Microsoft’s Storage Strategy – Software Defined Storage (SDS) vs. SANs

May 31

Microsoft’s Storage Strategy – Software Defined Storage (SDS) vs. SANs

In our last blog we outlined how Microsoft is planning to help IT organizations transition from traditional SANs based on iSCSI, FCoE and Fibre Channel and moving to Microsoft’s Storage Spaces built on scale software-defined storage.  In this blog we look at how they are accomplishing this transition, accelerate application performance, provide tiered storage, optimize data protection and disaster recovery, and optimize VM mobility.  Microsoft is leveraging industry standard hardware to build these solutions.  In the table below you will see how each core technology is transitioning from the SAN to software-defined storage.

Storage feature or serviceThird-party NAS/SANMicrosoft Software-Defined Storage Solution
FabricBlock protocolFile protocol
NetworkLow latency network with FCLow latency with SMB3 Direct
ManagementManagement of LUNsManagement of file shares
Data deduplicationData deduplicationData deduplication
ResiliencyRAID resiliency groupFlexible resiliency options
PoolingPooling of disksPooling of disks
AvailabilityHighContinous (via redundancy)
Copy offload, SnapshotsCopy offload, SnapshotsSMB copy offload, Snapshots
TieringStorage tieringPerformance with tiering
Persistent write-back cachePersistent write-back cachePersistent write-back cache
Scale upScale upautomatic scale-out rebalancing
Storage Quality of Service (QoS)Storage QoSStorage QoS (Windwos Server 2016)
ReplicationReplicationStorage Replica (Windows Server 2016)
UpdatesFirmware updatesRolling cluster upgrades (Windows Server 2016)
Storage Spaces Direct (Windows Server 2106)
Azure-consistent storage (Windows Server 2016)

In our upcoming webcast, we will show you how the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology began the transition from traditional SANs (1GbE iSCSI) to Microsoft Storage Spaces on Windows 2012 R2 and are now prepared for Windows 2016.  Like you, they had to make infrastructure choices today so they can use the same core set of compute, storage, and networking technologies in the future.  In the DataON Storage CIB and JBOD products, they found a storage platform that gave them the flexibility and architecture to scale, and ability to protect data for today and tomorrow.  They moved from standard 1Gb iSCSI to 10Gb RDMA network interface cards (NICs), transitioned from only using hard disk drives (HDDs) to a hybrid model with solid state disks (SSDs) to accelerate applications.  In the diagram below you will see how the DataOn Storage CIB they can seamlessly deploy either Windows Server 2012 R2 and/or Windows Server 2016, and protect their CAPEX investments.  In the picture below you can see how investments made today on Windows Server 2012 R2, can be leveraged for Windows Server 2016 with just a bit of thoughtful planning.

As you prepare your data center to move forward, please check out how the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology did it, which we will discuss in more detail in our next blog outlining the results and how they prepared for the future.  To learn more, please read the case study and register for our upcoming webcast.

Register from here