Software Defined Storage

Software Defined Storage in the Context of the Software Defined Data Center

Software Defined Storage (SDS) in the context of the Software Defined Data Center represents a new evolution in the storage industry that changes how storage will be managed and deployed in the future.

SNIA defines SDS as: Virtualized storage with a service management interface. SDS includes pools of storage with data service characteristics that may be applied to meet the requirements specified through the service management interface. View more SNIA SDS educational resources.

SDS is more than storage virtualization in the following ways:

  • Storage Virtualization provides a capacity pool that can be structured into tiers and presented over an appropriate medium and protocol.
  • Software Defined Storage (SDS) must include:
    • Automation– Simplified management that reduces the cost of maintaining the storage infrastructure
    • Standard Interfaces – APIs for the management, provisioning and maintenance of storage devices and services
    • Virtualized Data Path – Block, File and/or Object interfaces that support applications written to these interfaces
    • Scalability– Seamless ability to scale the storage infrastructure without disruption to the specified availability or performance
    • Transparency – The ability for storage consumers to monitor and manage their own storage consumption against available resources and costs
  • SDS requires a standardized storage management interface, such as SNIA’s Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S), in order to automate the management of the storage resources and discovery of their capabilities for use in various pools.
  • SDS is an integral component of the Software Defined Data Center, it is the software brain for the storage and hardware infrastructure in the cloud or as part of a more traditional data center. 
  • SDS must enable DevOps to use a variety of data management tools to communicate their storage requirements through interfaces such as SNIA’s Cloud Data Management Interface (CDMI).
  • Data Services can be executed either in servers, storage appliances, or both, removing the historical boundaries of where they execute.

SDS Concepts

This diagram illustrates the concepts behind SDS.

SNIA Resources for SDS Education

Download SNIA's Whitepaper on SDS

SNIA White Paper Defines SDS