What are the advantages and limitations of Software Defined Storage?

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

22 Answers

author avatar
Real User

Software 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.


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.


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.

author avatar
Top 10LeaderboardReal User

SDS 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.

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