SDS without OpenStack – what’s going on?

The Openstack logo in a cloud, with a question mark

Posted on Monday, June 5, 2017

Businesses have realized that their only hope of managing explosive data growth in the coming years will be through a mix of cloud-like technologies.

As well as using hosted infrastructure to manage surges in demand for capacity, software defined storage (SDS) delivers the flexibility they need to deliver true digital transformation.

As we commented previously, 94 percent of businesses expect to deploy SDS – but perhaps not as expected.

Analysts are confounded again

DataCore’s Sixth Annual “State of Software-Defined Storage, Hyperconverged and Cloud Storage” report has already revealed some interesting trends. SDS is on the technology roadmap of nearly every business, and industry expectations were that OpenStack would be the software stack used to define and manage these virtualized arrays.

Unexpectedly, 70 percent of respondents marked OpenStack as ‘not applicable’ when completing the survey.

No OpenStack? What’s going on?

OpenStack was widely regarded as the perfect platform for building a software defined infrastructure. The technology is not only relatively low cost, but it is also open source, allowing businesses to build exactly the cloud-like infrastructure they need.

So if 70 percent of businesses are ignoring OpenStack, the most credible vendor-agnostic platform, what are they planning to use for their SDS environment? The obvious answer is that they are pushing ahead with OEM SDS variants, like Dell EMC IsilonSD Edge.

This raises another interesting question – if 52 percent of CTOs want to avoid vendor lock-in with their storage, why would they then choose an OEM-driven SDS solution?

According to these statistics, it is clear that CTOs are keen to take advantage of SDS technologies. Less obvious is how they plan to take the next step towards deployment.

Time to reconsider

SDS currently accounts for just five percent of the current global storage array capacity, which means that there is still plenty of time for CTOs to reconsider their technology choices. OpenStack and Open Source may not be everyone’s first choice for SDS – but if they hope to truly achieve independence from their OEM. OpenStack may be a smarter choice in the longer term.

For those businesses who have already deployed SDS, there is the opportunity to increase capacity without further capital spend by reusing existing assets.

Next steps

To learn more about SDS, post-warranty storage and how to boost return on investment using our manufacturer-class maintenance services, please get in touch.