An Analysis of Key Players in the Software Defined Storage (SDS) Market for 2022 by@priya11

An Analysis of Key Players in the Software Defined Storage (SDS) Market for 2022

According to research by marketwatch.com, the global Software Defined Storage (SDS) market is anticipated to surge prolifically at a minimum CGPR of 25.8% between 2022 & 2029. In 2021, the market is growing at a steady rate and with the rising adoption of strategy by key players, it is expected to rise over the projected horizon.
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Priya Kumari

Priya has 8 yrs of exp. in Research & works as AM-Content Strategy at Valasys Media, a top B2B Media Publisher company.

Introduction

SDS or Software Defined Storage is a provisioning term used for policy-reliant management of data storage wherein data is abstracted from underlying physical storage hardware. This storage architecture separates the storage system from its hardware and proves to be a cost-effective way for organizations to store and manage data by leveraging software independently of the underlying hardware ecosystem.


This architecture manages the fundamental requirement of data storage and functionalities and separates the functions responsible for provisioning capability.


Importance of SDS as an Enterprise Solution

SDS is a productivity and multi-tenancy enabler for most organizations as it facilitates the uncoupling and abstraction of storage resources from the underlying hardware platform. This ensures greater flexibility, efficiency, and faster scalability by simplifying programmable resources.


According to research by marketwatch.com, the global Software Defined Storage (SDS) market is anticipated to surge prolifically at a minimum CGPR of 25.8% between 2022 & 2029. In 2021, the market is growing at a steady rate and with the rising adoption of strategy by key players, it is expected to rise over the projected horizon.


The modern Software Defined Storage (SDS) market identifies various key players in the market and sheds light on many promising ones simplifying the storage for enterprises. Those who utilize fully managed cloud-native resources, and work with the data in virtual data centers can allocate flexibility and uniform distribution of workload using such an architecture. Even those dispersing their workloads on diverse clouds can benefit from economically viable, simple, highly centralized, and scalable resources in the data center.

This is primarily beneficial for an enterprise in the following aspects:


  1. A Uniform Workload allocation and Distribution
  2. Future-Proofing parallel to the hardware vendor lock-in
  3. Facilitating programmability and automation
  4. Faster changes and scaling up and down
  5. Enabling Greater Programmability & Automation
  6. Accelerated Speed of Business
  7. Mitigating the Requirement for New Applications
  8. Managing enterprise policies better with backups, snapshots, data deduplication, and thin provisioning
  9. Independent choice of hardware allows companies to choose, manage and upgrade or downgrade the hardware separately, allowing software and hardware to work in synergy but exist independently
  10. SDS facilitates flexible networking allowing different data sources to connect
  11. SDS enables a unified storage architecture often encompassing virtual servers, disk or flash systems, network object platforms, external disk systems, and other resources in the cloud
  12. Most SDS solutions are priced efficiently enabling enterprises to fine-tune or scale their storage infrastructure as and when needed
  13. SDS can scale and adjust automatically and autonomously with the help of humanized interactions
  14. The scaling possibilities are immense for SDS systems facilitating enterprises to scale up as and when needed
  15. SDS addresses your enterprise requirements upfront and allows you to act proactively to scale your storage infrastructure rather than waiting for lengthy configurations
  16. SDS improves your storage visibility, tracking of utilization, and changes to the infrastructure and data whether you're using one that's hypervisor-based, container-based, for unstructured data scale-out storage based, distributed file systems based for object storage offload, or HCI software for facilitating storage in tandem with networking, compute and virtualization software in the same package


Use Cases for SDS

  1. Remote Office or Branch Office (ROBO) – SDS allows marketers to leverage existing hardware for greater utilization of existing investments and for ease of deployment and management.
  2. Ruggedized systems – Tactical scenarios and first responder situations that might be environmentally challenging might be addressed through mobile environments.
  3. Hybrid Cloud Implementations – Both the on-premise implementations and hosted private cloud can be managed by leveraging the same kind of data management platform capabilities, with no variation in tools, reporting, and training required.
  4. Data Center Infrastructure Modernization – Policy-based, self-service storage as a service is facilitated by SDS.


Top SDS Players in the Market

The Software-Defined Storage (SDS) marketplace is on a surge and entirely competitive. SDS contains detailed information on factors including demand, growth, opportunities, challenges, and restraints. SDS marketplace provides detailed information about the structure & prospects for global and regional industries.


The report includes data on research and development, new product launches, and product responses from global and local markets by leading players.

SDS forms the central part of the software-defined data center and is an emerging information technology (IT).  SDS allows organizations to store business data and enable faster delivery of IT services.


According to an estimate provided by marketwatch.com, SDS market revenue was evaluated at USD 9.4 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 37.24 billion by 2026 at a healthy CAGR of 25.8% over the forecast period of 2021-2026. SDS is one of the new technologies trending in the enterprise storage market.


According to datamintelligence.com, the global Software Defined Storage (SDS) market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2% between 2022-2029.


The SDS market dynamics are changing and these are primarily driven by the increasing adoption of SDS by enterprises or IT organizations. Enterprises must accommodate this prolific growth in data and must do so by leveraging a huge surge in data growth.


The constant increase in the volume of unstructured data across various enterprises augments the demand for a scalable storage architecture that must be highly secure and reliable. SDS can separate storage software from hardware and thus can cut down on the storage costs in terms of both the capital costs amassed and tuning to SDS.


Learning about the SDS leading market players allows businesses to identify new growth opportunities with in-depth insights for strategic business plans and for designing innovative strategies for sustainable growth.


Comprehensive details on an array of factors allow marketers to drive or challenge the growth of market players. All the key players in the market must also have in-depth sector-specific knowledge and must perform behavioral analysis for every region.


Learning about the top SDS solution providers is specifically important for all the esteemed cloud service providers, system integrators, government agencies, government agencies, and small and medium enterprises who would like to lessen their operational costs.


For enterprises, and businesses that require specific applications based on demand, and for vendors who supply internet connection, SDS solutions can be specifically beneficial.

Let's have a look at some of the top SDS (Software Defined Storage) players in the market:


  1. Nutanix Acropolis AOS

Acropolis is the foundation of the platform that starts with hyper-converged infrastructure, then adds built-in virtualization and storage services, virtual networking, and cross-hypervisor application mobility. Calm adds native application orchestration and lifecycle management to Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform. Calm decouples application management from the underlying infrastructure – enabling applications to be easily deployed into private or public cloud environments.


Mission-critical workloads require greater scale and security to meet business demands. Acropolis provides turnkey platform services for the most critical workloads at any scale. In just 60 minutes or less, you can create a hybrid environment that’s suited for your needs. Acropolis empowers IT admins to provision and manage any application with ease while ensuring it runs in an always secure and fast environment backed by Nutanix's robust foundation.


Nutanix Acropolis helps overcome the problem with traditional enterprise cloud. Traditional infrastructure is extremely siloed and extremely complex. This forces businesses to make decisions based on data center resources and technical limitations rather than being driven by the unique needs and characteristics of the applications. Consequently, with significant efforts, a significant chunk of IT effort is spent on just checking and managing the infrastructure vs focusing on the applications and business value that they deliver.


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Native application orchestration and lifecycle management are critical to the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform. With the addition of advanced application management to the Nutanix platform, common tasks can be turned into repeatable automation that can be accessed by all the IT departments. All these things occur without compromising on the control access to the infrastructure stack.


Nutanix comes with built-in AHV virtualization, platform services, enterprise storage capabilities, and network services.


Some of the most advanced data centers in the world rely on Nutanix technology and solutions to power their workloads at scale. It's time for businesses to move from legacy infrastructure to eliminate the need for stand-alone SAN or NAS-based storage and expensive virtualization and mitigate complexity and silos with the help of Nutanix. Nutanix is the ultimate Enterprise Cloud enabler that enables organizations to run applications in the right environment at the right time.


  1. StarWind Virtual SAN

This software eliminates the need for any physical shared storage by simply “mirroring” internal hard disks and flash between hypervisor and servers. The software is compatible with the hypervisor of your choice viz. Microsoft, Hyper -V, VMware vSphere/ ESXi, Linux KVM, or Xen.

StarWind VSAN eliminates any need for physical storage by mirroring internal hard disks and flash between hypervisor servers. Thanks to its unique features, StarWind Virtual SAN can be deployed on or integrated with any existing IT infrastructure.


With StarWind Virtual SAN your storage infrastructure is made to be easily scalable, reliable, and fault-tolerant. VSAN offers continuous availability without downtime or partial crashes by mirroring data between nodes and providing high performance for your virtual machines, whether you use highly available NAS or local drives for a single VM. StarWind Virtual SAN eliminates storage headaches by providing simplified management, flexibility, and high availability through a unified, cloud-based storage system.


The key features of the platform include the following:


  • The platform allows one to achieve high availability
  • The platform neglects any downtime possibilities even if one or multiple nodes fail
  • The clusters are tied into a single pool of storage
  • The platform helps overcome the HCLs and has no restrictions on sockets or features
  • Offers flexible scalability, up and out
  • The platform can be easily controlled with the help of a single web console or thick client


  1. StarWind HyperConverged Appliance

StarWind is a one-stop virtualization shop for all the "building blocks" required to construct a full-stack data center infrastructure. Our software combines scalability with simplicity, allowing customers to build and scale their environments according to their needs and not according to a limited set of options they're typically offered. In this way, StarWind promotes hyper-convergence without condemning the traditional compute and storage architecture.


StarWind Virtual SAN is an easy-to-implement, easy-to-deploy, and simple to use solution that enables customers to consolidate their physical and virtual servers into a single infrastructure. It takes just a few clicks to deploy our software and get started with virtualizing their applications and storing its data on a shared storage pool. StarWind Virtual SAN provides the ability to store virtual machines in the same arrays where they're running. This allows for faster transfer of metadata across hypervisors, lower CPU performance overhead, and lower storage I/O complexity.


As a converged infrastructure, StarWind aligns the physical and virtual resources into a single high-speed storage pool, simplifying management and enabling fast workload response times.


  1. DataCore SANsymphony SDS

The platform enables Software-Defined Storage Solution Solutions for SAN and Hyperconverged (HCI) environments. The platform allows clients to maximize the collective value from your storage infrastructure by delivering fast, uninterrupted data access while reducing storage costs and optimizing flexibility and scalability.


The following are the key features of the DataCore SANsymphony SDS:


  • The platform facilitates immense pooling capacity unlike other storage systems and helps break down the silos

  • Controlling data placement and enabling the fastest storage allows the fastest storage to store the most critical data

  • This is an excellent choice among the SDS platforms for strengthening your business resiliency framework and for empowering your disaster recovery objectives

  • The marketers can also enhance their storage competencies and gear up to handle more demanding workloads

  • One can even expand/refresh their hardware and mitigate data without any disruption


With DataCore SANsymphony and its revolutionary, easy-to-use graphical user interface, one can centrally automate storage management across diverse storage environments. Their solutions with virtual storage give the users the ultimate flexibility to store and protect their data however it makes one the happiest. With SANsymphony, IT administrators no longer need to worry about managing different tiers for hot, warm, and cold data anymore.


DataCore SANsymphony provides total control over how you want to store and protect your data. We help you create a smooth flow of information and save precious time by automating capacity provisioning and data placement across your diverse storage environment (any SAN, DAS, HCI, or JBOD).


  1. Zadara

Zadara Storage provides Software Defined Storage (SDS) within our multi-tenant Zadara Cloud System. This is a high-performance storage solution that allows you to store and access data on your server-based office or home office computing and mobile devices. We can deliver an SDS solution for any application, anywhere in the world.


For smaller organizations, Zadara Storage offers a flexible and reliable SDx Software Defined Storage solution with full functionality of the VPSA platform. We provide solutions designed specifically for businesses that need high-performance storage at a low cost.


Zadara Storage solutions are designed to provide a flexible experience and improve the way we work. Zadara Storage provides SDS within their multi-tenant Zadara Cloud System. While this product is commonly referred to as the VPSATM, there is a Software Defined Network (SDN) cloud component to enable privacy within the SDx infrastructure.


One might assume that networking in SDx is a key ingredient in NFS and SAN performance. The propriety technology of Zadara enables high-performing controllers that are created in spite of being virtually deployed. For example, each VPSA deploys SR-IOV – or PCI passthrough – to accelerate the SDN by physically mapping 40gE to the controller.


There are many performance metrics that one might be tacking in a virtual environment that reflect how your SDX is performing; these include:


  1. Latency – This is the amount of time taken to complete a single operation. The metric reveals the speed and reciprocity of your storage system to read and write requests. Latency might be measured in seconds.


  2. Bandwidth – This is the amount of data that can be exchanged between the storage system and the host server accessing the array. Brandwidth is measured in bytes per second.


  3. I/O’s Per Second (IOPS) – This measurement reveals the individual read or write requests that a system in a single second can handle.


An array of tools and utilities can be used to collect these metrics such as .iperf, .loping, .fio, .Iozone, and .Iometer. For those using Zadara, using Docker embedded in the VPSA can help one get rid of the local disk performance that bypasses the network. Zadara assists in the improvement of the performance of the virtual environment and helps deliver a great performance in the cloud.


  1. Red Hat Ceph Storage

The Ceph storage by Red Hat is extremely powerful and constitutes an essential element of your software-defined data center. Red Hat Ceph Storage integrates with Red Hat OpenStack Platform to give IT organizations the management control and assurance of a software-defined datacenter. Now it is possible for enterprises to break free from the limitations of traditional storage technologies and create an environment that can meet any workload, anywhere in their network.


Red Hat Ceph Storage is a scalable, open-source object storage solution designed for small and large enterprises alike. Red Hat Ceph Storage helps organizations store, manage, and access their data in a cost-effective way. It is a storage platform as a service. It provides unified key management services and scales to meet storage needs from petabyte to exabyte class while preserving security and high performance.


This open-source storage system has been optimized for data reliability, speed, and scale. It also includes a modern object store and highly-scalable file system for facilitating the rapid deployment of applications on x86 systems running Red Hat Enterprise Linux.


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Red Hat Ceph Storage can be used compatibly with an array of other big data analytics applications including Apache Hadoop MapReduce, Hive, Spark, and Presto. There exist multiple ephemeral instances of elastic analytics clusters that reference a single source of truth. The platform also possesses the ability to realize the financial and operational benefits of object storage in big data infrastructure without any changes to the application.


  1. Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct

Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct is a software-defined storage solution that allows you to combine internal storage drives on a cluster of physical servers (2 and up to 16) into a software-defined pool of storage.


 Storage Spaces Direct is a software-defined storage solution that allows you to share storage resources in your converged and hyperconverged IT infrastructure. It enables you to combine internal storage drives on a cluster of physical servers (2 and up to 16) into a software-defined pool of storage.


Using an SDS, you can expand replication, virtualization capabilities, workload management, and hardware acceleration—all while maintaining data protection through the resilience of the pool as well as high availability.


With Storage Spaces Direct as an SDS platform, you can combine internal storage drives into a software-defined pool of storage. This provides administrators with greater flexibility and efficiency to run applications on their servers, as well as expand capacity more easily.


Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct simplifies converged HCI storage. The platform facilitates clustering and high availability and configuration of Hyper-V storage. Storage Spaces Direct features hyper-converged deployment options. The platform pools server storage to build highly available and scalable software-defined storage systems for Hyper-V virtual machines.


Storage Spaces Direct makes two copies of data to other nodes within a cluster. Each node runs as a fault domain and data gets accessible across the fault domains to prevent data loss from a disk failure. When a disk fails, data gets replicated to another disk in the cluster so that three copies of data are present at all times.


When one adds more nodes to the cluster, Storage Spaces Direct will automatically pool the storage into the cluster. As many as 240 disks and 12 nodes can be added to a cluster. Storage Spaces Direct uses Server Message Block (SMB) 3.0 for communication between storage nodes.


The platform can be deployed in two ways. In the first method, the Hyper-V clusters and storage are on the same hardware; according to Microsoft, such a model is more appropriate for smaller scale-out arrangements. Within the private cloud storage deployment, the Hyper-V clusters and storage resources are separate and Microsoft recommends this model for larger scale-out deployments.


Separation of the Hyper-V clusters and storage within the private cloud deployment, allows administrators to scale and manage the storage and compute resources independently. Also, the hyper-converged architecture leads resources to be scaled and managed together. This deployment can be used as the primary storage of a Hyper-V file or as the secondary storage for Hyper-V Replica VM files.


For using a Storage Spaces Direct one requires either a NIC capable of remote direct memory access or a pair of NIC ports; a cluster with at least four nodes running Windows Server 2016; wherein each node is a member of an ‘Active Directory.’


  1. IBM Spectrum Virtualize

The IBM Spectrum Virtualize system combines software and hardware into a comprehensive, modular appliance that provides symmetric virtualization. This delivers a simplified installation and release process while helping you to get your business running faster. Its customization options ensure that you will have the security, management, and performance features required to meet your unique needs. This system combines software and hardware into a comprehensive, modular appliance that facilitates symmetric virtualization. Such symmetric virtualization is enabled by creating a pool of managed disks (MDisks) from the attached storage systems and operational SAS expansion enclosures.


Volumes can be created in a pool to be used by attached host systems. System administrators can view and access a common pool of storage on the storage area of the network (SAN), or local area network (LAN). This functionality allows administrators to use storage resources more efficiently and facilitates a common base for advanced functions.


  1. StorPool

StorPool has the reputation of being the fastest software-defined block storage software on the market and it is used by companies building public and private clouds to deliver an amazing end-user experience.


Built on the world's fastest, most secure software-defined storage platform you can scale it easily with your existing infrastructure to deliver an amazing end-user experience. StorPool Distributed Storage has the reputation of being one of the foremost public storage data providers for leading modern public and private clouds. StorPool runs on standard x86 servers, converting each one into high-performance and highly available virtual (SAN) storage arrays. The platform can also run besides compute workloads within a hyper-converged manner.


The platform was developed to help service providers, enterprises, and other public/private cloud builders build efficient clouds and eliminate the need for expensive and inefficient stand-alone storage arrays.


StorPool’s SDS has been installed on a cluster of servers and aggregates the performance and capacity of all the servers’ local drives into a single shared pool of block storage that’s distributed among the servers. The storage system scales linearly in capacity and performance, meaning that by making a cluster 10 times bigger one can simply 10x its performance.


  1. StarWind Virtual Tape Library

StarWind VTL allows businesses to focus on their core IT needs without sacrificing regulatory requirements through continuous data protection with breath-taking speed, reliability, and scalability. Protect your backups from ransomware by keeping them “air-gapped” on virtual tapes. Replicate and tier your backups to any public cloud and use any industry-standard object storage for flexible scalability, as well as maximized security and cost-efficiency.


Virtual Tape Libraries (VTL) are a cost-effective, on-premises alternative to tape backup infrastructure that helps reduce data center and management overhead. StarWind VTL helps businesses move beyond their costly physical tape backup processes without sacrificing regulatory data archival and retention requirements no matter the cloud or object storage tier where your backups are hosted.


StarWind Virtual Tape Library maximizes data security, cost efficiency, and regulatory compliance. The VTL helps businesses move beyond current costly tape backups by allowing them to replicate and tier their data to any public cloud while keeping critical information air-gapped on virtual tapes that can be easily rotated.


The platform facilitates pay-as-you-go licensing and offers a consumption-based licensing model for StarWind VTL making licensing hassle-free and devoid of any restrictions. One simply has to pay for the amount of data managed by the VTL instances running within their infrastructure. Discounts are automatically enabled for big data sets – the bigger the archives, the better get the costs per terabyte. They roll out the subscription models for a particular region at a time and clients can brief them on the availability within their region.


Wrapping Things Up

Data centers are experiencing a dramatic shift as the advantages of software-defined storage (SDS) continues to grow. SDS means more efficient use of space, which is one of the main drivers for growth in the data center. The reason why this happens is that it allows enterprises to capture more value out of their assets while lowering the total cost of ownership down to levels never seen before.


Storage has evolved and Software-Defined Storage is trailblazing the shift within the global storage industry with far-reaching effects. SDS facilitate low-cost storage and more than 70-80% of unstructured data is held in their low-cost storage. Moreover, more than 70% of existing storage array products are also available as software-only versions.


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The above picture shows how the SDS-P market size was segmented by IDC between the years 2013-2019.


Software Defined Storage addresses the following challenging demands for enterprises with modern applications:


  • Effective handling of unprecedented and highly-distributed usage patterns
  • Faster and almost instantaneous provisioning of resources to match the capabilities of cloud services
  • Enabling enterprise-grade resilience, performance, and data protection
  • Getting rid of labor constraints of propriety storage


Software Defined Storage for modern enterprises is essential, elastic, economical, efficient, elegant, and easy. Software Defined Storage (SDS) is revolutionizing the storage industry. But SDS is more than just a way to store data; it’s also essentially an operating system for modern enterprise storage systems.


Today, organizations can choose between open-architecture technologies like Storage Area Networks (SANs) and Green Hills Software’s Scale Engine software. In this article, we took a look at the top SDS players in the market and tried to explain their features so that you can decide why one solution may be better for your organization than another.


Modern enterprises are using Software Defined Storage solutions not just as a way to increase efficiency and return on IT resources, but also as an essential tool for achieving agile, resilient, and innovative IT infrastructures that offer unprecedented levels of flexibility.


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