In today’s business environment, companies look for digital transformation as a key strategic priority. Every CIO today, irrespective of the company size, geography or industry, is making their way to some or the other transformation. It’s not an option anymore, its necessity. There is no second thought that the digital transformation has the power to change organizational processes and capabilities and ultimately delivering value to customers.
Digital transformation doesn’t mean that one has to live in the world of replacing and ripping traditional systems or technologies, companies used to rely on. But, we can’t overlook the fact that today’s modern enterprises demand simplicity and agility. It’s important for them to opt technologies that can drive competitive advantages and at the same time are easy to use and understand.
SDS: Less Discussed but no less viable
While a software-defined approach may seem new, the logic is not. The enterprise storage devices have always been written in software. Isn’t it? It’s only been in the last few years that hardware has progressed enough and we can separate enterprise storage software from hardware. Basically, Software-defined storage isn’t a new concept in IT, but the ability to separate the storage software from the storage hardware is indeed a new value proposition.
Why it’s the need of hour? Traditionally, to deal with data loads, companies used to go for additional storage, network pathways or add server, which is no longer reasonable. Today, modern enterprises are moving towards cloud-like service models to run their businesses and core applications as it helps in eliminating the complexity of the underlying infrastructure, hard-wiring systems or drowning in the details of running IT operations.
Taking the right approach to software-defined storage is the key today. It offers a highly scalable solution that can radically reduce storage costs in terms of both capital cost and operation expenditure, which is a consistent point of customer pain. Encompassing challenges like supporting rapid capacity growth, forecasting use, achieving cost savings, and staffing sufficiently -- all can put to rest with SDS.
A market research report from Gartner predicted that by 2019, 70 percent of existing storage array solutions will be available as a “software only” version. The research firm also predicts that by 2020, 70 percent to 80 percent of unstructured data will be stored in less expensive storage.
Taking a Software Approach to Enterprise Storage
There have been a lot of reports on how software defined everything will be gaining momentum in the coming years. During the forecast period, 2017 - 2021, the SDS market is predicted to enjoy a compound annual growth rate of 13.5 percent, with revenues of nearly $16.2 billion in 2021.
Increasingly, organizations are moving away from the siloed traditional IT solutions of the past and heading towards the more integrated technology framework. As a modern enterprise, the objective is to build a cost-effective and agile data infrastructure that aligns with larger business goals. Plethora of reasons can back it up. A few are listed below:
Performance: Adopting a Software-based approach has the ability to empower organizations with better application performance. It brings accelerated data access that applies the correct technology to meet each application’s needs.
Availability: SDS ensures data is highly available, easily accessible and also supports unbroken business continuity. In addition, it also allows uninterrupted access to data in geographically distributed locations with zero downtime.
Efficiency: Organizations can add storage resources to applications dynamically and seamlessly-- delivering enterprise-grade data availability, scalability, and performance.
Management: SDS provides universal access environment without moving the data physically. SDS approach delivers significant advantages to improve performance of enterprise applications and supports new initiatives.
“This is enough storage” said nobody— ever
As Internet of Things (IoT), SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud) and enterprises grow, it just won’t have an impact on the storage but also the type of storage.
In the modern enterprise, the proliferation of data requires a change in how it is stored and managed. Real-time data require responsive, always available and resource efficient systems. In short, Software-defined infrastructure -- designed to facilitate real-time data transactions -- allows addition of new functionality, resources and storage whenever needed. So next time when you are going for storage, do consider the software approach as it’s the “futuristic wave” in IT.
—by Rajarshi Bhattacharyya, Country Head, SUSE.