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Virtualization and Software-Defined Data Center: Are You Ready for It?

With the advent and increasing sophistication of cloud computing tech, the abstraction of hardware resource has made the administration of IT infrastructure substantially easier. Such abstraction has made its mark on the traditional data center, giving rise to software-defined systems for storage, networking, computing and other IT resources.

What is SDDC?

An SDDC is a data storage facility where every element that makes up the IT infrastructure is virtualized and delivered as a service. This means that configuration, deployment, operation and provisioning are abstracted from hardware.

In essence, an SDDC is a combination of the following components:

  • Software-defined networking.
  • Software-defined storage.
  • Software-defined computing platform (application containers or virtual machines).

Primarily a combination of the above systems, the SDDC comes with an additional software layer for system orchestration, aimed at automating data center administration and management.

What are the benefits of SDDC?

The SDDC service model delivers three main benefits: more flexibility and security, increased agility, and robust automation. SDDCs improves data center resilience and provides an enterprise’s in-house IT teams with the means to configure, activate and provision storage, networking and computing resources at a level that’s close to that offered by large public cloud providers, at a fraction of the cost.

Also, enterprises that leverage the SDDC service model are no longer subject to hardware/vendor lock-in. With recent advancements in networking capabilities, storage capacities and processor performance lowering hardware costs, organizations can choose the best hardware from different vendors and use the greater level of abstraction provided by SDDCs to ensure that these components work harmoniously.

This represents an opportunity for enterprises to free themselves from the vicious cycle of purchasing additional components from vendors to recover from failures caused by faulty hardware provided by the same vendor.

Furthermore, SDDCs enable enterprises to virtualize automated IT functions and deliver an efficient means of storing data for organizations interested in using DevOps to advance their digital transformation initiatives.

Factors to consider before transitioning to SDDC

Due to the numerous benefits of implementing SDDCs, savvy organizations have transitioned or are considering a transition to the SDDC service model. Before you do so, you should consider several factors and ask the right questions to ensure that your organization is ready for such a move.

Let’s take a look at some key factors to consider when making the move to SDDC.

Assess company culture

One of the key factors to successful SDDC implementation is organizational culture. Since company culture plays a critical role in the smooth adoption of new technologies, enterprises must ensure that their employees see the SDDC implementation in a positive light.

Also, it may be difficult for organizations using legacy platforms for core business and administrative functions to make the move to SDDC. Such organizations must review and evaluate their employee skillsets and IT infrastructure, and implement a long-term strategy to put in place the necessary structure for SDDC deployment.

Timing

After reviewing their status, organizations may feel that they’re still years away from adopting and deploying SDDC. However, it’s essential that key stakeholders and decision makers start looking at it today.

Management (CTOs and CIOs) should assess various SDDC solutions and gradually implement basic IT infrastructure that can link with and support the SDDC service model.

Review the limitations and capabilities of your in-house DevOps team

The addition of an SDDC platform requires total commitment from your in-house DevOps teams. As such, you should ensure that you have the right DevOps team in place. If this isn’t the case, you should start looking for skilled personnel or consider outsourcing implementation assistance.

Cloud management: The key to business agility

With enterprises facing increased competition and the need to fulfill the ever-changing demands of today’s consumer-focused marketplace, they must look for ways to efficiently deliver products and services faster at reduced costs.

This requires continuous innovation of the digital enterprise and facilitating agile application development and deployment. As such, enterprises must look to robust cloud management to:

  • Reduce risk by leveraging automated cloud compliance and governance.
  • Reduce the costs of managing their complex and heterogeneous IT environments at scale.
  • Power digital innovation with automated provisioning for multi-tier applications.

Conclusion

Studies by Gartner indicate that by 2020, SDDCs will become standard in 75 percent of global data centers while a report by Allied Market Research predicts that the SDDC market will reach $139 billion by 2022. These predictions point to the increasing adoption of SDDCs.

However, stakeholders must ensure that they have the right culture, infrastructure and team in place before making the move to SDDC. If this is not the case, they should focus on a long-term adoption or deployment strategy or consider managed SDDC services.

Are you ready for it? Contact one of our Solutions Experts to discuss how your infrastructure can best evolve with the budget you have – email us at solutions@microage.com

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