The arrival of the software-defined data centre

The software defined data centre (SDDC) is a completely new concept on the IT landscape, with very few companies having actually implemented this new technology.

Tags: VMware Incorporated
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The arrival of the software-defined data centre
By  Rob Jenkins Published  June 10, 2013

The software defined data centre (SDDC) is a completely new concept on the IT landscape, with very few companies having actually implemented this new technology. The SDDC is a unified data centre platform in which all of the data centre fabric has been abstracted. Compute, storage, networking, security, and availability services are pooled, aggregated, and delivered as software, and managed by intelligent, policy-driven software. The SDDC is designed to provide enterprises with exceptional business flexibility, simpler operations and lower costs and allow enterprises to apply the same automation policy and processes across the data centre, according to VMware.

“You can change the way you structure IT and dramatically reduce the number of people you need to manage the fabric of the data centre. You can refocus those people on understanding what the company needs to do,” said Rob Jenkins director Advisory Services, VMware EMEA.

SDDC, is a term that was coined at VMware and has been picked up by the networking industry, according to Jenkins. The SDDC is designed to allow companies to free up staff, build IT in a different way, and take the IT value proposition directly to the business. Everyone captures capex business benefits when they go from highly virtualised to highly automated and self provisioning environments. The business benefits because the enterprise is able to consolidate the hardware, which reduces the physical infrastructure it needs. The enterprise begins to capture opex benefits because the enterprise begins to need fewer people.

“The first stage of the journey to the SDDC is to do consolidation of compute to capture capex benefits which can fund the later innovations. The advantage that this region has, is that with the same pieces of the jigsaw they can draw on the experience of the US and Western Europe. I think companies in the Middle East will be able to accelerate the process along that journey beyond just becoming highly virtualised, to the point where they become more highly automated,” said Jenkins.

The components of the transformation to a SDDC are far more than just the technology implementation, according to VMware; it includes the people, process, technology and the ability to do measurement around its IT services.

“We outline not just the technology you need to get an SDDC, but also the operating model. When we outline the operating model, that is the way you do incident management, service provisioning, capacity planning, the roles of people that you need, the education profile that you need to put in place,” said Jenkins.

The IT organisation is going to need to evolve both in terms of structure and type of people that it has employed and is looking at employing. As the enterprise becomes highly automated, the amount of people who can contribute revenue doubles, as the company has freed up people able to drive  more innovation.

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