Software-defined storage (SDS) and hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) have the same end goal: to add flexibility, scalability, and efficiency to storage, but the methods to achieve those objectives differ between the two. The difference between software-defined storage and hyperconverged infrastructure is that SDS is the virtualization of storage by separating the control and management software from the hardware architecture. A subset of SDS, HCI uses software-defined networking to consolidate the compute, network, and storage components.
Software-Defined Storage vs. Hyperconverged Infrastructure Benefits
Dell EMC explains that the SD-storage’s “net effect for enterprises is capital and operational cost savings due to a more flexible, more agile, and more scalable storage management experience, and a simpler and more modern consumption model for application teams.” SDS may be achieved through a hypervisor, containers, scale-out storage, distributed file systems, or even HCI software. SDS benefits include:
- Smarter storage with dynamic provisioning
- Agility across cloud, mobile, social media, and analytics
- Scalability in real-time
- More control over storage resources for enterprises
- Programmability and capable of automation
Compuverde likens hyperconvergence to a swiss army knife. “It is useful in many business scenarios. It is one building block that works exactly the same; it’s just a question of how many building blocks a data center needs.” HCI shares popular use cases with SDS: private and hybrid cloud, remote office, and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). The incentives for HCI don’t differ much from SDS’s advantages. However, enterprises often choose HCI for these perks:
- Agility and security of the private cloud that possesses the public cloud’s advantages of easy accessibility.
- Maneuverable infrastructure based on modular, building blocks
- Cost-effective approach to storage
- Data security with backup and recovery
- Simplified resource management