Software Defined Data Center (SDDC)
Let the games begin. One of this year’s new buzz phrases is Software Defined Data Center (SDDC). With every buzz phrase there is some reality, some smoke, some mirrors, and lots of confusion. Sorting everything out will come with time and further success and failure within the data center – oh joy.
This blog considers four fundamentals when scratching your head about SDDC.
Virtualization extends to all of IT
SDDC starts by abstracting, pooling, automating and monitoring IT infrastructure resources and offering these resources as services. One result of this abstraction is that buying expensive, premium hardware can be replaced with commodity infrastructure. To be successful you must become experienced with: compute hypervisors, networking concepts like software defined networking, network functions virtualization and network encapsulation protocols, and storage hypervisors, disk architectures, replication and latency. Virtualizing compute, storage and networking is the ante into the game.
IT management gives way to automation
Give up the idea of “hand crafting” everything. Automation and orchestration is one of the keys that have allowed Amazon, Google, Facebook and others to grow quickly and efficiently. This means if you are going to do something more than once, figure out a way to automate it. To make this happen you have to take the time to move to a policy-based governance model and enhanced IT Service Management practices. This is tough sledding, and once embraced, will pay significant dividends in agility, efficiency and alignment to business needs.
For the techies reading this, explore different aspects of automation with some familiar and newer tools.
- Scripting: PowerShell, Perl, Python, shell
- Configuration management: Puppet, Chef, Salt, Ansible
- APIs: JSON, XML, HTTP REST
Compatible hybrid cloud is ubiquitous
Compatible implies interoperable, not necessarily identical, as expectations that an enterprise will have a single cloud provider is as realistic as having a single vendor or operating system. Interoperability involves multiple aspects including management, execution and data compatibilities. In a SDDC world, the location of infrastructure becomes irrelevant and applications and workloads will move as needed. Yeah, I know I am dreaming right now, though we see the path forward.
Application awareness is critical
Understand which applications are ready for SDDC today, which need some transformational assistance, and which may never get there is another key to success. This is a fundamental for applications going to the public cloud and equally relevant for SDDC. In addition to getting application priorities set, we also need to understand their dependencies and relationships to get a complete landscape for business process support.
After over six decades of IT going from mainframes, to distributed networks and the Internet, we may finally be moving into position to deliver the right services, to the right resources and the right time. The game does continue…