My POV: Top software-defined storage takeaways from April 2016

By Avinash Lakshman | | Cloud

As we entered our second quarter of the calendar year we saw a markedly different behavior towards customers. Although interest is still high for software-defined storage underpinning traditional workloads like backup and virtualized servers, we now see equal interest in storage for emerging cloud environments like OpenStack and Docker. It’s no surprise our top storage stories for April mirror the same phenomenon.

With new products and announcements coming fast in the world of storage and cloud computing, below are a few articles from April that I think are educational to anyone interested in modern infrastructure and software-defined storage.

Highlights include a deeper look at OpenStack and cloud storage as well as a great report on cloud data center investments.

  • Fortune:Double-Digit Spending Growth On Tap for Cloud Data Centers
    Why we liked it: Although traditional storage vendors are struggling, the investment in cloud storage is expanding and expected to top $37 billion within four years. This accelerating shift to cloud-based storage systems is a natural result of the inflexibility and high TCO required to purchase and maintain traditional storage.
    Hedvig’s take: The definition of “cloud storage” is a little hazy. At Hedvig we see this as much more than just the amount of money spent on public cloud services. It’s a shift to building private, public, and private cloud storage services. We see software-defined storage as the common denominator that powers public and hybrid cloud storage and, ultimately, lowers IT costs (you can read our ROI paper to this effect) while still providing the elasticity businesses demand.
  • TV Technology: Data-Defined Storage
    Why we liked it: Necessity is the mother of invention and nowhere is that more pronounced than in technology. This is an important article about what software-defined storage can do for markets – such as video – where the amount of information that needs to be stored is growing exponentially as an entire industry moves to IP-video.
    Hedvig’s take: This is a great sign of the maturity of SDS. Organizations are no longer looking at it as raw technology, but rather as a solution to specific problems. Data-intensive work, such as video production and transmission, requires modern storage infrastructure that can expand to store ever-larger, high-def video files. I’m not the biggest fan of the data-defined storage terminology in this article, but the articulation and application of SDS to video are spot on. Ultimately, this is a “big data” problem to solve, which we highlight in our previous post.
  • SearchCloudStorage: Hybrid cloud benefits driving future of cloud storage
    Why we liked it: 
    While cloud adoption is increasing, large enterprises still require on-premises infrastructure  especially for storing sensitive company data. This is an instructive article on why hybrid cloud is invaluable to easing infrastructure strain and helping to transition the data in data centers to the cloud.
    Hedvig’s take: Too often I find customers conflate cloud storage with a particular solution: cloud gateways. That’s just technology that pushes data to the cloud. This article makes a valuable distinction in “array-based tiering,” where cloud is built into the storage solution. Although Hedvig is a software-defined solution, we’ve engineered it to also be deployed both on-premise and in public clouds. This makes the Hedvig Distributed Storage Platform a naturally hybrid-cloud storage system, providing the benefits of public clouds, also highlighted in the video below.
  • Windows IT Pro: IT Innovators: Do You Need a SDDC Readiness Assessment?
    Why we liked it: Software-defined data centers lower the energy demands of running a data center, simplify administration, and allow easier integration of other software-based services and management tools. This article is a good intro and outlines the process needed to start data center migration from traditional servers to software-defined data centers (or even straight to the cloud).
    Hedvig’s take: Yet another sign that companies are getting serious about adopting a true cloud mentality. Why? Well, first you need to understand how cloud-like infrastructure benefits your organization. SDDCs provide a wide range of benefits that companies are evaluating as part of the their 2016 budgeting process. The next step in the journey is to start plotting your readiness. This is a timely, important article for companies looking to take that step.
  • Information Age: How OpenStack is influencing other storage buying decisions
    What we liked: While this article focuses on deployments of Ceph, which is predominantly used for block storage, it raises important points about the need for agility in bimodal IT deployments. We particularly liked this quote from the writer, Ben Rossi: “Let’s be blunt: there’s simply no place for large and bloated storage systems in today’s enterprise, which strives for agility and scalability.”
    Hedvig’s take: First, I loved the subtle jab to storage “mainframes.” And although complicated, we believe that OpenStack is a valid cloud management layer for building an SDDC. We find a lot of customers are frustrated with Ceph (read a comparison with Hedvig here), but the article is directionally correct in pointing out the need for a new storage approach. Storage innovation has, until now, not kept up with cloud technology and continues to be a hurdle to widespread OpenStack adoption.

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