Software Defined Storage (SDS) Forum

Ariel Lindenfeld
Sr. Director of Community
IT Central Station
Oct 12 2020

Let the community know what you think. Share your opinions now!

Matt BaltzRather than evaluating based solely on feature set, make sure the SDS platform will meet all of the business objectives.
Victor KoshkaDo a careful POC and make very very sure the solution does not corrupt data when you have a major storage issue like an array failure.
Tim WilliamsThe aspect that is most important depends entirely upon the business objectives and needs of the client. Some need scalability, some need a specific application compatibility, some need specific hypervisors, some need to focus on DR/backup capability. It's not a great question.
Rony_Sklar
IT Central Station

What are the pros and cons of SDS? What should businesses take into consideration before opting for an SDS solution? 

Christian BaldaufSDS is very flexible and can be adapted to the most diverse requirements. Many solutions are able to provide storage via iSCSI, iSER, Fibre channel or NVMeOF. The storage services are offered across all connected storage sources (e.g. mirroring, replication, snapshots, thin provisioning, etc.) It is quite easy to implement new services or protocols. An SDS solution can be much cheaper to purchase, as standard servers are used. The disadvantage of an SDS can be the complexity. Many different sources can be combined into one solution. These sources can be managed differently, or incompatibilities can occur. The support of such an environment can then be very difficult. Another disadvantage is that performance and latency depend very much on the hardware used. This can be a limiting factor. Another disadvantage is that the manufacturer of the SDS has hardly any influence on the OS on which the solution runs, which can lead to problems, especially with updates and patches. Here it must be tested in advance whether the SDS software continues to work properly. But for me SDS is superior to any conventional solution. You can reach a goal easier, more flexible and cheaper.
MahmoodSoftware Defined Storage (SDS) enables us to utilize commodity x86 servers as a reliable high performance, highly available storage. Before opting for an SDS Solution things you should consider. Reliable New servers which should last at least 5 years with extended warranty.Design your SDS Solution properly considering RAID Selection, Disk Type Selection, Storage Network Design, Network Redundancy and Failover in mind. Designing Storage Network can be complex, and troubleshooting Storage network issues can be easier only if you document the whole setup. Make sure to add redundancy on every hardware and connectivity level i-e Disk level, Storage Node/Host level, Storage Connectivity Paths level. Pros: Very Cost efficient Storage solution. Easier to switch between SDS Solutions, avoids vendor lock-in. Dissimilar and incompatible Underlying devices and Disks can be used to host Storage. Versatile protocol support. Implementing Redundancy is also cost effective. Cons: SDS may also requires software defined networking, it will be complex to design and maintain. Implementing SDS solution require hardware and software resources from multiple different vendors, which may incur compatibility issues.
Rony_Sklar
IT Central Station

What sort of design considerations should be kept in mind when implementing a SDS solution? What are some possible pitfalls for other storage professionals to be aware of and how can they be avoided?

Dan ReynoldsI think the things to be considered are: - How is it managed? Is it part of another solution? - How does it cache? Are their multiple levels of cache? How good is it in caching? - How does it handle the networking side? You must have a sync "ring" and an access "ring" of networking. Preferably sectioned off from the rest of the world. - How does it use and present the disks? Can it manage both spinning and SSD? And probably the absolute most important thing - support!! Does it have good support? Things will happen and you will need support. I will readily admit I am an avid user of StarWind VSAN. I think it's better than VMware VSAN (no witness node). I think all the questions I've asked above it meets satisfactorily or better. I haven't compared it to every solution but I also don't believe in fixing something if it's not broke. No, they are not paying me to say this. I readily admit I'm not a storage expert. But then I haven't had to be either.
Jiten KamothiFew points: 1) How in sync you are with Storage manufacturers as to use their apps/drivers efficiently. 2) How will you be able to update/upgrade live SDS running in live environment. 3) Do you think people will trust SDS for their live infrastructure? What assurance and advancement SDS will have than the current technology people are using?. 4) Keep a provision of having option to activate redundancies of data of various app eg. Oracle, SQL DB etc. 5) What if SDS itself is attacked/hacked/corrupted etc.? 6) Will SDS have all features of storage management too (Partitioning, Adding new storage, adding Network storage etc.)? if not, how SDS can efficiently perform? 7) How SDS would perform in case cache is over utilized? Will SDS configuration have reserve memories. 8) Will SDS have inbuilt performance monitoring tool like Windows performance monitoring service? My points are at end users perspective e.g. ease of operations, safety, future advancement etc.