The countdown for the biggest economic event of the year – Union Budget 2016-2017 – has gotten over, suggesting an array of changes in the way taxes are levied and exempted, leaving many to ponder upon what is there for them in the store. The budget spans across the fiscal consolidation target, which vows to ease-out the way services are rendered. In connection with this, the expectations of many entrepreneurs are running sky-high while there are still many who appeared to be uncomfortable with the avowals made. Amidst various eye-opening observations cropping out from the executives and consumers surveyed, software-defined storage is expected to disrupt conventional cloud storage solutions by provisioning storage capabilities as pure software which is ingrained with the potential to deliver momentous gains with respect to flexibility and affordability.

According to Wikipedia, software-defined storage (SDS) is an emerging concept that deals with computer data storage software, which helps in managing policy-based capacity provisioning. Moreover, management of the stored data remains independent of the underlying hardware. Various definitions are available online for SDS defining it as a kind of storage virtualization that separates the storage hardware from the software and is responsible for managing the complete storage architecture. The software that builds a software-defined storage ecosystem can even provide policy management for feature options like replication, thin provisioning, deduplication, snapshots and backup. 

According to IDC, SDS is a storage software stack that can be easily configured on any commodity, like x86 hardware, hypervisors, and cloud (It can also be configured on off-the-shelf computing hardware) and utilized to provide entire range of storage solutions and federation between the underlying persistent data placement components, which helps in strengthening data mobility of its tenants between these resources.

With the IT world becoming increasingly virtualized, the demand for flexible and economical storage solution has also geared up, thereby allowing us to manage our burgeoning data growth by leveraging hype-turned reality cloud technology. Escalating demands for online data storage is all set to take the IT ecosphere by storm. Analyzing these market trends, many service CIOs are considering SDS for greater adaptability and control over hardware in data center infrastructure. By moving storage features from hardware to software, an SDS approach eliminates the reliance on intransigent server components.

Why Demand for New Storage Architecture is Sky-High? 

Inefficiencies of traditional storage medium to meet today’s workforce requirements have pinned CTOs to re-energize their existing IT setups with a newer approach. It goes without saying that the world is becoming data-driven, wherein every business is in a quest to manage its burgeoning data growth for quick insight that can help them to make informed decisions which favor their business initiatives. Reports reveal that organizations that manage their data efficiently and enforce every possible effort to curtail security breaches have the brighter future ahead, and those with laidback approach will face the serious repercussions in next 4-6 years. 
Have a Look Over Potential Short Comings of Conventional Storage Platforms:

The burgeoning data sets demand computing capacities that can efficiently handle the surges without showing any deflection in the performance graph. For this, both data and compute need to work in proximity with each other and the workloads are required to operate right from where it is located. Adding to this, geographically distributed data sets require geographically distributed workloads. Owing to the increasing awareness about workloads location and high reliance on social media platforms and smartphones, the growth of both structured and unstructured data is staggering. 

Here SDS comes into the picture. 


According to IDC, IT world is shifting towards the third platform that comprises of the leading cloud technology, mobility, social media, big data and analytics. Moreover, cloud, software defined, flash enabled and integrated architecture are the four key storage components of the 3rd platform. Following are the market statistics forecasted by IDC depicting the future of these components:

1. Flash:  $15B+ in 2017, 58% All Flash Array (AFA), 21% Hybrid CAGR
2. Cloud:  $100B in 2014, 30% growth rate
3. Software - Defined:  $2.8B in 2017 22% CAGR
4. Integrated Infrastructure:  $14.3B in 2017, 30% CAGR

Adding to this, future of commercial SDS seems interesting. A host of studies conducted to elucidate its growth graph suggest that in approaching one or two years, new vistas of opportunities will be in the way of commercial SDS. Let’s see what IDC has to say in this reference:

SDS extends the life span of existing storage components and provides a capability to add storage capacity without organization disruption being identified. More to it, SDS does not put pressure on IT administrators to forklift upgrades in order to leverage benefits offered by virtual storage. In the present scenario, administrators who have integrated software-defined solutions in their existing data center architecture are drawing better throughput with versatility, customizability, and scalability allied to this advanced approach.  The other factors favoring SDS adoption are synchronous mirroring support and asynchronous data replication support which bolster business continuity and remote site disaster recovery respectively. Well, this sagacious practice will help those who learnt its importance within time and make a switch – and those reluctant to embrace software defined solution for their organization are certainly going to regret their decisions. To put into the perspective – the future of SDS has all the attributes that a business needs to manage its business-vital data and applications.

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