The Rise of the Software Defined Data Center
If prompted to define a data center, your first thought is likely to encompass numerous data storage racks, plenty of networked servers, as well as good heating and cooling for temperature control.But while that idea suffices as a definition, a significant portion of the industry is sprinting into a flexible, smart new style structure that is called the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC). In this framework, all aspects are virtualized and delivered as a service, including deployment, configuration, storage, and security, as needed.
The traditional, static data center still has users, but many now are embracing SDDCs. A key reason for its gaining favor is that they are not defined in terms of hardware, but as business results. That is a huge shift from traditional data centers wherein the hardware to-buy list sets the agenda.
With an SDDC the starting point has to be: what’s the desired outcome? What business results do we want to see?
The shift away from a hardware based model also means that there aren’t the same constraints on innovation with an SDDC.
Another plus is its enhanced flexibility. Because the SDDC is virtualized, it is easier for all to switch gears – objectives as well as tactics – than it had been with traditional data centers. That flexibility can matter a lot in a world where businesses find themselves making substantial directional shifts to stay competitive.
Flexibility also extends to user devices in many SDDC deployments where often it is possible to deliver usable content to authorized users on any device, from mobile phones on cellular networks to desktop computers residing inside the corporate network. Setting those access parameters is left to customer choice and, as needs change, so can the parameters. With SDDC, nothing is carved in stone.
Additionally, data center management should be much simpler with an SDDC (it is a virtualized machine, not a fixed series of machines) and this also means that it should be fast and simple to provision services to new users.
It’s the customer’s choice regarding the type of cloud in which the SDDC is hosted. Many want the exclusivity of a private cloud. Some opt for the frugality of a public cloud. What’s important to see is that both those options, and just about anything in between, is possible in SDDC.
Are SDDCs beneficial for every organization? Not necessarily, as some insist on the comfort of a traditional data center. But by now, just about every organization, in its due diligence phase, specs out an SDDC – and often that is enough to persuade them on the fresh direction to take.
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