Software-Defined Storage Market Poised for Growth

High-level skill sets needed to manage complex storage, followed closely by the complexity itself, were noted as top challenges to businesses.

software-defined storage and maxta

There is strong interest in deploying software-defined storage (SDS) solutions, according to a 451 Research report sponsored by Maxta, with 96 percent of respondents stating that they were "somewhat or very likely" to adopt SDS and 82 percent stating they were "somewhat or very likely" to adopt a hyper-converged infrastructure.

Midmarket storage management problems, often similar to those of larger enterprises, were seen in the survey, amplified by the need for simplification of IT management.

The survey revealed 61 percent find VM-level storage management as the main appeal to move to SDS, while 77 percent of companies surveyed indicated that 50 percent or more of their servers are already virtualized.

High-level skill sets needed to manage complex storage (35 percent), followed closely by the complexity itself (35 percent) were noted as top challenges.

"The main stumbling block for businesses is the way IT and IT budgets are structured," Yoram Novick, founder, president and CEO of Maxta, told eWEEK. "In IT, there are disciplines such as servers, with server admins, server budget, storage, with storage admins, storage budget, etc. SDS and Hyper-convergence address the complexity and cost of IT by breaking the silos and thus don't always fit well into current IT structure."

Maintaining data integrity across different systems was a challenge for 46 percent, with scalability being highlighted by 41 percent as a motivator to move to SDS, while 53 percent of respondents want the ability to support mixed drive types–server side, SSD, spinning disk, indicating broad use case and workload interest.

Just 16 percent of respondents selected price or the ability to deploy on less expensive commodity x86 hardware as a significant benefit of SDS solutions.

Novick said the greatest surprise in the survey results was the awareness level for SDS and Hyper-convergence.

"We expected high level of awareness but an awareness level above 85 percent is surprisingly high for any emerging technology," he explained. "It is probably an indication of the pain-point level of complexity in IT."

In addition, 53 percent of respondents are seeking compression and a consistent interest was displayed in enterprise-class data services such as thin provisioning, tiering, de-duplication, snapshots and cloning, and 40 percent seek to improve their data protection policies with SDS, while 35 percent cite SDS snapshots and cloning as a motivator to SDS.

Half of the respondents cited that cost savings would be part of their evaluation consideration. Compatibility and configuration also made the list of concerns validating the need for reference architectures and ordering simplicity.

"I see SDS and hyper-convergence gaining more traction in traditional (closed) virtualization frameworks environments such as VMware and Hyper-V," Novick said. "Additionally, I anticipate a much faster adoption and interest in open virtulization frameworks such as KVM and Linux containers especially in Openstack environments."