Making work easier and more efficient is the ultimate goal for everyone. This includes data storage administrators who look for a good data storage solution that will be both cost-effective and ready to cope with growing amounts of data generated in various types of processes.
Thankfully, data storage administrators currently have a great opportunity to use solutions that will be budget-friendly, easy to manage, and ready to scale up. Let us introduce you to the concept of…
Software-Defined Storage – What Is It?
Software-defined storage (SDS) is a way of managing and protecting data storage with a software layer independent of the hardware it utilizes to create a logical space for storing data.
When going for the software-defined storage solution, you can combine hardware from a number of providers, which will support your budget, as you can choose components that match your needs in a very precise way and pick from a number of items produced by different manufacturers, letting you find the best balance between price and quality. For example, if three different companies offer you the exact same quality hard disks but at different pricing, it is obvious that you will go for the cheapest one. You can refer this to all parts of your data storage system. This is the freedom granted by software-defined storage that lets you avoid overpaying just because something is part of a pre-made system. In simple words – you are sure that each part of your data storage hardware has the best price/quality ratio!
The main advantages of software-defined storage solutions include:
Flexible space distribution and partitioning thanks to wholistic management over the whole available space provided by attached hardware
Scalability that allows you to expand your storage array at any given moment
Centralization of data which means you can protect all the resources produced, used, and processed by employees. You can also easily track their needs in terms of data storage capacity in order to cope with providing space expansions
Freedom from the vendor lock-in allowing you to combine software and hardware from different companies and utilize them according to your needs
Why Should Companies Consider Using Software-Defined Storage Solutions?
There are plenty of benefits that come from using software-defined storage solutions. In this article, we will cover these, which seem to be the most important for a company considering the safety, stability, and efficiency of its workflow.
How To Cope with Growing Amounts of Data
At the very beginning, we must draw your attention to the fact that technology is getting more and more advanced. This results in the rising file size and creates a need for bigger data storage spaces to keep up with the amounts of data to store. These amounts will only be getting bigger and bigger, so you need to find a way to store them in the most (cost) efficient way. Software-defined storage enables you to scale your data storage infrastructure on the run and according to your needs. If you need some extra TBs – you add some disks or a full-packed JBOD to your infrastructure, and voilà – you have what you need without buying an entirely new system and paying for everything it contains. Simple as that.
How to Avoid Data Loss
You may store hundreds of terabytes or even petabytes of data, but it can all be gone in one moment if you don’t protect your data properly! As you might guess, software-defined storage has you also covered in this field. To protect your data storage, you can use the power of ZFS, which is a file system that ensures safety, starting from the very core level by constantly checking the integrity of your data. You can use options like mirroring and creating RAID groups that let you avoid data loss in case of hardware failures. Our flagship product – Open-E JovianDSS – utilizes all these and other ZFS features to provide you with a service called Open-E On- & Off-Site Data Protection! It lets you create and store backups of your data both locally and in another place. Thanks to that, you can avoid many disruptive situations, ranging from disk failure to natural disasters that can destroy your whole locally stored data. Having only one backup is not enough to be fully protected and that’s why Open-E On- & Off-Site Data Protection is the key to maximizing your data protection!
Software-Defined Storage Makes Your Work Easier
We covered some general truths about modern data storage with a software layer, but you are probably or even mostly interested in how software-defined storage supports your daily workflow. Again – in multiple ways! Firstly, it enables you to create a centralized data storage solution. Instead of alternating between different software and hardware-related interfaces, you can manage everything from a single software level, which results in easier and more user-friendly access to management tools for storage administrators. Also, when all of your data is stored on a single logical storage, you have more control over user access to specific resources. This enhances your data safety. Additionally, with options like thin- and over-provisioning, you can better execute and plan data storage expansions, letting you manage the available space more efficiently. This will provide data users with a more smooth and stable experience, and let you manage the data storage costs more efficiently!
Also, it is worth mentioning that with software-defined storage, you are able to create a hyper-converged infrastructure which, by definition, uses less hardware which will lower the total cost of ownership. As a result, you use less energy to power your data storage, which saves your money too! Additionally, hyper-converged infrastructure based on SDS lets you accelerate your company’s critical-business operations, and faster workflow means better revenues! With hyperconvergence, you can also use data storage protection features more effectively. A good example are snapshots which can be created with our software – Open-E JovianDSS. Another useful feature are snapshots, which allow you to make lightweight and unmodifiable images of your data system as it is at a given moment, and restore them if needed. You can keep them for a certain duration, both on your local machine and on a remote server for extra security. This is a very space-saving and powerful solution that will let you avoid consequences of a ransomware attack, because this type of malware cannot affect (encrypt) files that are read-only, including snapshots.
How to Ensure that SDS Solution Will Work for My Company?
Nothing is for everyone, and the same rule applies to software that defines your data storage. It is impossible to state that it will work with any hardware, period. High hardware-agnosticism of data storage software can be achieved by keeping it up to date with the latest hardware releases, checking its compatibility, and the evolution of software in order to cooperate with as many hardware components as possible. That’s why at Open-E, we constantly update our Certified Hardware Component list to let you choose hardware from a number of great vendors like Toshiba, ATTO, or Western Digital.
If you would like to build a system yourself, using components of your choice, and check if Open-E JovianDSS will work with it properly, you can do it by going through a pre-deployment process.
Software-Defined Storage – a Way to Enhance Your Data Storage!
As you can see, software-defined storage is a game-changer for data storage management in the modern world. It gives you the freedom and flexibility to create your own data storage solutions that suit your specific needs and budget. It also helps you boost efficiency and scalability to support various use cases and scenarios! Software-defined storage is not only a smart solution but also a future-ready one that can evolve with your business and technology. Take your data storage operations to the next level and achieve your business goals with the data storage solution tailored perfectly to your company’s needs!