What is Software-Defined Storage?

Software-Defined Storage

Software-defined Storage (SDS) is a technology that improves the flexibility and storage of data. It is a form of the software layer that introduces software instead of physical hardware storage. It is easier and free to use because it manages how data is compiled and retrieved. This method of data storage is more flexible. It is efficient and it ensures scalability by creating programmable storage resources.

It is a software-based architecture that removes your application depending solely on hardware. This system enables features like automated Provisioning, replication, backup, and snapshots through virtualization. The system implies that the hardware doesn’t define the storage software. The software can run on any industry-based hardware that is bought.

Companies use the system in recent times because it allows all existing software to be managed from a central unit while facilitating different features and functionalities.

Features of a Software-Defined Storage

The following entails the features that differentiate the software-defined Storage from the traditional storage system.

  • Virtualization: Software-defined storage brings together storage resources and manages them as a single unit. It can be likened to the server virtualization that’s evident in modern data centers.
  • Automation: It has storage automation that reduces the number of tasks that storage administrators do manually. It’s not like other storage virtualization that doesn’t have management ability.
  • Flexibility: Software-defined storage has a system that allows users to choose the type of hardware they use rather than subjecting them to particular hardware or infrastructure.
  • Scalability: With Software-defined Storage, it is easier to add or subtract storage capacity because it’s virtualized storage and standard-based. The system can be managed for a while as well.
  • Transparency: It can monitor storage use even when resources are available at what costs.

Benefits of Software-Defined Storage

Software-defined Storage has a greater advantage in the hardware store and other forms of storage systems. It has the following benefits:

1. It allows you to join many data sources to make a storage infrastructure

One advantage the software-defined Storage has over others is that you can join your external disk system, false resources, virtual servers, and cloud-based resources to make a single storage space. It allows you to operate all your hardware and software from a single unit.

2. It can adjust automatically based on your needs

Software-defined Storage automation is automatic and as such, it can pull from any storage volume it’s connected to. It isn’t connected to any hardware system. This system doesn’t need the intervention of the software administrator before it adjusts to the data needs and performance.

3. It is infinitely Scalable

Software-defined Storage isn’t restricted to the number of nodes it can use. Unlike the traditional system that’s limited to devices with an assigned IP address.

4. It reduces cost

It allows you to make use of your existing storage or server hardware so you don’t need to prepare yourself with existing bundles.

5. It helps organization eliminates Silos

One important benefit is that it helps organizations remove silos. It allows the unification of management of different storage devices thereby making IT possible.

6. It allows you to choose the hardware that’ll run your storage device

You do not necessarily have to choose a Software-Defined Storage from the exact company you purchased the hardware from. You can always improve your existing hardware as your storage grows.

7. It gives organizations better control

It gives businesses the requirements to meet the control of their businesses because business control changes from time to time. It allows the organization to optimize the infrastructure to be a standard of the storage system. 

8. Streamlined Management

It ensures the consolidation of isolated silos. The traditional storage infrastructure causes isolated silos. It unites them under standardized management to maximize efficiency.

Software-defined Storage Use Cases

Software-defined storage might not be the best fit for every application. However, it is useful for the following use cases:

  • Hybrid Cloud: it is useful for hybrid Cloud in the sense that it’s useful for organizations that want to share storage between public and private environments. It is a system that simplifies storage management. 
  • Remote Offices: Remote Offices need data storage on-site and that’s why software-defined Storage is essential for them. Organizations need to locate storage that is closer to where it is needed to improve execution.
  • VDI: Visualized Desktop Infrastructure needs it for better execution while cutting costs simultaneously.
  • Infrastructure Modernization: Some organizations that intend to update their hardware can consider using software-defined storage. They choose it because it offers a low cost.
  • IoT: Most IoT applications create a series of data that might be so hard to store. This system reduces the cost to store data and information readily available for analytics.
  • Enhancing the life of Existing Infrastructure: It runs on virtually all hardware. Organizations that intend to take a few years out of their existing storage investment can use SDS to create a storage pool.
  • Storage Management Consolidation: SDS allows organizations that do not intend to move their storage system to the cloud to eliminate storage silos. It in turn increases IT efficiency and reduces cost.

Types of Software-Defined Storage

SDS is a general term and as such, there are different categories of it.

1. Scale-out File

This category creates a scale-out file share to use with application software that’s file driven.

2. Storage Virtualization

This category creates a storage device that can easily be managed through a single management system. It is also a hardware-based solution for different storage locations.

3. Hyper-converged Infrastructure

This system joins the storage network and storage arrays in clusters. It gives businesses a single way to manage and check their storage needs.

4. Scale-out Block

This system enables businesses to enjoy a good communication system between nodes. It blocks storage cluster nodes into a single system.

5. Scale-out Object

This system creates and allocates a unique identifier to the object. Some files support NFS and SMB.

6. Block, file, and Object Storage

The three major diversity of storage solutions is distributed through the server cluster. This method allows businesses to use the method that suits them either to block, file, or object storage solutions.


Software-defined storage has benefits for companies that want to scale their operation and automate their storage process. It ensures hardware flexibility at a relatively lower cost. It allows you to utilize existing hardware instead of having to buy an entirely new one. It ensures improved performance and overall agility of operations.


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