The Software-Defined Data Center

Software-Defined Storage (SDS)

VMware Software-Defined Storage (SDS) transforms storage on virtualized environments by aligning it with application demands. We are driving transformation through the hypervisor, bringing to storage the same operational efficiency that server virtualization brought to compute.

As the abstraction layer sitting at the intersection between applications and infrastructure, the hypervisor can balance all IT resources needed by an application, including compute, memory, networking and storage. It matches the demands from virtualized applications with the storage supply, make intelligent placement decisions and optimize ongoing adjustments.

Server virtualization has become the standard platform to run enterprise applications in the datacenter. Most enterprises now operate with a “virtual first” policy where applications are deployed on virtual platforms by default.

Software-Defined Storage

Software-Defined Storage

The Software-Defined Storage Architecture

SDS is a new approach to storage that enables a fundamentally more efficient operational model. We can accomplish this by:

  • Virtualizing the underlying hardware through the Virtual Data Plane
  • Automating storage operations across heterogeneous tiers through the Policy-Driven Control Plane
The Software-Defined Storage Architecture

The Software-Defined Storage Architecture

Virtual Data Plane

In the VMware SDS model, the data plane, responsible for storing data and applying data services (snapshots, replication, caching, and more, is virtualized by abstracting physical hardware resources and aggregating them into logical pools of capacity (virtual datastores) that can be flexibly consumed and managed. By making the virtual disk the fundamental unit of management for all storage operations in the virtual datastores, exact combinations of resources and data services can be configured and controlled independently for each VM.

The VMware implementation of the virtual data plane is delivered through:

Policy-Driven Control Plane

In the VMware SDS model, the control plane acts as the bridge between applications and infrastructure, providing standardized management and automation across different tiers of storage. Through SDS, storage classes of service become logical entities controlled entirely by software and interpreted through policies. Policy-driven automation simplifies provisioning at scale, enables dynamic control over individual service levels for each VM and ensures compliance throughout the lifecycle of the application.

The policy-driven control plane is programmable via public APIs used to control policies via scripting and cloud automation tools, which in turn enable self-service consumption of storage for application tenants.

The VMware implementation of the policy-driven control plane is delivered through:

  • Storage Policy-Based Management – provides management over external storage (SAN/NAS) through vSphere Virtual Volumes and over x86 storage through Virtual SAN.

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