS solutions:
- Scale-up Vendor-Defined “SDS”
- Scale-up Software Only
- Scale Out
- Virtual Storage Appliance
Review our report cards to see whether your favorite SDS solution made the grade – we’ll look at each type and rate them on four critical categories: flexibility, scalability, performance, and cost; we’ll suggest the best use cases for each solution, and even share a few vendors to look at. We’ll be using a 5 point grading system:
- A: Excellent; well-rounded and recommended solution
- B: Very Good; above average solutions, especially for certain use cases
- C: Passing; improvement needed for overall usage
- D: Close fail; almost passing, solution with numerous gaps
- F: Failing, not a workable solution
What’s on your SDS wish list?
To help you raise your SDS IQ, it’s helpful to start by doing your homework – what’s on your SDS wish list? For example, making sure you’re still in charge of managing drives, so you can handle predictable drive failures. Many organizations also want policy-based provisioning using REST-based APIs, specifically thin provisioning and scripted storage solution. Tiering is also often a must-have for SDS because of its ability to match data with storage types and maximize your return on investment. You might also be looking for SDS that’s independent of hypervisors. Hyperconvergence expands the portfolio of solutions even further. Take a few minutes to think through what matters most, and we’ll help you figure out how to get it.
Watch this space for the first review in our series – Scale-up, Vendor-Defined “SDS”