Q. How next-generation technologies are tying storage to the new virtualized enterprises?
A. As part of migration to SDDC, most if not all of storage and data management capability is pulled as software (SDS) at the host/server layer. That allows companies to use industry-standard hardware, and utilize hyperscale architecture vs. relaying on expensive proprietary black boxes. An additional benefit is that companies can provision storage and data services natively inside the server or hypervisor - consolidating management and converging infrastructure. This approach allows companies to leverage a mix of physical and virtual servers, as well as external and server-side storage. Using standard server management tools, users can then orchestrate the workload availability and scale, as well as the migration to the appropriate infrastructure, based on economics and SLAs.
Q. What are your thoughts about the additional security risks such SDDC and SDS environments may introduce to the already worrying list of vulnerabilities found in software on regular basis?
A. SDDC and SDS are more about migrating and simplifying the location and provisioning of services. The same embedded or full operating systems are running on the storage arrays and network routers as they do in the servers enabling the new SDDC architecture. SDDC does not solve the issue or mean we can ignore any security or virus threats, it does however make it a more general IT task and enables customers to deploy a more holistic approach to security. Having industry standard hardware allows customers to utilize their general purpose protection, prevention and alert systems to cover all of their IT. It eliminates silos and infrastructure layers where a breach can live undetected and cause massive economic and infrastructure damage for a long time before it ever gets detected or addressed.
Q. How are next-generation storage technologies mitigating such security risks?
A. SDDC enables the convergence of storage and compute. It also taps industry standard hardware. This creates a more application- and data-aware IT environment. Storage today is not considered a huge security risk. However, breaching into servers, OS, networking stacks and then getting undetected access into customers' data creates is a huge issue and often exploited by attackers. By converging the infrastructure and collapsing the entry points, and then taking a holistic across-the-data-center protection approach, SDDC becomes the enabler for mitigation and protection against security breaches.
SDS - Software-defined storage