What is software-defined storage?What is the development prospect of software-defined storage in China?

Storage is a device that we deal with every day. Devices and devices such as SD cards and SSDs are all specific implementations of storage. In previous articles, the editor explained cloud storage and combined storage. To continue to improve your understanding of storage, this article will introduce software-defined storage. In this article, you will learn what software-defined storage is and the current state of software-defined storage in China.

Storage is a device that we deal with every day. Devices and devices such as SD cards and SSDs are all specific implementations of storage. In previous articles, the editor explained cloud storage and combined storage. To continue to improve your understanding of storage, this article will introduce software-defined storage. In this article, you will learn what software-defined storage is and the current state of software-defined storage in China.

I. Introduction

There is no consensus in the industry for software-defined storage. When the international storage giant EMC released its software-defined storage strategy, the press began to discuss software-defined storage. Along with software-defined data centers, software-defined networks, and software-defined servers, they started to make headlines in 2013.

For small storage vendors, defining storage services in software independent of the underlying hardware is very attractive, giving them a chance to compete with bigger and bigger competitors in the storage space. At the same time, for the large storage vendors, traditionally close links between hardware and software allow them to optimize storage services and performance, these vendors must now cautiously embrace the concept of software-defined storage or risk existing products Risk of wire erosion.

What is software-defined storage?What is the development prospect of software-defined storage in China?

2. Software-defined storage

In a nutshell, software-defined storage means that applications running on any storage can work automatically, driven by user-defined policies. Software-defined storage abstracts storage services from storage systems, and can provide storage services to both mechanical hard drives and solid-state drives.

This definition is very similar to virtualized storage, but it is not virtualized storage. Storage virtualization can pool the capacity of multiple storage devices or arrays to make it appear as if they are on one device, and virtualized storage can only be used on specialized hardware devices in most cases. Many vendors’ virtualized storage is a tailor-made appliance, or a piece of software loaded on a specific server.

Software-defined storage does not separate storage capacity from storage devices, but separates storage functions or services from storage devices. The goal of software-defined storage is to encapsulate complex storage systems into easy-to-operate services. A software or management interface to conveniently manage all your storage resources and content.

3. The development path of software-defined storage in China

At present, domestic and foreign manufacturers still have a lot of controversy about the connotation of software-defined storage, and users are still in a wait-and-see attitude towards software-defined storage, and they dare not take the risk of buying it. This is quite similar to the development path of cloud computing in China. Before, there were endless concepts launched by manufacturers in the industry, then there was overwhelming media hype, and then there was a gradual attempt to follow suit, and now many manufacturers have gradually implemented cloud services.

Industry analysts believe that the main market driver for software-defined storage is data center standardization. The value of software-defined storage that users can currently see is mainly reflected in “dynamic storage resource allocation”, and software-defined storage is still in the market education stage. The commercialization of software-defined storage at scale is still some time away.

For Chinese storage manufacturers, software-defined storage is definitely a good opportunity. However, Chinese storage manufacturers cannot be blindly optimistic, because the research and development of storage systems requires very large investment and long-term accumulation. Looking at my country, compared with the international storage giants, it is lacking in terms of human investment and technical investment. It is self-evident that it is a challenge to catch up with the international giants in the next few years.

For Chinese enterprise users, the reporter learned from communicating with CIOs in various industries that, unlike the hype of storage manufacturers and media coverage, enterprise users have an understanding of the concept of “software-defined storage” and its specific implementation. The solutions and uses are not well understood. Some CIOs even said that there are too many “software-defined” concepts, and it is the only way to be able to come up with specific solutions and truly implement them in specific applications and IT scenarios.

In short, as software-defined storage gains more and more attention, it is believed that users’ demand for software-defined storage will become stronger and stronger. While improving hardware performance, manufacturers are constantly getting closer to users, meeting the core needs of user applications, continuously reducing user costs, and providing customers with more intelligent, efficient, and highly scalable system software and hardware. Growing business demands, then “software-defined storage” will become more and more popular.

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