Software-Defined Storage Buying Guide - Page 2


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VMware vSAN

Previously known as VMware Virtual SAN, vSAN addresses hyper-converged infrastructure systems. It aggregates locally attached disks in a vSphere cluster to create storage that can be provisioned and managed from the vCenter and vSphere Web Client tools. This enables organizations to evolve their existing virtualization environment with the only natively integrated vSphere solution. It leverages many server hardware platforms to deploy an ecosystem of supported software.

“With vSAN, IT departments can reduce TCO [total cost of ownership] by up to 50 percent or more thanks to server-side economics, affordable flash, on-demand scaling and simplified day-to-day operations,” said Lee Caswell, vice president of products, storage and availability, VMware. “Hyper-converged storage powered by vSAN can be expanded into a complete software-defined storage solution that provides the foundation for a multi-cloud architecture, delivering a common enterprise storage platform that extends from on-premises deployments to the public cloud.”

Microsoft S2D

Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) is part of Windows Server 2016. It can be combined with Storage Replica (SR), which is also part of Windows Server 2016, along with resilient file system (ReFS) cache tiering to create scale-out, converged and hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) software-defined storage for Windows Servers and Hyper-V environments.

“It is part of Windows Server, so it has the ability to leverage existing and known tools as well as flexible configuration deployment options,” said Greg Schulz, an analyst with StorageIO Group.


Pivot3’s virtual storage and compute operating environment, known as vSTAC, is said to maximize overall resource utilization, providing efficient fault tolerance and giving IT the flexibility to deploy on a wide range of x86 platforms. A distributed scale-out architecture pools compute and storage from each HCI node into high-availability clusters, accessible by every VM and application. Its Scalar Erasure Coding is said to be more efficient than network RAID or replication protection schemes, and it maintains performance during degraded mode conditions.

The vSTAC OS also consumes less than 10 percent of overhead on each x86 platform. By converging compute, storage and VM management, Pivot3 automates systems management with capabilities including self-optimizing, self-healing and self-monitoring. The Pivot3 vCenter plugin provides a single pane of glass to simplify management of single and multi-site deployments.

“As data centers modernize to be more agile, efficient and economic, policy-based management of software-defined infrastructures is key and will become a greater priority for businesses in 2017,” said George Wagner, sr. product marketing manager, Pivot3. “Businesses are moving quickly into the world of HCI and software-defined data centers, and QoS technology must evolve from static to more dynamic implementations to meet the needs of IT.”

Other Worthy Candidates

Of course, there are plenty of other worthy candidates, but we don’t have room to detail them all here. These include Hitachi Data Systems, Coraid, Red Hat Storage Server (Ceph), Scality, Hedvig, Cohesity, Datacore, Dell EMC ScaleIO and ECS, IBM, NetApp StorageGrid, and Starwind. There are many others that should be included, but this will do for now as a decent sampling.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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