Apr 14 2017

Are you about to run out of data storage? A VMware action plan

Data StorageAnyone involved in the technology side of business is well aware of the explosive growth of data over the past few years. Most things you read about this growth cite statistics about the sheer amount of data that companies, and their IT departments, are dealing with. While that’s true, how does this growth affect your bottom line?

Let’s look at some statistics that get past the obvious data growth and get to how it affects you. IDC has reported that the amount of storage procured by companies was expected to grow 41 percent year-over-year from 2014 to 2016. That takes into account newer technologies like Flash and is a truly astounding commentary on just how much of an issue storage procurement has become.

The bottom line is that the growth in the volume of data is still outstripping the efficiency gains in storage utilization. Because of this, storage is responsible for a large portion of most companies’ IT budgets – even with the declining costs of hardware, the growth in capacity is outpacing the lower cost per gigabyte. Therefore, improving efficiency is getting a closer look from companies looking to get off the storage procurement merry-go-round.

This is where software-defined storage (SDS) has the potential to really help your business, from an efficiency and cost standpoint.


What is software-defined storage?

Of course, before we can see how SDS can help, we need to know exactly what it is. Our partner VMware has one of the most clear and to-the-point definitions out there: “the dynamic composition of storage services, aligned on application boundaries, driven by policy.”

With software-defined storage, all the infrastructure is actually virtualized and delivered as a service. This “storage service” is a combination of capacity, performance, security, encryption, replication and other services – basically whatever the client needs for its applications. This is all managed and controlled automatically with software.

As an example, let’s look at VMware’s model. With VMware SDS, services are dynamically composed from the available resources and can be provided by an external array or even through software associated with the hypervisor.

To truly make the best use of storage services, they should be aligned on application boundaries. For example, a database server will have one set of requirements, and an application server might have a totally different set. Any SDS worth its salt will let you adjust each of these individually and independently. In fact, requesting and monitoring storage services is driven by application policy, the specifications on exactly what each app needs from the infrastructure, including storage, compute and network.

Once we see how it works, the benefits become pretty obvious. In the old model, IT has to buy large amounts of storage, pre-allocate and provision it, and then choose from those established pools. If something changes, the app’s data has to be moved to a new pool that can accommodate the required level of service.

With SDS, this all happens automatically. Once you change the policy for the app, the changes happen and are monitored to confirm they’re delivered as needed. This vastly improves efficiency and lowers the need to constantly procure blocks of storage.

If you’re looking for a more efficient, more cost effective way to deal with your growing data – and most everyone is – SDS is worth checking out.


To learn more about how SDS can improve your storage efficiency, visit our VMware partner page or contact us.

Christopher Ticknor
Key Information Systems, Inc.