Software Defined Storage (SDS) Solutions

Software Defined Storage (SDS) Solutions Overview

Software-defined-storage (SDS) solutions are alternative data storage programs where the storage resources are decoupled from the underlying physical hardware. This makes them more flexible than traditional storage area network (SAN) or network-attached storage (NAS) programs that are attached to the hardware. SDS programs typically run on either the server operating system (OS) or virtual machines (VM). But certain programs may run on a hypervisor kernel which allows for multiple VMs to be used simultaneously on one device.


These programs are also related to software-defined networking (SDN) and the software-defined data center (SDDC) architecture. These products reflect a broader industry-wide shift towards the virtualization of software-related functions such as storage, networking, and security.


SDS solutions have become very popular for recently for a few key reasons including:

  1. the evolving and increasingly unstructured nature of data

  2. increasing customer need for data virtualization capabilities

  3. rising demand for cloud storage technologies


Common SDS use cases include:

  • DevOps

  • Workflow automation

  • Virtualized desktop infrastructure (VDI)

  • Data security and protection

  • Data management of integrated public and private cloud systems

  • Providing better data access for remote offices

  • Increasing data storage efficiency by eliminating silos

  • Extending the life of more traditional storage systems


Top Rated Software Defined Storage Products

TrustRadius Top Rated for 2021

These products won a Top Rated award for having excellent customer satisfaction ratings. The list is based purely on reviews; there is no paid placement, and analyst opinions do not influence the rankings. Read more about the Top Rated criteria.

Software Defined Storage Products

(1-25 of 44) Sorted by Most Reviews

The list of products below is based purely on reviews (sorted from most to least). There is no paid placement and analyst opinions do not influence their rankings. Here is our Promise to Buyers to ensure information on our site is reliable, useful, and worthy of your trust.
Nutanix AOS

Nutanix AOS

Customer Verified
Top Rated

Nutanix in San Jose, California offers their software-defined Enterprise Cloud as a hyper-converged infrastructure solution. The Nutanix Enterprise Cloud solution combines the Nutanix Acropolis virtualization solution, Nutanix AHV hypervisor (though Acropolis works with other hypervisors)…

StarWind Virtual SAN

StarWind Virtual SAN

Customer Verified
Top Rated

StarWind Virtual SAN is software-defined storage for efficient storage and backup.

VMware vSAN

VMware's vSAN is hyper-converged infrastructure solution.

IBM System Storage DS8900F (formerly DS8000)

IBM System Storage DS8900F is a line of storage appliances.

StorPool

StorPool is a block-storage software that uses standard hardware and builds a storage system out of this hardware. It is installed on the servers and creates a shared storage pool from their local drives in these servers. Compared to traditional SANs, all-flash arrays, or other storage…

SANsymphony

DataCore SANsymphony software-defined storage aims to deliver flexibility, scalability, and cost-efficiency in a HCI platform. Powered by a block-level storage virtualization technology, SANsymphony is designed to provide flexibility to control how data is stored, protected, and…

Cisco Cloud Object Storage (COS)

Cisco Cloud Object Storage (COS) provides distributed, resilient, high-performance storage and retrieval of binary large object (blob) data. Object storage is distributed across a cluster of hardware systems, or nodes. The storage cluster is resilient against hard drive failure within…

IBM Spectrum Scale

IBM Spectrum Scale supports storage management of unstructured data for big data analytics.

Red Hat Ceph Storage

Red Hat Ceph Storage is a software defined storage option.

Scality  ARTESCA

Scality in San Francisco offers scalable file and object storage for media, healthcare, cloud service providers, and others.

Springpath

Springpath in Sunnyvale, California offers software defined storage.

SUSE Enterprise Storage

SUSE Enterprise Storage is a software defined storage option from German company SUSE.

NetApp ONTAP Select

NetApp's ONTAP Select is a software-defined storage solution for the hybrid cloud designed to help users spin up storage resources with cloudlike agility, move and replicate data easily, and offer robust enterprise storage options on commodity hardware.

Red Hat Gluster Storage

Red Hat Gluster Storage is a software-defined storage option; Red Hat acquired Gluster in 2011.

StarWind SAN & NAS

StarWind SAN & NAS is an HCL-certified software-defined shared storage for VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V. The solution also enables the user to repurpose servers into certified backup targets if they are using Veeam. StarWind SAN & NAS, as a Linux-based VM, leverages…

Stratoscale Object Storage

Stratoscale offers single-click provisioning and scaling of object storage in a single click to simplify storage-related operations and ensure agility and scalability.

Hedvig

The Hedvig Distributed Storage Platform provides a modern software solution that allows the user to tailor a flexible, efficient data management system built on industry-standard x86 server hardware to support any application, hypervisor, container, or cloud. Hedvig was acquired…

Amax StorMax SDS

AMAX Information Technologies in Fremont, California offers StorMax SDS, software defined storage.

FalconStor StorSafe (FalconStor VTL)

StorSafe is the latest release of FalconStor's, headquartered in Austin, VTL product. It is a 100% software product that runs on industry-standard servers, or in any cloud as a VM, to provide a next-generation virtual tape library that FalconStor presents as scalable, state-of-the-…

DDN IME All-Flash Cache

DataDirect Networks (DDN) offers their Infinite Memory Engine (IME) offered in the IME140 and IME240 appliances or via an IME software only edition, DDN IME Flash-Native Cache.

HPE StoreVirtual VSA (Discontinued)

HP StoreVirtual VSA was software defined storage, from HPE replacing the former LeftHand P4000 VSA. It reached EOL March 2019.

Dell EMC ViPR

Dell EMC ViPR Controller is storage automation software that helps organizations reduce management overhead through automation across Dell EMC block architectures. It abstracts and pools resources to deliver automated, policy-driven storage services on demand via a self-service catalog.…

SwiftStack

SwiftStack is a software-driven data storage and management platform for data-intensive applications and workflows, designed to provide seamless access to data across the edge, core data centers, and public clouds. It is an NVIDIA solution since the 2020 acquisition.

DataCore vFilo

To control unstructured data growth and NAS sprawl across an organization, DataCore vFilO is designed to let users centrally manage file and object data storage, as well as NAS devices, to optimize capacity and lower storage costs across on-premises, cloud and hybrid infrastructures.…

Stratoscale Private Cloud Platform (Symphony)

Stratoscale Private Cloud Platform is designed to simplify operational complexity through automated end-to-end infrastructure provisioning of compute, storage and network resources across all enterprise environments.

Learn More About Software Defined Storage (SDS) Solutions

What is Software Defined Storage (SDS)?

Software-defined-storage (SDS) solutions are alternative data storage programs where the storage resources are decoupled from the underlying physical hardware. This makes them more flexible than traditional storage area network (SAN) or network-attached storage (NAS) programs that are attached to the hardware. SDS programs typically run on either the server operating system (OS) or virtual machines (VM). But certain programs may run on a hypervisor kernel which allows for multiple VMs to be used simultaneously on one device.


These programs are also related to software-defined networking (SDN) and the software-defined data center (SDDC) architecture. These products reflect a broader industry-wide shift towards the virtualization of software-related functions such as storage, networking, and security.


SDS solutions have become very popular for recently for a few key reasons including:

  1. the evolving and increasingly unstructured nature of data

  2. increasing customer need for data virtualization capabilities

  3. rising demand for cloud storage technologies


Common SDS use cases include:

  • DevOps

  • Workflow automation

  • Virtualized desktop infrastructure (VDI)

  • Data security and protection

  • Data management of integrated public and private cloud systems

  • Providing better data access for remote offices

  • Increasing data storage efficiency by eliminating silos

  • Extending the life of more traditional storage systems


‘Scaling Out’ vs. ‘Scaling Up’ Storage Capacities

‘Scaling-out’ is an alternative to the more traditional 'scaling-up' method of increasing storage capacity. It involves adding additional storage space with SDS products that do not need to be physically attached to the hardware underneath.


Scaling-up storage involves adding more physical storage - such as disk drivers - to the original storage infrastructure to increase capacity. One drawback of scaling-up storage is that there is a limited amount of upgrading that can be done. In comparison, when scaling-out storage, there is essentially no limit to the amount of storage resources that can be added.


SDS Features and Capabilities

Most SDS products include a number of features and capabilities targeting storage management and functionality such as:


  • Abstraction of storage resources from the underlying hardware

  • Virtualization of pooled storage resources

  • Ability to manage pooled storage via one administrative interface

  • Policy-based management of storage resources

  • Ability to increase storage capacity through scaling-out the system across a server cluster

  • Compatibility with industry-standard hardware (x86 servers and API)

  • Access to different types of storage interfaces such as block, file, and object storage


However, there are a multiple storage options to consider when selecting an SDS product. These include different scale-out and/or block, file, and object options, container-based software, virtualized software, and hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) software.


Benefits of SDS

There are several benefits of using an SDS solution compared with traditional SAN or NAS style storage. Most importantly, they allow the user to update storage capacity while not altering the underlying physical hardware. They also enable the expansion of existing storage capacity to a virtually unlimited degree.


SDS products also offer cost related benefits which include:


  • lower upfront and operational costs

  • buyers avoid being ‘locked in’ to one software vendor (since they not tied to any specific hardware)

  • eliminate costs by ‘scaling out’ current storage capacity and adding on additional storage resources as needed

Pricing

The standard pricing model for storage software has been per GB, along with installment and upgrading costs. However, SDS vendors offer products whose prices are more dependent on use case, length of use, and amount of storage needed. Therefore prices may not be very standardized.


Vendors typically do not disclose price information on their website but provide it upon request.