Short blog post. More to come on this subject...
Software Defined Storage (SDS) vendors seem to think that all they have to do is say the words "commodity hardware" and the enterprise storage buying world will beat pathways to their doors. The problem with that thinking is simply this: Enterprise storage buyers are definitely price-conscious its true. And commodity equates to lower price. But if storage buyers were allowed to rank in order of importance to them the following list of desired storage attributes:
Software defined on commodity hardware
...I submit that Software defined on commodity hardware would fall to the bottom of the list 9 times out of 10.
The issue really becomes clear when systems vendors sell SDS. Yes, they say, we have software-defined versions of our storage platforms but they run best on our hardware and we will integrate the software/hardware stack for you. Hmmm... Aren't we more or less back to square one?
I'm still approaching SDS with an open mind. However, I do think that the way most vendors bring it to market obscures what could potentially be the real value--and its not commodity. The commodity platform/pricing argument is generally made without reference to TCO (hardware, software, support, management) or what is of value that one could only get with SDS. As I said, more to come...