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The IT industry is experiencing a disruptive trend for which the entire data center infrastructure is becoming software defined and programmable. IT resources are provisioned and optimized continuously according to a declarative and expressive specification of the workload requirements. The software defined environments facilitate agile IT deployment and responsive data center configurations that enable rapid creation and optimization of value-added services for clients. However, this fundamental shift introduces new challenges to existing data center management solutions. In this paper, we focus on the storage aspect of the IT infrastructure and investigate its unique challenges as well as opportunities in the emerging software defined environments. Current state-of-the-art software defined storage (SDS) solutions are discussed, followed by our novel framework to advance the existing SDS solutions. In addition, we study the interactions among SDS, software defined compute (SDC), and software defined networking (SDN) to demonstrate the necessity of a holistic orchestration and to show that joint optimization can significantly improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the overall software defined environments.
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