Adopting software-defined storage for improved performance and efficiency
Saying that ‘data is the new oil’ of the digital economy may sound stale, but the importance of data continues to grow. It is one of the most unique, differentiated, and competitive resources for a business today. To fully unleash its potential, organizations must move to start putting data at the center of the business.
For decades, data centers have been equipped with silo upon silo of servers, applications, networking, and storage for organizations. If organizations want to extract actionable and competitive insights to bolster their marketplace advantage, they must rethink their data center strategy and move to a data-centric approach. Here are some of the new technologies for new and evolving workloads.
To achieve storage flexibility, efficiency, and agile scalability, organizations should uncouple storage applications and software from the underlying hardware platforms. Software-defined storage (SDS) helps organizations do this and provides a flexible storage foundation, in addition to agility by making storage resources programmable. It is the physical and logical separation of the hardware and software.
The storage goes into a shared pool, from which the SDS controller flexibly carves out storage for applications and services. Organizations can respond to digital demands more quickly and simply with SDS technology, as it increases the pace of infrastructure scalability. SDS allows the reduction of operational expenditures. It enables customization of the storage infrastructure to specific requirements, such as prioritizing storage performance and density.
NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) is a protocol for accessing high-speed storage media that brings many advantages compared to legacy protocols. It is designed for emerging technology workloads, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), real-time analytics, cloud computing, OLTP/OLAP databases, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), pattern recognition, and virtualization. It maximizes flash storage benefits over SATA & SAS, delivering higher performance and lower latency.
Composable disaggregated infrastructure (CDI)
Data volumes continue to drive demand for data center storage capacities at petabyte, exabyte, and even zettabyte scales for the big hyperscalers. At the same time, it’s difficult to anticipate storage, network, and computing needs in an evolving data center. A composable disaggregated infrastructure (CDI) enables virtual application environments to be composed on-the-fly for on-premises or cloud data centers; it focuses on hardware flexibility, improved utilization, and responsiveness, powered by software, to make IT infrastructure significantly easier to automate.
The disaggregation occurs at the hardware level. CDI creates pools of resources such as compute, networking, storage, and GPUs, through software, and then enables easy and automated provisioning or de-provisioning of these resources to applications as needed. As a result, it brings in greater efficiency meaning using fewer resources to do the same amount of work.
As CDI requires a flexible, yet high-performance network with very low latency, NVMe-over-Fabrics (NVMe-oF) has emerged as an ideal technology as it can deliver both high performance and low latency. Western Digital leads the way with NVMe-oF technology that propels flash storage to its full potential.