The hardware-centric mindset in the industry is not sustainable anymore. With technology cycles ever accelerating (especially when it comes to storage), organizations are finding it harder and harder to allocate the budget and time to completely replace their storage systems with new technologies — just to repeat the cycle a few quarters later.
IT needs to stop thinking about storage systems as discrete, multi-vendor, media-centric systems, because these create islands of storage that become difficult to manage, are inefficient in terms of capacity utilization, and make it nearly impossible to move data efficiently from one system to another.
It’s time for the storage industry to recognize the software-defined future and move from a hardware-centric model to a software-centric one. The benefits of software-defined storage are now well understood – and they are proven. SDS technology is mature and readily available, and can make storage smarter, more efficient, and easier to manage, delivering significant economic benefits.
The industry is waking up to the fact that it’s the data that matters and not the storage system. Furthermore, the software that controls where data is placed is where the value lies, not in the type of hardware or the media.
At the same time, companies are seeing the power of consolidating storage under a single software-defined storage platform, providing a unified storage pool and capacity efficiencies similar to the ones we saw with compute resources under virtualization. If economic indicators of a recession come true, this may even become a necessity as it will be too costly to put all data on premium storage. Furthermore, as it relates to the overall storage lifecycle, as premium storage systems reach end of life, companies will have to evaluate options that lower spending and extend the life of existing assets.
Software-defined storage is where the industry is headed, and the sooner we get there, the better.
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