Is the software-defined data center reaching peak maturity?

Is the software-defined data center reaching peak maturity?

Oct 14, 2015


Agility is a word that's often thrown around the boardroom of big businesses. While many are aware of what it is, and even its benefits, getting results by being adaptable can be a different challenge altogether.

Is the SDDC about to go mainstream?

Those in the data center and IT department will most likely be the ones tasked with being agile, but shifting from one set of technologies to another across any business process can be a costly endeavour.

Naturally, true agility is linked with scalability, and that's where virtualization comes in. Running a data center via the cloud is easier today than ever before, with some organisations tackling the hybrid model and splitting how they support their primary and standby databases.

However, is virtualization really the be-all and end-all? In other words, is the software-defined data center (SDDC) about to really go mainstream?

The right technology, but the wrong time

Research firm Gartner has suggested that the SDDC offers a host of benefits that could well see it become a key enterprise tool, but it's not necessarily the right choice for all organization as things stand.

"Infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders need to understand the business case, best use cases and risks of an SDDC. Due to its current immaturity, the SDDC is most appropriate for visionary organizations with advanced expertise in I&O engineering and architecture," explained vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner Dave Russell.

Naturally, there are a whole host of vendors offering SDDC solutions in their current state. However, choosing the right one is not simply a case of going for the most cost effective option. In fact, Mr Russell explained that there are a plethora of best practices for organizations to follow, and the right kind of SDDC will differ from company to company.

"I&O leaders can't just buy a ready-made SDDC from a vendor. First, they need to understand why they need it for the business. Second, they need to deploy, orchestrate and integrate numerous parts, probably from different vendors."

The benefits of SDDC

While the SDDC may not be at the desired level of maturity for a raft of enterprises, it will likely get there in the not too distant future. That's due to the vast number of advantages that the tech holds.

VMWare pointed out that one of the biggest positives of SDDC tech is that it's taking virtualization and essentially bettering it. Rather than just virtualizing servers themselves, it does the same for all resources needed to host any application, including storage, networking and security.

Moreover, as well as the general performance and streamlining of systems and infrastructure, SDDCs can also prove to be more cost effective. Research collated by HP explained that capital can be saved across the process of designing and deploying an SDDC.

In terms of vendors pushing forward with the most advanced virtualization technologies, few are exploring the boundaries more than Oracle. Its software-defined networking (SDN) tools can increase server throughput to allow data migration to happen up to 19 times faster than the standard average.

Oracle also has its eyes on the aforementioned agility. Its SDN solution offers the ability to connect any virtual machine to other resources in the data center at a moment's notice. This gets relatively close to the ever-popular hybrid model when it comes to adaptability, while offering the benefits of keeping the majority processes within the organization.

Ultimately, SDDC and virtualization technologies at large will likely grow in importance over the coming years. While they are still relatively immature compared to many other solutions in and around the data center, the need for more scalable, adaptable solutions will only become more pronounced.

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