Software-defined storage can mean something completely different, depending on who (or better which vendor) you ask. For us at Quobyte it’s simple. To get all the benefits of software for your storage, you need real software storage: An entire storage system in software that runs on standard off-the-shelf servers. Only when you break the reliance on custom storage appliances you do get the freedom of software storage.
Benefit #1: Quobyte’s real software storage can be deployed anywhere
Where and how you run your IT changes over time depending on business needs. Real software storage can be deployed anywhere: On your own servers on-prem, on your own or someone else’s server hardware in colo, on the public clouds, “the edge” or a hybrid mix of the models.
With Quobyte, you can run the same software you know how to install and manage in all locations. Your users and applications won’t notice the difference because they get the same storage and scale-out performance, regardless of where they run.
When business needs change, you can easily move Quobyte’s software-defined storage to the cloud or run multiple clusters in a hybrid cloud and on-prem mix.
Benefit #2: Real software-storage runs on any server hardware
One of the biggest benefits of real software storage is its ability to run on almost any server (or public cloud VM):
- This can be the servers you already have, e.g. repurpose hardware for storage — particularly useful when hardware lead times are painfully long or when you need to add capacity or performance quickly.
- You can use the servers you like or are used to. Working with unfamiliar or exotic hardware is a nightmare in the data center. When you can use the servers and management tools you know it makes integrating storage a breeze.
- Sometimes you are limited in what you can put in the data center, e.g. because you get great discounts from a vendor or you want to streamline the data center with just a few server configurations. Software storage fits right in.
- When you operate hardware “at the edge” you might be limited by space, vendors, or limited availability of hardware in other countries. Real software storage lets you choose the servers that are best suited for the task, e.g. 4 nodes in 2U when you are space constrained.
In addition, Quobyte also lets you choose the right storage media for the job. You can go all-NVMe for maximum performance or run a mix of hard disk and flash to optimize cost. No need for annoying tiering to external storage.
Benefit #3: Quobyte is easy to install so you get results in minutes
A huge advantage of software is that you can download and install it whenever you need it. No need to wait for appliances to be shipped and racked and stacked.
That’s why we have a focus on simplicity to make sure you can download and install Quobyte yourself in minutes. With our free edition, you can actually test our claim, on as many servers as you like. Simplicity doesn’t stop after the installation, it is the key to running large-scale clusters in the 100s of petabytes.
Since you can install Quobyte on almost any server or the public cloud — e.g. one-click deploy on Google cloud — you can start right now.
Benefit #4: Enterprise Storage with Flexibility
Real software storage can turn any server into a storage system — you could say “the software defines the role of the server”. So when you urgently need more performance or storage capacity, you can repurpose existing hardware for storage in minutes.
When you run on the cloud you can add bare metal machines or VMs in seconds to increase performance and capacity. In a hybrid cloud setup, you can spin up a temporary Quobyte cluster in the cloud — fully automated — and automatically transfer data from the on-prem cluster.
Quobyte also gives you the flexibility to scale down a cluster when capacity or performance needs decrease, without any downtime or interruptions.
Benefit #5: Software-defined Storage is the key to cost savings
Real software storage like Quobyte helps you reduce your storage TCO (total cost of ownership) in multiple ways:
By using commodity servers and drives from any vendor you benefit from a market with very competitive pricing, compared to appliances and their overpriced drives with custom firmware.
Since Quobyte runs on any x86 server, you can reduce the number of server configurations you have and benefit from better discounts.
Admins and the teams that manage the hardware save time with software storage, too. They just rack, install and manage Linux servers they already know. No time wasted on learning how to deal with custom storage hardware.
Finally, the ability to use the same software for data storage in any environment reduces the number of technologies storage admins need to learn. This saves valuable time when adding a new environment, and also during day-to-day operations. You can read more in our article on NAS consolidation with Quobyte.
Real software-defined storage products like Quobyte give you the freedom and flexibility you have known for years with common software: Instant results, ease of use, and simplified cost-effective hardware.
Originally posted on Quobyte’s blog on July 13, 2022.