Is Software-Defined Storage the Right Strategic Choice for Your Business?

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Posted on Monday, May 14, 2018

The success of many cloud services has been driven by the use of software-defined storage (SDS) to provide almost infinite scalability. And because SDS uses commodity hardware, providers have been able to significantly reduce infrastructure costs.

Now many non-cloud organizations want to get in on the act. The CTO is under constant pressure to contain costs, so a move to commodity storage should help.

But there are two major flaws with this way of thinking.

1. You’re not a hyperscale business

The reason SDS works so well for businesses like Google, Amazon and Microsoft is because they need to provide hyperscale capabilities to their customers. Unless your organization needs infinite scalability in-house, you are unlikely to realize the full benefits of SDS deployments.

2. You lack the resources to manage a pure SDS environment

A pure SDS storage infrastructure is typically built using the cheapest available units, leading to a platform built from a mix of systems and manufacturers. This hybrid hardware approach is likely to invalidate OEM warranties, making it harder to get the support you need.

Unless you have sufficient skills and engineers to take hardware maintenance in-house, you may struggle to keep an SDS platform running optimally.

Stick with what you have

In theory, any business should be able to benefit from software-defined storage infrastructure, but the reality is considerably different. The software layer may abstract operations from the underlying hardware, but the physical disk arrays and controllers will still need to be managed and maintained- and that’s where the real problems begin.

Instead of redeploying post-warranty assets as part of a new SDS layer, your business may realize more long-term benefits by keeping them in their current roles. Third-party storage maintenance services from CDS allow you to extend the usable lifespan of your assets without significant (and costly) redesign of your storage layer.

To learn more about how to extract more value from your storage without falling into the SDS trap, please contact us.

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