By Trisha Leon, contributing writer
With server virtualization appearing to reach a plateau, virtualization software companies are now looking at virtualizing the entire data center. These “software-defined data centers (SDDCs)” enable all aspects of data center infrastructure to be controlled using a single virtualization layer. This provides more flexibility to data center storage, switching, security, and other infrastructure components that are either handled by bare-metal components or that utilize separate virtualization platforms.
Andrew Froehlich writes in Information Week, “For those of us who either operate our own data center or work with a cloud service provider, the concept of SDDC is incredibly appealing. The idea that a single virtualization platform could provide us with a complete view and configuration tools to manage an entire data center is a dream come true compared to the collection of point-based solutions we use today.”
Setting up an SDDC may seem daunting, but Brandon Butler of Network World offers three steps to successful SDDC implementation:
- Manage capacity well to ensure companies have enough resources to serve their business.
- Have a multi-virtualization and multi-cloud management platform to navigate the often complex, heterogeneous environments associated with data centers.
- Move from a manual to automatic provisioning of resources through configuration management, about which Butler says, “Whereas capacity management will ensure there are enough resources to provision, configuration management will automatically allocate those resources without the need to have manual scripts.
Many believe the move to SDDCs is unavoidable. As Chris King, VP of product marketing, networking and security business unit for Vmware, states in another Network World article, “The software-defined data center is inevitable, and the next step on the path to the SDDC is to virtualize the network. The vast majority of VMware’s 500,000 customers are exploring, planning or already virtualizing their networks as the next step in their transformation from the client/server era to the mobile/cloud era. Quite simply, the SDDC is more agile, secure, and scalable than the new HDDC (hardware-defined data center) architecture put forth by the largest network provider today, at one-third the cost.”