By Lorna Hardie, Regional Director Sub-Saharan Africa at VMware Even though many organisations are willing to embrace change when it comes to technological innovation, some remain hesitant when this change relates to diversity and inclusion. It has become far too easy for businesses to remain stuck in their comfort zones when hiring the same type […]
The network progression into a software-driven environment that provides organisations with the platform needed to drive their security, cloud, and app strategy, even storage has been repositioned for a ‘software-defined’ era. This progression helps the transition from costly, proprietary storage area network (SAN) platforms.
The software-defined storage (SDS) market is expected to top $22 billion by the end of next year, a compound annual growth rate of almost 37% in the period from 2016 to 2021.
In similar ways that software-defined networking (SDN) reinvented the approach towards physical infrastructure, so too is SDS causing a shift in storage. It separates storage software from its hardware and is designed to perform on any industry-standard or x86 system, removing the software’s dependence on proprietary hardware.
SDS breaks down the storage silos that exist within organisations and enable IT teams to address storage as part of the overall development process instead of something to be done later. Having storage as a software layer ensures that it can integrate more effectively into the overall digital vision of a business and enables teams to manage data through a single interface instead of being reliant on separate systems for each SAN vendor.
Today’s storage operational model is often disconnected from the delivery of higher-level application-specific services, resulting in an opportunity to integrate storage services these alongside other application services. The advent of software-based storage (storage software running on commodity server hardware) has delivered an important intermediary step to charting a path into pure SDS from a strategic perspective.
Dynamic change ahead
As hybrid clouds enjoy more adoption, storage environments must be consistent across both internal and external clouds: with a standard way of expressing storage application requirements and validating compliance.
SDS services are:
- dynamically composed
- aligned on application boundaries
- driven by policy by abstracting the underlying hardware – similar to server and network virtualisation.
‘Software-defined’ anything is gaining in momentum and is resulting in the acceptance that the concept of a Virtual Cloud Network (VCN) that encompasses all these elements is the way of the future. This extends virtual networking and security capabilities from the edge to the core to the cloud for any workload whether that is running in virtual machines, containers, or physical hardware. SDS and SDN form critical components of this.
Ultimately, it is the aggregate of all ‘software-defined’ concepts that contribute to the VCN and empowering organisations to embrace a digital business environment more cost-effectively and faster than would have been possible before.