Software defined storage (SDS) is an implementation of one or more storage virtualization technologies. (See Sorting out the different layers of virtualization for a discussion of the role different layers of virtualization technology play in today's modern data center).
The goal of SDS is to separate management and control functions from the underlying data management functions. For the most part, I see vendors using that phrase when talking about their hardware products and when they have added storage virtualization technology into the hardware's storage controllers or storage servers. However, this technology doesn't have to be hidden in the storage servers — as two suppliers of storage virtualization software, Sanbolic and DataCore, have proven.
As a recent demonstration of Sanbolic's software shows, SDS provides a number of useful benefits, including:
If any of these resonate with the organization's needs, SDS might be for you.
Andy Melmed, Sanbolic's VP of Enterprise Solutions, recently dropped by to demonstrate a multi-platform, multi-site use of SDS that was quite impressive. He added and removed systems and moved data around — all without having to change operating system tuning or application parameters.
Although I've seen similar demonstrations offered by other suppliers of storage virtualization technologies, the demonstrations seldom show how a mix of hardware suppliers, operating systems, and applications could easily utilize a mix of different types of storage.
If your organization wants the benefits named above, talking with these folks just might be the ticket to help you on your way.