Role of Hardware in Software-Defined Storage

CIO Review Europe | Monday, August 01, 2022

The significant role of hardware provides unlimited scalability, greater efficiency, freedom and mobility in the data centre for software-defined storage 

FREMONT, CA: One of the most significant developments in data centre technology is software-defined infrastructure, which brings new degrees of flexibility to scale-out data infrastructures. A level of freedom that was previously unattainable is now made possible by decoupling hardware and software, and this freedom has sparked an ongoing scaling revolution. Much software-defined storage (SDS) solutions emerged from this shift. The "lego effect" enabled enterprises to scale their storage up and down as needed by enabling vendors to offer software that simplifies storage management. Storage that is hardware agnostic and independent of proprietary hardware offers the data centre unrestricted scalability, increased efficiency, freedom, and mobility.

As so-called "core-to-edge data infrastructure", the move to construct more infrastructure outside of Almost every nation on the globe depends on chips and sub-assemblies that are made elsewhere, with Southeast Asia providing the majority of the componentry. This has led to dependencies that are now impossible to escape, posing problems in terms of security and the economy. During uncontrollable global occurrences, which the world is all too familiar with in the post-COVID era where chip shortages and shoddy global supply chains have become the norm, these challenges are amplified.

In addition to these difficulties, the sector is now dealing with a major contradiction as more and more businesses and governments throughout the world adopt so-called "Zero Trust" security methods. No longer need to put faith in a world where every step of the value chain is completely open, from design through sourcing, manufacture, and delivery. The truest kind of zero trust is this. The truth is that COTS-based hardware solutions, at least in their current form, preclude the possibility of mission-critical infrastructures having the safe provenance made available by open audits.

Although it was a great idea, software-defined infrastructure has unfortunately resulted in software bloat and a lack of innovation that is more harmful to efforts to reduce carbon emissions, especially as systems scale. The existing IT manufacturing ecosystem generates a staggering amount of waste, which makes it challenging for businesses with huge volumes of data to reduce their carbon footprints while maintaining growth. IT solutions providers have pushed more processing power at I/O issues rather than improving hardware through innovation, and they focus on "outside-in" strategies such as efforts at software optimization. Inefficient, power-guzzling, heat-producing, and excessively expensive architectures are the end consequence, and in rapidly expanding data centres, they cause more issues than they fix. Instead of truly innovating in the data centre, energy savings and the attainment of carbon footprint goals wind up being sophisticated exercises in greenwashing numbers.

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