Software Defined Storage vs. Traditional SAN and NAS Storage


There is a new trend of Software Defined “Everything” in IT, and the storage industry is going through the same transformation. While there is a lot of marketing buzz around the term Software Defined Storage, this article is intended to introduce clarity by describing—from a storage vendor perspective—the major differences between Software Defined Storage and traditional SAN or NAS arrays.



There is a new trend of Software Defined “Everything” in IT, and the storage industry is going through the same transformation. While there is a lot of marketing buzz around the term Software Defined Storage, this article is intended to introduce clarity by describing—from a storage vendor perspective—the major differences between Software Defined Storage and traditional SAN or NAS arrays.

Software Vs. Hardware

This is the most obvious difference, and it has a big impact on both the cost and agility of deployment of storage systems.

Cost

On the cost side, traditional SAN and NAS storage array vendors spend a lot of money in developing custom ASICs, custom circuit boards and custom real time operating systems (OSs). A custom ASIC can cost between $10M and $20M in development that, in turn, needs to be paid for via inclusion in the price of the storage array. In fact, only a minimal part of the R&D expenses of a traditional storage vendor is spent on storage functionality. The majority is spent on development of custom hardware and software infrastructure. In addition, because all the components are proprietary, traditional storage vendors need to spend a lot of money on interoperability tests. As an example, a simple new drive qualification cycle can cost millions of dollars and take many months.

On the other hand, Software Defined Storage companies use standard x86 hardware, and standard OSs. This means that the semiconductors used are designed by the Intels, Broadcoms and LSIs of the world. The hardware and interoperability is done by the Dells, HPs and IBMs of the world and the OS components are developed by Microsoft, VMware or Linux developers

Zadara® Storage offers enterprise Storage-as-a-Service (STaaS), delivering high-performance, highly available file, block and object storage. The company’s award-winning Zadara Storage Cloud delivers a common storage-as-a-service platform that can be deployed at any location (cloud, on-premises or hybrid), supporting any data type (block, file and object) and connecting to any protocol (FC, iSCSI, iSER, NFS, CIFS, S3, Swift).


Cloud Exchange Member

Zadara Storage
Cloud Exchange Metros
AMERICAS EMEA APAC
Atlanta Amsterdam Sydney
Chicago Dublin
Dallas Frankfurt
Los Angeles London
New York Manchester
Seattle Paris
Silicon Valley Stockholm
Toronto Zurich
Washington