To be ahead of the game – data needs to be collected, data needs to be connected and data needs to be analysed. Often times, this is made very complicated and troublesome due to siloed infrastructure. While many of the popular options for storage solutions work very well on their own – they are still proprietary platforms, with little to no integration with other brands, sometimes not even with other product lines with the same brand.
As most major storage providers run on proprietary platforms, it becomes difficult to integrate all of your systems together – this is not taking into account the different type of platforms that you could host your data in the first place. For any enterprises, it’s a given that there are no one size fit all solutions and often you need to pick and choose the best solutions for different parts of your operations, depending on workload requirements.
However, this becomes cumbersome when you need to perform analysis on your storage infrastructure. Say you’re an administrator managing 2 high end storage systems and 3 midrange ones, from different vendors. Each of these systems have multiple types of drives, - some SSDs, some high performance hardrives and some low-cost-high-capacity drives. Now a new application will go online and it requests a storage volume, the developers can’t tell how many TBs exactly it will need, (“if everything goes well, it may need over 500 TBs within 6 months,” he says, “but if it’s not going so well, it may need only 10TB or so”), and they need a “relatively fast enough, and reasonably cost-effective storage space”, how would you provision storage to this application? Do you need to purchase a new system or you can expand your existing ones? If the latter, which one? Without a unified analytics, you may never know what the cost and the performance is on each storage layer on each system, how much space left, so it will be impossible to compare them to make this kind of decisions, not to mention to strategize dynamically to achieve best cost-efficiency in a long term. This issue will be even more complicated in a hybrid cloud environment. – and this is a greatly simplified example. Any company could tell you there are way more variables to consider.
Software defined storage allows you to move data and workload freely between different infrastructures. Regardless on the type of platform, you can provision the hardware according to your data and application needs. For many companies that are working on multiple types of infrastructure – making the best use of hybrid models, software defined storage is an ideal solution for data and workload management. When the SDS platform si managing more and more different storage resources, unified analytics becomes a critical feature to achieve the cost-efficiency and flexibility as required.
Frost and Sullivan did a study on FalconStor to see explore further how SDS could benefit companies and how well they stack up. Click here to download the report.