SNIA formalizes Software Defined Network standards

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The Software Networking Industry Association has released an official white paper formalizing Software Defined Storage. Below is the extract.
Software Defined Storage (SDS) has been proposed (ca. 2013) as a new category of storage software products. SDS can be an element within a Software Defined Data Center but can also function as a stand-alone technology. The term Software Defined Storage is a marketing ‘buzzword’ that is a follow on to the term Software Defined Networking, which was first used to describe an approach in network technology that abstracts various elements of networking and creates an abstraction or virtualized layer in software. There is also work going on to define Software Defined Compute. The software defined approach abstracts and simplifies the management of networks into virtual services. In networking, the control plane and the data plane have been intertwined within the traditional switches that are deployed today, making abstraction and virtualization more difficult to manage in complex virtual environments. Network capabilities are now just catching up with capabilities that have been offered in the storage industry for over a decade. SDS does represent a new evolution for the storage industry for how storage will be managed and deployed in the future.
Attributes of Software Defined Storage
The following are attributes of SDS that are typically seen in the market:

  • May allow customers to “build it themselves,” providing their own commodity hardware to create a solution with the provided software.
  • May work with either arbitrary hardware or may also enhance the existing functions of specialized hardware.
  • Nearly always enables the scale-out of storage (not just the scale up typical of big storage boxes).
  • Nearly always includes the pooling of storage and other resources.
  • May allow for the building of the storage and data services “solution” incrementally.
  • Incorporates management automation.
  • Includes a self service interface for users.
  • Includes a form of service level management that allows for the tagging of metadata to drive the type of storage and data services applied. The granularity may be large to start, but is expected to move to a finer grained service level capability over time.
  • Allows administrators to set policy for managing the storage and data services.
  • May allow storage and data service owners to do cost recuperation via a chargeback model based on the authenticated storage consumer.
  • Enables the dis-aggregation of storage and data services.

Click on the link to download the white paper in its entirety.

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