How to get into the Software-Defined Data Center?

SDDC-software-defined-data-center-1Virtualized servers are not yet a Software Defined Data Center (SDDC). But shows where the journey is going: full decoupling of the applications from their physical basis at all infrastructure levels – with the aim of a comprehensive automation in the data center. But is still open, in what way from the SDDC vision to become a reality.

The software-defined Data center extends the traditional approach of virtualization beyond compute to network and storage, to building virtual data center which is irrespective of underlying hardware.

The consistent service orientation provides a logical separation of operational from the physical infrastructure level – and so lays the foundation for a complete automation of the entire IT operation. In addition, to cost and flexibility advantages of SDDC can develop only if the IT organization a change is taking place: away from siloorientierten roles, towards a task distribution which is more closely aligned with continuous service processes.

Good reasons for SDDC

An obvious advantage of the SDDC-vision arises from the speed, can be provided with the new services. The deployment process is itself through self-service portals with stored templates that can be fully automated to billing of all services used.

For companies, this means two things: Firstly, new applications can be implemented within the shortest possible time – just as fast are business processes to new customizable requirements.

Second, the adaptability of IT is associated with substantial cost transparency: In SDDC IT costs of each individual business process is an accurate picture. The future capacity requirements can be planned ahead – IT investments thus obtain a more informed basis for decision.

Cost effects across the data center

Cost effects, as they are known from virtual server farms forth, extend SDDC on the entire data center. The abstraction of the hardware layer has, in particular, means that there is no single component, exclusively serving only one service.

Whether dedicated hosting servers, storage, network or firewall – the infrastructure sectors in SDDC form across pools of resources available to each service in the same manner. Is thus correspondingly high rate of utilization of the physical components, which in turn pulls a sustainable reduced hardware investment needs.

Moreover, going capacity expansion without costly migration projects. Long overtime for the copying of various databases with subsequent adjustment of application configurations belong to SDDC in the past.

The IT staff can instead deal with substantial improvements in the IT landscape. Finally, the hardware independence of applications and databases always implies, of course, vendor independence – this should not remain without influence on pricing in future procurements.

What is a software defined network?

Currently can essentially distinguish five different tendencies: The first, classic SDN approach separates the application from the transport plane by an interlayered control layer. From here, the communication is carried upwards in the direction of the application of a so-called northbound interface, and downwardly to the transport layer of a corresponding southbound interface.

The classic SDN model is currently used mostly only in special environments – are characterized by an application monoculture – such as Google’s data centers.

The advantage: SDN-like services can be relatively quickly implemented, and existing LAN infrastructures are largely re-used. However, the question remains whether with manufacturer APIs centralized control is indeed possible – especially as the control still remains in the transport layer.

The third, hybrid SDN approach combines the first two versions and is currently favored by most major manufacturers. The transport layer retains this while their own intelligence, but can also be controlled by a central controller. In the fourth approach, which is called virtual overlay, provides a virtual controller all network functions – where the data from the controller to a tunnel passes.

Rethinking of the IT department

Recommended instead are virtual teams whose members come from various infrastructure sectors and are firmly integrated into the daily business. The only way is to ensure a close practical relevance. Virtual teamwork also promotes communication skills – the skills that made wins an essential role in the service delivery to departments in the SDDC.

What technological SDDC approaches in individual cases are useful – this can only be determined on the basis of a detailed survey of existing IT infrastructure and a subsequent foot ends evaluation of their technological development prospects. Parallel to this SDN and in turn highly differentiated market trends in the area of SDDS are considered.

Although there may be at the present time no general recipes can be derived nevertheless the general council with a view to SDN that every now procured via network component manufacturer API or controller interface should be accessible. Besides: The SDDC transform fundamentally changed the way how IT is deployed and used in the company. The new On-Demand IT brings to IT departments in this respect entirely new organizational challenges.

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