Software-defined storage, also sometimes referred to as a storage hypervisor, is a term vendors began labeling their products with over the past year or so. The name was derived from the software-defined data center and has certainly gained popularity among storage vendors. Because vendors don't all have the same idea of what software-defined storage is, the functions of the products can vary.
Though the products may have different features, experts agree that all software-defined storage products are software that abstract storage management from the physical devices so that IT professionals have better control of storage features. Software-defined storage has been compared to storage virtualization because it can help IT pros use their storage more efficiently while not limiting them to a single storage vendor or platform.
This guide was built to help you understand what a software-defined storage product can do for your data center, even as the concept continues to evolve. Below you'll find discussions on the technology from storage experts, predictions as to where software-defined storage might be in the future, as well as specific examples of how it can be used in any given environment.
1Downsides of software-defined storage
The hype around software-defined storage has died down, and now the downsides have come to light.
Hardware is still important
Software-defined storage is billed as the solution to vendor lock-in problems, which suggests that hardware isn't as important to IT infrastructure as it once was, but that's just not true. Read Now
Scale-out SDS jeopardizes traditional storage
Scale-out software-defined storage offers improved workload performance, but it's not a good enough reason to abandon traditional storage products and architectures. Read Now
Magnetic tape takes on cloud, SDS, hyper-converged infrastructure
Magnetic tape use in enterprise storage is about to increase, even as the cloud market slows down and SDS and HCI fizzle. Read Now