Understanding the potential challenges of Software Defined Storage


The potential benefits of Software Defined Storage have been well documented: whether it’s increasing business agility, enabling innovation and advanced storage features, or just cutting costs and complexity, it’s easy to understand why so many different organizations are excited about SDS.

However, far less attention has been paid to the potential drawbacks, challenges and roadblocks involved with deploying Software Defined Storage. In this post, we’ll shine a light on a few of these, so that you can enter into SDS with your eyes wide open. The things we’ll talk about may be unpleasant truths, but they are truths nonetheless, so it’s important that you know them if you want to experience success with SDS.

1. There is no single accepted definition for SDS

SDS can be difficult to implement correctly because vendors may not think of SDS in exactly the same way that you do. Everyone can develop their own unique definition of SDS, so you need to try to find a vendor whose definition matches up with yours as closely as possible.

A cynical person might suggest that the lack of a common definition means that SDS is nothing but marketing fluff. While marketing fluff certainly has something to do with this problem—vendors calling their solution SDS just to capitalize on a hot term—there is still a core of real value behind the term. It’s up to you to find it. 

2. Assembling hardware systems in house is fine for some, but too challenging for most

The success that big-name tech companies like Facebook and Google have had with assembling their own hardware systems for SDS has received a lot of attention in the past couple of years, but what these companies achieved is completely unrealistic for most smaller companies.

If you run a small or mid-sized IT shop, your team’s time and resources would be better spent on core tasks than on trying to source and maintain hardware. Working with a trusted third-party partner for your hardware needs is likely a much better option.

3. You must work with a vendor that understands your needs, and can deliver on them

Getting the most from SDS is all about having hardware and software that are tuned to the exact needs of your storage infrastructure. The problem is that there are some vendors out there that would prefer to sell you what they have to sell, rather than finding what works best for your needs.

Once again, the challenge is on your shoulders. You must stand up for the needs of your company, and make sure you work with an SDS vendor that respects those needs. To learn how Cima Solutions Group can be that partner for you, contact us today.

– Ken

Ken Scott is the Director of Storage Sales at Cima Solutions Group. He has more than 31 years in technology sales, starting as a Client Representative with IBM in 1984. During his tenure with IBM, he supported clients of all sizes – from small business ventures to multi-national Fortune 100 enterprises. He spent his last 9 years with IBM as a Certified Storage Sales Specialist, recognized nationally for his expertise, and his ability to translate technical topics to business value. Ken joined Cima Solutions Group in 2007, and is responsible for building Cima’s storage portfolio, storage messaging, and storage solution design. He created RightStor, a process to help clients navigate the storage decision process and assign a validated Total Cost of Ownership and Return on Investment. Ken received a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Management Science and Computers from Southern Methodist University.