May 6, 2013
In the 1972 film Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid To Ask), Woody Allen offered his take on seven questions that included sheep, Woolite, and some of Gene Wilder’s best-ever work. There is no sex (or humor) involved in the just-completed four-part series on the software-defined data center by Torsten Volk, an analyst with Enterprise Management Associates, but for the IT industry, this just might be the next best thing.
One of the more recent additions to the software-defined anything list, SDDC originated last year, courtesy of VMware’s CTO, Dr. Steve Herrod. “The software-defined datacenter delivers cost and agility benefits to the whole datacenter in the same way that server virtualization does for compute. […] It’s efficient, it’s flexible, and we are committed to keeping it open.”
The top data center vendors such as VMware, HP, BMC, and IBM have already made a drastic move into the SDDC market. Also, some cloud computing vendors have made this market very dynamic and open for competition.
According to Volk’s first analysis of SDDC — or Software-Defined Datacenter (SDD) — the ultimate goal is to centrally control all aspects of the data center — compute, networking, storage — through hardware-independent management and virtualization software. In what is bad news for most hardware vendors, this software will also provide the advanced features that currently constitute the main differentiators for most of them.
Volk noted that the following Herrod quote succinctly sums up the bad news that VMware is delivering to many of these vendors: “If you’re a company building very specialized hardware … you’re probably not going to love this message.”
The second installment of Volk’s SDDC four-part primer, he examined the the three core challenges and controversies: Blades vs. Pizza Boxes; Intelligent Networking Hardware vs. Commodity Switches and Routers; and Open Architecture vs. vendor-specific Stacks.
The fourth and just-released segment looks at what organizations can do today to prepare for the Software Defined Datacenter. Volk also analyzes what’s missing in the individual components required for the SDDC.
The bottom line, said Volk, is that the journey to the SDDC is a long and complex one. It is essential to understand that we are still at the beginning of our voyage.
Image credit: Tsahi Levent-Levi (flickr)