Zadara storage, one of a growing number of companies working in the software defined storage space, recently announced a major coup – Toshiba is launching a cloud storage array product built on the back of Zadara’s own technology. The new product, fetchingly called the Toshiba Cloud Storage Array Service. The new service offers service providers elastic block and file repository storage on a pay-as-you-go basis.

There are some interesting trends at play in this announcements.

Customers are looking to respond to the increase in data they’re expected to store, but without having to purchase hardware. The risk of cloud computing has gotten end users comfortable with the notion of utility computing. But for the service provider market this creates some challenges – they too are pinched by increasing competition and reducing prices – with this margin squeeze going on they need to find ways to get more out of the existing kit they have – and excellent way to do this is by virtualizing the storage they already have – layering a software defined storage product like Zadara or, perhaps, its competitor Ceph, over the top of their existing kit makes their CFO happy not to be spending money while still meeting their CEO’s demands for growth.

Those are the general trends pushing SDS along, but there is the slightly complicating factor that Toshiba is actually an investor in Zadara – they kind of have a vested interest to use a product from a company that they partially own. That said, Toshiba wouldn’t go down this road unless:

  1. The Zadara tech actually worked and
  2. They had a pressing technology or economic reason to move to SDS

So as a glimpse of the shifts that are occurring in the traditional infrastructure space, the Zadara announcement is illustrative. And it’s also yet another reminder that anyone who is doing traditional compute or storage needs to start thinking about their future. Stat.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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