3 Zinc

2014: An SDS Odyssey

Companies continually work to grow revenue while shrinking operating costs. Within IT organizations, Storage Administrators face challenges such as adapting to continuous data growth, increasing number of users, and shrinking IT budgets. Additional pressures arise as companies adopt new IT and/or business models, such as web and mobile applications, and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). These new models call for an unprecedented level of agility that traditional IT storage environments cannot support, because these environments tend to have some or all of the following characteristics:

• inefficient array utilization
• reactive storage management
• human error
• on-demand storage requests/needs
• inability to address performance bursts, lack of following best practices
• lack of chargeback systems

In this Knowledge Sharing article, Jody Goncalves, Rodrigo Alves, and Raphael Soeiro discuss these challenges and explain why they exist in traditional storage environments.

Software Defined Storage (SDS) infrastructure introduces a solution that addresses most of the challenges that storage administrators face when attempting to meet today’s storage requirements while using traditional storage environments. SDS provides a mechanism to abstract the storage layer across multiple heterogeneous arrays along with the ability to create service catalogs that enable end-users to allocate their own storage, on-demand. This article will explain why and how SDS addresses the challenges of traditional storage environments.

An organization that decides to adopt an SDS solution must complete three key design steps before they can successfully implement such a solution:

1. assess business requirements
2. define storage tiers and resource pools
3. define services that will be placed in the service catalog

This article defines and explains the importance of each of these areas and how they relate to SDS.

The authors focus on the importance of the interrelation between the storage tiers and the service catalog. While storage tiering exists today for traditional storage environments, the methodologies and considerations need to be redefined for SDS environments. With end users allocating storage in a self-service manner via the service catalog, the importance of proper storage tiering is even more critical. The authors will establish a methodology for implementing storage tiering and classification for SDS.

This article presents a hypothetical scenario that highlights the business requirements of an organization along with a depiction of a traditional storage environment. The authors take us through the use case, assess the business needs, and utilize the established methodology to tier the storage and a sample service catalog, culminating in a SDS environment.

Read the full article.

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