The Future of Work Demands Software-Defined Storage

By | October 8, 2021


As the global workplace evolves with the uncertain future of work, so does the enterprise storage infrastructure. With business happening anywhere and at any time, business data needs to be agile and always available. Legacy storage hardware simply cannot keep up. So if you’re looking to build for the future of work, software-defined storage is the only way to go.

Here’s what the storage infrastructure for the future of work needs and why software-defined storage is the best way to build it.

What to expect when building a storage infrastructure for the future of work

Regardless of the state of the future of work, here are five things your storage infrastructure needs to account for to be truly future-proof:

Business data should be highly available

Leaving aside the “where” and “when,” business data should be readily available. Customers don’t like to wait. Delays hurt business and reputation.

If your customers, or DevOps, have to wait for you to find a way to access data, it will hurt your business.

Note: High availability differs from data protection. High availability means making sure that data is always accessible no matter what state it’s in. This implies that high availability does not prevent accidental/malicious deletion, virus infection, or ransomware attacks.

Make sure you can scale storage when needed

The one thing that’s certain about data is that it will grow. Plan ahead and build a storage infrastructure that is easy and quick to scale.

Be sure to balance things out. You don’t want to amass tons of idle servers or run out of available storage space too soon.

Data protection is a must

Ransomware attacks are a real threat. With each attack, ransomware evolves. Your defense against ransomware needs to keep up.

When building a storage infrastructure, don’t compromise on data protection. It shouldn’t be an after-thought or last priority. Because it’ll cost you a lot more than the cost of using data protection features.

Will data protection add more to your budget? For sure. Will it be worth it, though? Most definitely.

You’ll probably need cloud storage too

Statista estimates that as of 2020, about 50% of all corporate data is stored in the cloud. Regardless of scale or the industry, chances are that you’ll need public/private cloud storage.

When building storage infrastructure or acquiring new storage systems, it’s good practice to make sure that cloud connection is included.

Storage management should be easy

Flexible storage infrastructures are often difficult to manage because of the diverse range of their capabilities. Depending on the software, the more features you add the steeper the learning curve is.

Once you’re done putting together the hardware and software capabilities, don’t forget to consider ease-of-use and storage management.

Management overhead, if overlooked, can outweigh the utility of multi-purpose storage infrastructures.

It’s challenging to build a storage infrastructure that checks all the above requirements. And that’s where software-defined storage comes in.

Future-Proof Your Storage Infrastructure with Software-Defined Storage

Software-defined storage enables you to overcome legacy infrastructure limitations and build future-proof storage capable of keeping up with the future of work.

With the right software-defined storage solution, you can:

Dynamically provision highly available storage

Virtualize available storage resources into a pool to distribute and allocate storage to different user groups, projects, and applications on the fly.

Software-defined storage delivers cloud-like storage provisioning capabilities. You can provision storage with a few clicks without disrupting any critical operations.

Look for the following storage features for high availability:

  • Synchronous (real-time) replication
  • Asynchronous replication
  • Multi-site/multi-appliance replication
  • Storage clustering with automated failover and failback
  • Load balancing

Scale storage capacity quickly and seamlessly

Software-defined storage enables you to:

  • Scale allocated storage, CPU, and memory with a few clicks.
  • Expand capacity using integrated public/private cloud storage repositories.
  • Reclaim and repurpose idle capacity for new projects.

The ability to scale quickly and without delay also enables to control the cost of storage by starting small and scaling as data grows.

Make your storage ransomware-proof

Most software-defined storage solutions come with some form of data protection. However, data protection features are offered as optional upgrades; which means the price is not included in the standard license. Except for StoneFly’s software-defined storage which offers them by default, for no additional cost.

Data protection features you should look for in a software-defined storage solution:

  • Air-gapped volumes
  • Immutable storage snapshots
  • Write-Once Read-Many (WORM) repositories
  • S3 object lockdown
  • Advanced encryption (such as AES 256-bit at rest and SSL/TLS tunneling)
  • Anti-ransomware and anti-virus

Cloud integration is built-in

Software-defined storage enables you to connect your servers and applications to cloud storage. Supported Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) vary depending on the vendor.

Manage everything from a single GUI

Software-defined storage solutions are designed with a focus on simplifying management. While capabilities and GUI vary depending on the vendor, most software enables you to manage storage and features from a single browser-based GUI.

Management features that you should look for in your software-defined storage solutions:

  • Automated storage tiering
  • Real-time monitoring and reporting of resource consumption (storage, network, bandwidth, CPU, and system memory usage).

Better Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

The ability to reclaim unused storage space, integrate cloud storage, and monitor resource consumption effectively puts you in control of your storage and helps reduce TCOs.

Conclusion

The future of work requires data storage that is highly available, can scale dynamically, supports cloud storage, and is easy to manage. The best way to build such a storage infrastructure is to use software-defined storage solutions.

Software-defined storage provides better control, reduces storage costs, and puts you in control of your storage resources.

If you’re looking to build a storage infrastructure that can adapt to office, remote-based and hybrid work environments, software-defined storage is your best bet.

Image Credit: provided by the author; thank you!

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