Since Avid announced Avid NEXIS, a question I’ve been asked a lot is “what do you mean by software-defined storage?”. I can certainly talk for hours on Avid NEXIS and software-defined storage but a great new reference is a whitepaper from Mukul Krishna at Frost & Sullivan.
This paper lays out the challenges in media production storage today and how software-defined storage delivers a platform for today, tomorrow and unforeseen needs in the future. Media production of all types is undergoing a content explosion, driven by a multitude of devices & ubiquitous connectivity. This means more content needs to be done with shorter deadlines and more collaboration.
Software-defined storage is the unlinking of the hardware from the storage services. This allows a common infrastructure to be built and on top of that a number of virtual storage pools are provisioned as and when needed and tailored to the specific requirements at the time. For example, protection schemes are no longer set by the storage devices, media workspaces can be set to suit the needs of the project. Some media is critical and needs mirror protection, some is very important and RAID 6 is appropriate other media is less critical and RAID 5 is suitable. Software-defined storage allows workspaces with each of these attributes to be provisioned on a common storage hardware at the same time. Indeed media protection becomes a selectable choice that can adapt as the project progresses. Software-defined storage is also all about simplicity and flexibility. Simplicity that it is easy to administer and provision, with detailed reporting.
What software-defined storage can do is to allow a customer to start out with a small and grow and adapt in any way needed as their business grows and changes. It means you can buy what you need now without trying to predict future needs, this avoids spending too much on an anticipated need that might not materialize and at the same time, not under investing in a storage platform that is insufficient for demands before it is amortized. Storage must provide the best collaboration and be agile, reliable and affordable — software-defined storage delivers.
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