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Ever since the 1990s, when the technology vendors recognized that the financial markets valued software higher than hardware, the IT vendors have been on a quest to defined themselves as software companies.

To that end, vendors evolved their storage systems to being more software heavy. In fact, Neuralytix believes that all contemporary storage systems are software-based. But the term software-based does not, in any way define a storage system as being software-defined.

By 2010, this frenzy reached a blatant and overt peak, when vendors started to identify their solutions as being “software-defined”. These monikers started with Software-Defined Networking (SDN), and quickly followed with the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC). Before long, the storage industry joined in and introduced the Software-Defined Storage (SDS) nomenclature.

In this Neurapective™, Neuralytix will look at leading storage systems vendors and the impact of the Software-Defined Storage (SDS) moniker. We will proffer a singular definition of SDS, and provide an analysis of its implications and ramification on the storage systems industry.

Neuralytix defines Software-Defined Storage (SDS) as:

A set of technologies that present a unified set of storage services across a federation of heterogeneous servers and storage capacity.

We are singling out the storage systems market since the greatest variations in definitions and approaches are present in this space. We do not disregard that companies including Symantec, RedHat (through its Gluster acquisition), and various open-source movements such as Open Stack, have already made significant in-roads in creating a software-defined storage abstraction layer.

The following vendors participated in this report:

  • Dell
  • EMC
  • Hewlett-Packard (HP)
  • Hitachi Data Systems (HDS)
  • IBM
  • NetApp

Each vendor has vetted our definition and has agreed that it is acceptable to them for the definition of SDS.

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