What Is Software-Defined Storage?

Separate the management and provisioning of storage from the underlying physical hardware (similar to server and network virtualization), with the architecture of software-defined storage (SDS). SDS replaces static and inefficient hardware with dynamic, agile, and automated solutions.

Standalone SDS enables new capabilities like automation and dynamic provisioning, but ultimately makes up one component of an integrated software-defined data center. For a scalable, flexible, and automated storage solution for today's business and application demands, discover our simple-yet-intelligent SDS technologies.

Benefits of Software-Defined Storage

With software-defined storage, applications are dynamically provisioned with the precise mix of capacity, performance, and protection needed—no more, no less. SDS brings to storage the simplicity, efficiency, and cost-savings that server virtualization brought to compute. It allows you to eliminate inefficient, purpose-built hardware and use more agile, transparent, and automated systems instead. Plus, this storage solution works with both existing storage solutions and the cloud.

Virtual Software Defined Storage Overview

How Software-Defined Storage Software Works

SDS software abstracts the underlying storage through a virtual data plane; this makes the VM (and the application) the fundamental unit of storage provisioning and management.

By creating a flexible separation between applications and available resources, the pervasive hypervisor can balance all IT resources—compute, memory, storage, and networking—needed by an application.

What VMware Software-Defined Storage Solutions Deliver


Per-Application Storage Services

Ensure complete control of which storage services, and therefore costs, are consumed by each application. Since SDS works at the VM level, storage services can be tailored to precise requirements and adjusted as needed on a per-application basis—without affecting neighboring applications.

Heterogenous Storage Support

For leveraging of existing storage solutions, such as SAN, NAS, or direct attached storage, on x86 industry-standard hardware, SDS delivers complete flexibility. Using commodity servers—the backbone of hyperconverged infrastructure—enables design of low-cost and scalable storage environments.

Rapid Changes to Infrastructure

Precisely match application demand and supply at the exact time the resources are needed with software-defined storage’s dynamic and non-disruptive model. Just like compute virtualization, storage services become fluid and accessible on an as-needed basis.

VMware Software-Defined Storage Technologies


vSAN-Powered Hyperconverged Infrastructure

Extend your existing virtualization investments and evolve to an integrated, hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solution with vSAN. vSAN, when combined with vSphere, enables you to manage compute and storage with a single platform.

Try vSAN, the Most Deployed HCI Solution

Site Recovery Manager

Enable application availability and mobility across sites in your private cloud with the top disaster recovery software. SRM provides policy-based management, non-disruptive testing, and automation.

Explore Site Recovery Manager

Virtual Volumes (vVols)

For finer VM-level control, streamlined storage operations, and flexible consumption of resources, try Virtual Volumes—an integration and management framework for external storage.

More about Virtual Volumes

Spotlight 

ESG Solution Showcase

ESG Solution Showcase

Discover how Dell Technologies is implementing tailored and efficient infrastructure with SDS.

Download the White Paper 
Understanding the DNA of Software-Defined Storage

Understanding the DNA of Software-Defined Storage

Learn more about software-defined storage and how it continues to evolve.

Read the eBook 

Success Stories 

A Platform for Dynamic Service Delivery

By virtualizing its storage platform with a software-defined environment, Sky creates an IT platform that delivers speed and reliability.

Watch the Video (3:20) 

Scalability and Efficiency for the Future of Health Tech

Helse Nord modernizes its data centers to build one of the most cutting-edge health systems in the country.

Read the Case Study