SDCC is changing the network

The scalability, flexibility and ease of management of the software defined data centre is making it a real must-have for enterprises

Tags: Gartner IncorporationRiverbed Technology IncorporatedSilver Peak ( Incorporated
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SDCC is changing the network Arun Chandrasekaran from Gartner says that agility and speed within data centres is essential.
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By Staff Writer Published  January 16, 2014

The software-defined data centre is characterised by a full virtualisation stack. Network, computing, and storage resources are made available as abstract services to applications, and are decoupled from hosting hardware. This enables moving at a faster pace from the business problem down through the infrastructure to achieve the business results required.

The next step for enterprise

Strategically, IT leaders have always sought new processes and technologies that would help IT bring new value to their respective business and put them on equal footing with other departments within the company. The whole philosophy of being able to deliver  IT as a service stems from this mindset and has led to great changes within the IT organisation,  such as reducing the  time to deliver an application or server, as well as greater operational efficiencies, according to Silver Peak.

“However, these changes are often constrained because of the static nature of the underlying networking infrastructure. So, for example, while delivering an application within the same host it may take minutes, hours or, on a different subnet, it could take days. Furthermore, if new security policies or performance considerations need to be instantiated, months could be required,” explains Dave Greenfield, product marketing manager, at network optimisation specialist Silver Peak.

“SDDC changes everything. Shifting the entire application stack into software, solution delivery can be made radically simpler and faster. SDDC allows IT to deliver applications in minutes not months, regardless of their performance and security requirements. This means IT becomes more agile and efficient, but perhaps more importantly, SDDC means IT has a larger role to play in the boardroom.”

Taj El-Khayat from Riverbed says that the SDDC can be described as the next generation of virtualisation, bringing the experience of IT as a Service (ITaaS). This is because it builds on past achievements and elevates them to the next level. Previously, it took IT teams a long time to wire up and connect the network and storage elements to already existing virtual machines. In the business world, this means time and money. Given its many benefits, SDDC responds to the enterprises’ needs to achieve competitive edge. Adhering to this transformation will allow them to enhance their performance management and optimise how they do their business.

“The advantages of the SDDC explain the global interest in SDDC market. In fact, a recent study published in August 2013 by Research and Markets has shown that the SDDC market is expected to grow globally from $396.1 million in 2013 to $5.41 billion by 2018, at an estimated Compound Annual Growth Rate of 68.7% from 2013 to 2018,” says El-Khayat.

According to IDC Predictions for 2013 published in November 2012, it is projected that by 2020, 40% of the IT industry’s revenue and 98% of its growth will be driven by third platform technologies that today represent only 22% of ICT spending. Third platform technologies are comprised of mobile computing, cloud services, social networking and big data analytics. Consequently, this transformation will drive more modernisation of data centres to be in harmony with technology growth. The SDDC model seems to be the future of data centres and the next step to follow for enterprises.

“It’s understandable that it’s taking time for SDDC to take off completely; however, what is clear is that a software-based data centre is the future and the next step for enterprises to evolve into the anytime, anywhere world that is increasingly being demanded,” states Greenfield.

SDDC benefits

Samer Ismair, MEMA network consultant at data centre network provider Brocade Communications, says that the SDDC offers a means of reducing costs of service delivery and as a vehicle for increasing service velocity. It links networks and applications, enabling direct programmatic control of the network in line with end-user application needs, rather than programming around the network, as is done today.

“By having access to network topology information, applications can optimise decisions related to service fulfilment, service placement, and service removal. The network has the intelligence to provide guidance to a key set of applications through abstraction, including peer-to-peer, content distribution, and data centre applications. In all these cases, aligning the applications with the resources is important, as peers need to sync up with the best cloud application or best Content Delivery Network server,” says Ismair.

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