Software-defined storage (SDS), which enables enterprises to make the best use of their storage resources without the blood, sweat, and tears of hand-tuning them, is increasingly becoming an option offered by enterprise Linux companies.
The latest Linux company to make the jump towards an SDS offering is SUSE. The Nürnberg, Germany-headquartered company has begun beta testing SUSE Storage.
SUSE Storage is based on Ceph. This is an open-source distributed object store and file system. SUSE claims that its new program will give companies "a self-healing, self-managing, distributed software-based storage solution for enterprise customers". Thus, by "using SUSE Storage and commodity off-the-shelf (COTS) disk arrays, customers can cost effectively meet growing demands for object, archival, and bulk storage".
This new program will be based on Ceph Firefly. SUSE claims that SUSE Storage will deliver a lower total cost of ownership, and that it will be well suited for object, archival, and bulk storage. Its features will include cache tiering, thin provisioning, remote replication, copy-on-write cloning, and erasure coding.
SUSE isn't the only one that thinks Ceph makes for a great SDS solution. Red Hat has already released its Inktank Ceph Enterprise. Red Hat also has the advantage of owning Inktank, Ceph's parent company.
Still, SDS is in its early days, and there's no clear winner yet. Larry Morris, SUSE Storage product manager, is perfectly correct when he said in a statement, "The storage market today is poised for disruptive change, just like the server market was 15 years ago."
SUSE Storage is scheduled for release in the first half of 2015. Organizations interested in joining the beta program should contact their SUSE sales representative.