SDS – Software-Defined Storage. This term arose when storage arrays built from commodity components, such as x86 controllers, NICs, and HDDs and/or SSDs, with no proprietary hardware, were given storage properties by software alone. For example, functioning as a filer or an object storage system. The same hardware could be given different storage characteristics by changing the software, meaning there was no lock-in to the hardware suppliers. Any storage supplier claiming their system is software-defined, when proprietary hardware or specialised hardware must be used, is mis-using the SDS term.