Thanks to the efforts of The Linux Foundation, the level of interoperability between software-defined storage (SDS) systems should increase substantially in 2017. An OpenSDS project being led by The Linux Foundation now has the support of Dell EMC, which has contributed a software development kit (SDK) that promises to make it simpler to plug any type of storage device into an SDS system.
John Mark Walker, director of product management for Dell EMC, says the CoprHD Southbound SDK that Dell EMC is contributing was developed as part of the ViPR controller that EMC originally developed. Now Dell EMC is contributing that portion of its ViPR code to The Linux Foundation as part of an effort to make it simpler to create drivers that can be repurposed across multiple SDS systems, says Walker.
Longer terms, Walker says the storage arm of Dell EMC is hoping The Linux Foundation will create the equivalent of an online store to make those drivers more accessible.
In general, Walker says interoperability between SDS systems is critical because there will be multiple classes of SDS systems deployed across public and private clouds.
“It’s not as if there is ever going to be one master controller,” says Walker.
A more open approach should also spur adoption of SDS platforms overall in 2017. Walker says there’s plenty of opportunity to differentiate storage systems based on the arrays themselves. That approach should also make it simpler for IT organizations to more rapidly upgrade systems using the latest storage devices.
The challenge now, of course, is giving IT organizations the confidence they need to make the shift to SDS systems by ensuring the software being used to manage any one of these platforms doesn’t wind up locking them into a specific architecture that ultimately is more costly than anyone might have initially imagined.