Data center technology professionals are faced with constantly escalated demand for computing capacity. The constraints of network hardware in traditional data centers don’t allow for the scalability required for storage, user content serving, and authentication.
Software-Defined Data Centers (SDDCs) use virtualization, which efficiently allocates computing resources, and can leverage hybrid on-premise/cloud capacity. Virtualization technology provides administrators the ability to:
- Partition multi-tenant environments securely
- Migrate data from one virtual server to another with ease
- Shift information management from a purely technical function to a business function
- Streamline upgrades, moves, and deployments into repeatable processes
You Can’t Teach an Old Data Center New Tricks
Consider traditional data centers, with:
- A broad footprint of dense racks of physical servers
- Static IP addresses
- Network switches
- IPS and other security gear
Need more capacity? Hopefully, you’ve planned ahead. You’ll need to rack and stack servers, load operating system software, database apps, and web server software, connect cables…
Or you can reduce the number of physical boxes, floor space, and infrastructure which make up your on-premises data center. Optimize power, cooling, and telecommunications infrastructure use by leveraging virtualization software.
Instead of complex backup and recovery processes, or labor-intensive systems consolidation work, SDDCs simplify that process.
Data can be replicated or migrated faster than ever, ensuring your applications and/or content are available to those needing it.
Shift Your Focus above the Application Layer
An SDDC provides data center executives the opportunity to:
- Provide high-availability services
- Meet demanding Service Level Agreements
- Leverage cloud services for scalable storage
- Focus on applications, not databases, web servers, or server operating systems
- Reduce the cost of energy, cooling, telecommunications lines, and hardware maintenance
Your company doesn’t have to migrate your data center to an SDDC delivery model fully. There are many companies that have adopted “cloud containers” to evolve into a pure software-defined state over time.
Are You Prepared to Be on the Leading Edge?
Gartner suggests that although by 2020, many data center operators will be running SDDCs, businesses should be conservative about adopting the model right away. Some of the factors Gartner suggests considering before migrating to an SDDC include:
- IT skills for managing Virtual Machine applications
- Your appetite for hybrid data management services
- Readiness to move from being locked into a single server hardware vendor to VM software lock-in
- The readiness of your data to be migrated to a virtualized environment, and the quality of your planning roadmap to get it there
- Whether existing SDDC platforms reduce infrastructure technology enough to justify the expense of moving from traditional data centers to an SDDC
If you have the expertise on staff to manage an SDDC, you can realize time and savings costs, including:
- Security hardware and network perimeter simplification
- Storage appliances can be decommissioned, and often replaced by cloud services
- Reduction in the number of network appliances like switches, routers, and hubs
- Access to innovative management console software, to allow IT management personnel to react to peaks and valleys in traffic and demand
By their nature, data centers constantly evolve to deliver more content, use less energy and respond to more aggressive security threats. Software-Defined Data Centers provide a streamlined foundation for data management that is scalable and secure.
Have you adopted or piloted SDDC platforms in your data center environments? What have your experiences been? Tell us about it in the comments section below!
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