Software Defined Storage: How it Works and Why You Need It

Posted by VIOLIN SYSTEMS on May 20, 2020 8:30:35 AM

One of the benefits of moving from spinning-disk data storage to all-flash storage is the opportunity for businesses to move away from the traditional commitment to hardware.

There are already enough difficult decisions to make when figuring out how to store data--especially if your company is responsible for keeping very large amounts of data secure and accessible. What approach should your company take to storing data: hardware-driven or software-defined?

Hardware-Only Storage: Is it a thing of the past?

Data storage hardware has always been a challenge for companies that need to manage a lot of information and data.

There are companies that store customer data; medical providers that keep track of patient information; banks and financial institutions that keep meticulous records; entertainment companies that need to store huge files related to music, TV, and movie production; organizations and corporations with large numbers of employees--these are all examples of companies that produce lots of data.

That needs to be stored somewhere.

A lot of companies depend on software and hardware companies to help them figure out what to do with all of those tiny pieces of data that, when combined, can determine everything about how a company operates on both a daily and long-term basis.

Here is what you need to know: if you are storing massive amounts of data, you have to have somewhere to put it. Unfortunately, in the past, companies were mostly limited to spinning-disk storage systems.

This the kind of hardware you would expect to see in a traditional hard drive: spinning disks and moving arms that move back and forth between them, etching tiny points of data onto the disk. The more information you have to store, the more hard drive space you need. The more hard drive space you need, the more physical space you need.

Storing information on individual computers is an example of hardware-only storage. Accessing a shared network that is stored on a spinning-disk hard drive somewhere else on the property is another form of hardware-only storage.

All of these moving parts, storage locations, individual mechanical units, and machines, etc, create opportunities for mechanical failure, heat and friction issues, data corruption, and security breaches.

These are some of the reasons why storage that is connected entirely to a hardware system like a hard drive is becoming less and less appealing to many of today’s businesses.

Software-Defined Storage is a better solution.

What is Software-Defined Storage?

In contrast to storing information on physical hard drives, software companies are now able to provide really great storage options that aren’t restricted to one or more pieces of physical hardware.

Software-Defined Storage (SDS) uses software, not hardware, to manage where your information is stored and how it is accessed. This increases the flexibility of your data storage solutions. If you need more storage, you can immediately scale up, rather than waiting to buy and install new hardware. This saves you time and expenses.

While the idea of SDS was new back in 2013, today’s companies expect options aside from traditional hard disk storage.

Cloud Storage & SDS

One aspect of SDS is cloud storage, which is growing in popularity among companies across countless industries. SDS allows companies to utilize cloud storage solutions for their data management needs.

Cloud storage is used by both individuals and companies alike, but the usage can look quite a bit different. An individual storing their photos and personal files has different needs than a company storing millions of pieces of data on customers, patients, employees, etc.

Companies can choose whether to use a private or a public cloud storage option, depending on their security needs. Companies who prioritize security at all costs, either because of their company values or because of the legal implications of their industry, may benefit from a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).

However, VPCs can be expensive and inaccessible. This can make it difficult for smaller companies, start-ups, organizations, and educational institutions to use them like they want to. The good news is that there is a straightforward, effective solution: Hybrid Clouds are solving a lot of today’s problems.

A hybrid cloud utilizes both software and hardware storage solutions to provide the most flexibility to companies who need it the most!

Does SDS eliminate hardware altogether?

Eliminating hardware altogether isn’t really the solution to any data storage problem.

Hardware can play an important role in your company’s operation. Ideally, your hardware is up-to-date, durable, and cost-efficient rather than wasteful. Your software shouldn’t limit your storage options; it should support your ability to use the software that you have chosen.

VIOLIN Systems provides you with your Software-Defined Storage needs

Is an SDS system right for you?

Are you ready to move away from hardware that limits your capabilities, costs too much, or prevents you from scaling up and down when your data management needs change?

Are you confused or overwhelmed by the number of choices that you need to make about storing your data securely and effectively, without spending an unimaginable amount of money?

VIOLIN is here to help. We provide high-end products and services that help you create a seamless interplay between hardware and software. We want to help you be more productive at a reduced cost. Our innovative solutions help you do that! In fact, VIOLIN was recently named among the 40 coolest software-defined storage vendors by CRN.

At the same time, our support team provides 24/7 support through several means: email, toll-free numbers, a custom web portal for our customers, remote smart hands, and unique call-home capabilities.

We look forward to talking with you to discuss how VIOLIN Systems can improve your company’s day-to-day operations, reduce the frustrations that come with poorly managed data, and improve your efficiency.

Want to learn more? Contact us today so that we can talk about how VIOLIN Systems can serve you and your company’s unique needs!

Topics: SDS, Software Defined Storage