Software-defined storage explained on the back of a napkin

napkin

The demand for storage is headed only in one direction, and that’s up. The cost of enterprise storage is a mounting concern for CIOs as there is added pressure to retain more data due to factors such as regulatory compliance and big data analytics.

Traditional, monolithic storage appliances are built on a scale-up model that is rigid and expensive. The only way to grow storage capacity is by throwing feeds and speeds at the appliance. On the other hand, distributed software-defined storage is built on a scale-out model that lends itself naturally to seamless scale and agility. Adding capacity is as simple as adding more industry-standard servers to the storage cluster.

The price-performance ceiling of traditional storage appliances

When we compare the price-performance characteristics of traditional scale-up storage appliances to software-defined storage such as Red Hat Gluster Storage, we see that as capacity grows, storage appliances hit a performance plateau, while software-defined storage scales linearly. On the other hand, we find that the cost of a monolithic appliance grows exponentially as we hit the performance plateau.

It’s important to remember that traditional storage appliances were built in the era before today’s diverse workloads. For that reason, Red Hat works with the top hardware vendors to build reference architectures that are optimized for performance, throughput, or capacity depending on the workload you’re running.

Unprecedented flexibility and choice

With Red Hat Gluster Storage, you run the same software bits whether the storage is deployed on premise, on virtual machines, in the cloud, or even in containers. Red Hat Gluster Storage offers you advanced storage features such as tiering, bit rot detection, geo replication, and erasure coding, just to name a few. When considering the 3-year TCO, including hardware and support, you get comparable features and performance for about half the price of a storage appliance.

If you feel locked in by your proprietary storage vendor, perhaps it’s time to give open, software-defined storage a try. Take Red Hat Gluster Storage for a test drive on AWS today.

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