The Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) is more so a reality for IT leaders now than ever before. Evolving from a buzzword, many IT leaders have a roadmap that includes SDDC. According a research poll conducted by IDG, 42% of IT Decision Makers plan to move to an SDDC. As the hardware-driven data center proves itself insufficient to complete business processes and manage increasingly large and complex workloads for enterprises, the need illuminates itself further.
By liberating data from on-premise hardware, the organization is free to become more agile, flexible and modern; this excites lots of companies. As Gartner says, "The Software Defined Data Center is crucial to the long-term evolution of an agile digital business."
What is a Software Defined Data Center?
The Software Defined Data Center consists of the creation of data centers from a combination of hardware and intelligent new software. It is made up of five components: Software Defined Computing (SDC), Software Defined Networking (SDN), Software Defined Storage (SDS), Automation Orchestration and Management.
Challenges and Opportunities of SDDC
Here are some common challenges and opportunities companies will face throughout the deployment of your Software Defined Data Center – these should help with the initial planning.
The Challenge: Transitioning to SDDC
Changing existing business practices and training employees to accommodate a new paradigm can be challenging; many IT pros do not know how to begin such a drastic transition.
The Opportunity: Creating a Perfect Plan
They key is to plan for your SDDC today, freeing you from both vendor lock-in and expensive proprietary hardware. Many leading enterprise vendors such as HP, VMware and Cisco are releasing SDN-enabled equipment that can work in both traditional and software defined environments; this allows you to take your time and choose the right vendor and software to meet your enterprise’s needs.
The Challenge: Virtualizing the Data Center
For organizations who currently utilize a virtual server farm, they probably didn’t virtualize server infrastructure overnight. Chances are they started with a two or three node cluster and virtualized a handful of new servers at a time. Next, they probably migrated a few existing servers to the virtual environment. A similar phased approach is recommended for an SDDC. Making the transition to an SDDC is truly a journey and it has to be right-sized for each individual company.
The Opportunity: Little Network Interruption
Software Defined Computing is characteristically flexible; projects and SDDC deployments can be completed in their entirety with little interruption to the network or business processes.
The Challenge: Storage
Increasing workloads and large amounts of data storage can take a toll on the limited resources of the hardware-driven data center. Mobile computing is challenging enterprises to be fluid in their design and operation and SDDC can accomplish this.
The Opportunity: SDDC Stores Off-Premise
When we virtualize a server, it essentially becomes a file, and a file can be stored anywhere. Free your data centers by transitioning to this new paradigm.
The Challenge: Security in the SDDC
The “wall and moat” mentality of IT security is centered around combatting infiltration. But in today’s elastic computing environment, we need a new approach to security that is geography independent. Past security metaphors like back doors and firewalls won’t help keep enterprises safe; the digital world isn’t built that way. This is where SDDC comes in.
The Opportunity: Full Automation and Management
SDDC runs in automated fashion, managed by a centralized intelligent controller that can analyze the network for threats at both a macro and granular level big picture. The unprecedented accelerating rate of technological change and innovation will bring with it an infinite variety of circumstances and these must be countered by a security methodology that can adapt at this rate of change. This can be accomplished by abstracting the security intelligence from the hardware layer.
As Eric Knorr, Editor in Chief of InfoWorld says, "This pervasive abstraction [of the Software Defined Data Center] will enable us to connect, aggregate and configure computing resources in unprecedented ways."
Almost every company in every industry can benefit from a transition to SDDC. Our engineers have the knowledge and experience to help identify and implement the right solutions for your enterprise’s Software Defined Data Center.
Read more about the benefits of SDDC and how to get started on the journey in our white paper, Benefits of the Software Defined Data Center.