Software-Defined Storage or Hyperconverged Infrastructure?


It’s easy to get software-defined storage (SDS) confused with hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). Both solutions “software-define” the infrastructure and abstract storage from the underlying hardware. They both run on commodity servers and pair well with virtualization. Reporters, analysts, vendors and even seasoned IT professionals talk about them in the same breath.

But there are important distinctions between HCI and SDS. It comes down to how you want to manage your storage. SDS requires deep storage expertise; HCI does not. While there are some differences in capital costs, there is much more in operational costs. More so, each solves different problems and fits best for different use cases.

To start, let’s take a deeper look at what makes HCI and SDS different….

Software-defined storage (SDS) abstracts the management of physical storage, typically by creating a shared storage pool using industry-standard servers. It frees you from legacy storage arrays, or masks them underneath a software layer. That storage is managed separately from the compute and hypervisor layer.

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