Three Things Companies Should Consider About Software-Defined Storage

By Ingo Fuchs, Senior Manager Solutions Marketing Data ONTAP, NetApp


Other vendor claims to have SDS or be first are unfounded – NetApp storage solutions have been built on the same principles as SDS. The foundation for NetApp’s SDS capability is Data ONTAP, which allows us to deliver the richest storage management on the broadest range of hardware.


Given our history we have outlined three considerations companies need to know about SDS:

  1. SDS is not a software-only answer, hardware is still relevant. Hardware optimized for the task of data management in the cloud is still important. Keep in mind, virtualization did not make the future of high performance servers go away, instead it shifted the conversation in a new way.
  2. SDS is a strategy not just a product offering. In order to be successful, SDS must be deeply rooted in the value of software for customer environments.
  3. SDS is not a management layer on top of complex storage infrastructure. IT needs one OS with cohesive management tools.


NetApp’s latest release, version 8.2.1, of clustered Data ONTAP has capabilities that perfectly match the core tenants of Software-Defined Storage:

  • It is integrated with applications to allow application admins direct access and control;
  • It’s a fully virtualized storage environment that allows provisioning based on SLAs, including performance, availability, and efficiency; and
  • It's deployable across a range of hardware


Last week, NetApp announced new and updated technologies to its OnCommand Portfolio. As part of clustered Data ONTAP, NetApp’s OnCommand Workflow Automation is a free offering that integrates with 3rd party orchestration solutions to provide policy-driven service delivery, and includes more than 50 workflows.


We welcome others in the industry to join along and help customers and partners today solve real business needs, without complicating the IT challenges organizations face today. Customers can realize significant advantages in agility and speed with storage services delivered as a software layer that can be abstracted from underlying hardware.