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How software-defined storage can transform your enterprise

ServerExperts

Software-defined storage provides the foundation for hybrid cloud, with improved data protection, and superior security measures, plus instant access to a global storage footprint with virtually unlimited scale. Learn more.

shutterstock_463900178.jpgSoftware-defined storage (SDS)—an approach in which software provisions and manages storage independently from underlying hardware—is becoming increasingly mainstream in today's enterprise infrastructures. But SDS is more than just a layer of virtualization on top of hardware. In fact, it consists of carefully integrated components that must work together seamlessly and at scale in order to create the flexibility required of modern workloads.

When used effectively, SDS allows enterprises to create an abstract storage pool that can be optimized for a wide variety of use cases. This storage pool can extend far beyond the centralized storage array to incorporate on-server and cloud-based resources—giving your enterprise instant access to a global storage footprint with virtually unlimited scale.

What comprises an SDS solution?

In order to create a cohesive ecosystem, the SDS solution should incorporate the following elements:

Next-generation rack servers

Many servers today are equipped with small form factor solid-state drives (SFF SSDs), which deliver high IOPS through non-volatile memory express (NVMe) and other interconnect formats. By pooling these drives under an SDS architecture, the enterprise can use these resources when the host server is not doing so—vastly increasing available storage at no additional cost.

Storage virtualization software

Storage virtualization software provides the intelligence that drives the basic abstraction, pooling, and virtualization of storage resources. At the same time, it allows enterprise-class features to run on the same servers that support application workloads, which reduces the overall hardware footprint.

Code-based infrastructure management

Under a single interface, IT technicians are able to manage virtual resources to meet highly defined application needs, freeing the app from current hardware limitations. In addition, a code-based approach provides the application programming interfaces (APIs) necessary to automate much of the infrastructure management stack through third-party systems.

Network functions virtualization

Wide-area networking must be flexible and efficient to support distributed cloud-based storage environments. Network functions virtualization (NFV) places network resources on their own abstract, software-defined layer—allowing them to match the dynamic allocation capabilities of the storage pool.

Open platforms

A universal storage ecosystem can't function without compatibility. Enterprises need open platforms to keep their resources connected, configurable, and secure. But this compatibility should extend beyond the basic level of most community-based platforms in favor of a tightly integrated full-stack architecture.

State-of-the-art servers

Of course, the heart of any data ecosystem is the server. Even though SDS is a storage solution, it still needs to incorporate a state-of-the-art server platform to deliver the most value. The HPE ProLiant DL360 Gen 10 server offers ultra-fast performance and superior data protection.

For local storage that can be pooled under an SDS architecture, the DL360 offers a range of configurations, including four LFF drives or up to 10 SSD drives. It can also house 10 premium SFF NVMe devices or a dual UFF rear drive. Overall, this gives a single server access to 459TB of all-flash storage—an amount that could triple within the next two years as drive capacities increase. Spread out over the rack, this architecture delivers a whopping 9.7PB of storage, which can be pooled and configured as needed by the SDS management software.

Additionally, the DL360 is embedded with HPE's Integrated Lights Out (iLO) standard firmware for remote server management—as well as the HPE OneView platform, which supports full IT infrastructure management. By integrating these systems under a single architecture, the organization can forge a strong security bond between the SDS stack and the underlying hardware. This empowers the organization to identify and intercept malicious code and other attacks before they can penetrate critical systems. Plus, the DL360 can automatically recover any essential firmware that has been lost through HPE's silicon root of trust.

Storage needs to evolve with the digital economy

In this age of digital transformation and advanced services, rigid static storage solutions of the past need to evolve. Modern, dynamic workflows require equally modern, dynamic storage architectures. Enterprises that fail to get ahead of software-defined storage risks being left behind in the new digital economy.

To learn more about the specific benefits of SDS, read HPE's white paper: Software-Defined Storage: The Foundation of Modern Data Ecosystems.

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MekimM.jpget Server Experts blogger Kim Minter, Product Marketing Manager, Persistent Memory & Solid State Drives, HPE Server Options.

 

 

 

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