Data Storage: SDS: Dumbing Down Storage Hardware to Achieve Greater Efficiencies

first_imgLike SDN, this trend towards using a software strategy to simplify the base storage hardware components is being called Software-Defined Storage (SDS).   SDS is about separating out storage management features from storage devices.  The idea is that cheap commodity storage units could be controlled at the software layer to enable storage functions like de-duplication, replication and thin provisioning. How to reduce data storage costs?  Some think that data storage hardware needs to be dumbed down.  Similar to the work being done on Software-Defined Networks (SDN) to dumb down networking hardware components like routers and switches, some are trying a similar approach with storage devices.  Work being done by Facebook on the Open Compute Project is one example.  The Register recently described work being done by Frank Frankovsky, who leads the Open Computer project at Facebook, as an attempt to simplify data storage by eliminating “vendor-specific frippery and feature froth in favor of raw, vanilla stripped-down, back-to-basics hardware features that deliver low cost, low power use, high performance and cost-efficiency in hyper-scale data centers.” It’s estimated that there will be 4 zetabytes of information created this year and 2 zetabytes of that will be saved on some sort of storage medium.  How much is that?  A lot.  EMC estimates that the in 2013 that the data storage market will be a $100 billion business.Dick Csaplar, senior research analyst for Aberdeen Group, found that businesses spend about 12 percent of their IT budget on data storage and that their needs are currently doubling every year.  He said that “The demand for storage is growing at an unprecedented rate… You think about what percentage of your IT budget go towards storage, and now start doubling that every two years, you’ve got to rob from other portions of your IT budget or you’ve got to figure out smarter ways to deal with this.”center_img Keith Norbie, vice president of Nexus, said that “The whole reason the term exists is to give storage the play the software-defined networking movement has.  The problem is, we already have software-defined storage. But we lacked the ability to really define it.”last_img

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