To begin, what is a Software Defined Data Center (SDDC)?
SDDC is the term for a datacenter that can be setup, managed, and operated completely by software. SDDC also includes monitoring and management; meaning most, if not all the work done by traditional IT Infrastructure personnel, could be automated. This would lower costs, increase the agility of organizations, and improve utilization of IT resources. See here for an insightful analysis about why SDDC is real and relevant to the future of computing.
SDDC seemed to be such a theoretical concept when the buzz around it started. When did it start, and were we ever convinced it was coming? Was it when Amazon started deploying massive capacity and charging based on actual usage? When supporting API calls seem to become a requirement for network connected appliances? Or, when hardware appliances were being replaced by virtual appliances running within a Hypervisor? On each occasion, we were not convinced that SDDC was a viable proposition. However, SDDC is here, and is here to stay. In that case, what has changed?
There are many catalysts involved with this transformation.
- Critical Mass on Virtualization achieved, with over 50% of processing on Virtual Machines
- Advances in Cloud Orchestration and deployment tools, approaching maturity
- Increased virtualization of desktops, and the move to mobile platforms and apps
- Simplified monitoring and automation to better support deployment and lifecycle support
- Race amongst networking vendors to promote Network Virtualization and Software Defined Networking
SDDC is becoming a reality with large organizations and providers adopting it. There is an ecosystem of providers promoting their choice of Cloud technologies – vCloud, OpenStack, AWS, to name a few. So what is next?
We can expect to see continuing build-outs of computing capacity supporting the major vendor ecosystems – VMware, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, etc. In addition, some large corporations, telcos, and large ISVs, such as IBM, Oracle, and SAP will also participate. These will form the building blocks of SDDC for most individuals and organizations.
We can also expect to see increased interoperability between tools offered by various vendors. For example, use a service for compute, another for database, and a third for Business Intelligence, all seamlessly working together. We could connect and integrate Cloud-based services to work in the same manner that applications inter-operate within a datacenter. We could bid upon compute blocks on eBay, or browse online catalogs for sale listings.
At the end of the day, it is all about seamless computing. SDDC enables the individual, the entrepreneur, the SMB owner to leverage the same technologies, and at the same price points as large organizations. It brings increased democratization of computing, and it is good for business.