In 2012, VMware chief executive Pat Gelsinger called the modern approach to the data center “a museum of IT,” with regard to legacy hardware and mainframes. He added, “We need to make all aspects of infrastructure flexible.” One of the hot topics that year was the software-defined data center (SDDC). A spokesman for Hitachi Data Systems stated the challenge quite clearly, “To put it frankly, you can’t make money with hardware.”
Today, the data center is steadily moving from a hardware-based infrastructure to mostly software-based. VMware is ensuring that happens through their Software-defined Data Center (SDDC) initiative. According to Research and Markets, the SDDC market will reach more than $77 billion by 2020. In fact, software-defined systems such as networking, computing, and storage are becoming foundational features of IT resource deployment.
In addition, SDDC helps to automate data center management and administration by integrating software-defined systems with another layer of software. Why do CEOs care? Because software-defined systems are much easier to manage relative to systems that rely on manual configuration.
Don’t underestimate the cost and time savings that come with virtualization. VMware is an innovator in the SDDC market. Is this a worthwhile venture for your organization? Read on to learn more.
Explaining a software-defined data center
At its very core, an SDDC is the integration of a virtual machine or application container, software-defined networking, and software-defined storage. These three facets are then configured through system management software that monitors storage, networking, and virtual machines. Currently, VMware is the only company featuring products labeled SDDC.
Through the advances in storage capacity and networking capabilities, hardware and data center deployments have become increasingly affordable. Through SDDC, VMware is effectively offering businesses the access to bundled commodity server hardware with standardized software, which helps to put an end to the mind-boggling cycle of continually purchasing vendor components to fix broken hardware from the same partner.
As a result of this integration, the allocation can be performed on demand. In addition, commoditized hardware can be partnered with public or even hybrid cloud resources.
Big data’s role in business is growing exponentially
Massive data management and storage will soon become the norm. According to VMware Inc., SDDC is designed to abstract the entire data center’s hardware into a software management of commodity hardware. This is the type of virtualization that makes the most efficient use of data center resources. This is accomplished via the VMware Cloud Infrastructure Suite which includes:
- VMware vCenter Server, which can be used as a Windows application or Linux-based virtual appliance.
- VMware vSphere ESXi hypervisor. This is the foundation for SDDC.
- VMware vCloud Director Web-based self-service portal for virtual data center administration.
- VMware vCloud Networking and Security, which offers load balancing, static routing, and stateful firewall.
- VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) for backup and disaster-recovery protection.
- The free VMware vCloud Connector virtual appliance which connects vCloud Director or a vSphere to a public or private cloud.
VMware’s offerings allow your company to be more agile and efficient. This is “IT as a Service” at its best. Moreover, VMware offers cloud management such as the:
- vCenter Operations Management Suite
- vFabric Application Director
- vCloud Automation Center
Instead of taking hours to roll out new servers and storage, it only takes minutes. This can make a world of difference when it comes to collecting big data to make more informed business decisions.
With a quick tap, you can provision a data center and configure pooled resources to match your company requirements. Furthermore, several SDDCs could use overlapping physical infrastructures, and each tenant can have its own virtual network.
Intelligence built into software
With software-based networking, you remove the dependency on hardware. Previously, hardware-based networking relied on the hardware’s firmware. Whenever your firmware needed an upgrade, you were locked down to a particular vendor. Not to mention, some of the hardware devices might not have been compatible with other hardware in your environment.
As a result, you depended on your hardware vendor for recommendations and support. Software-based networking frees you from those costs and complexities. Organizations, who have either multiple physical locations or huge data center build outs, will find the complete SDDC model particularly valuable. Still, companies of all sizes are adopting SDDC simply for the ability to pool resources quickly, as well as the ability to carve out domain capacities based on current performance requirements.
Rethinking IT processes
CEOs are looking for efficient and robust systems to manage company workloads. VMware allows for an SDDC implementation to run at lower or higher power levels, depending on your needs. When you store data in an SDDC, you get on-demand access as opposed to having to request permission from your cloud provider.
The result is a much broader level of flexibility, giving you access to your data when you need it. In fact, you can deliver any workload to any location– across varying platforms and clouds. Not to mention, resource levels are instantly adjusted to meet flexible business requirements.
There isn’t any question, virtualization has dramatically changed the IT environment. Today, flexibility, storage, and access are paramount for increased efficiency and productivity. VMware is keeping their hold on the SDN market as a leader in SDDC technologies. It seems SDDC is a worthwhile venture for VMware. If you have a few more questions, we invite you to participate in our VMware training, which will conveniently take you from a novice to an experienced VMware data center administrator.
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