Home » Business » Digital Transformation » Why IT Teams Must Embrace the Software-Defined Data Centre
Managers need to face facts: the hardware-defined data centre has had its day, and firms that cling to this ageing concept put themselves at a considerable disadvantage in the ever-modernising business world.
So get with the times – we’ve come through virtualisation and DevOps, employed containers and micro-services, and now all signs point towards the software-defined data centre (SDDC).
Elasticity is the ace up the software designed datacentre’s sleeve; it means the data centre expands and shrinks according to capacity requirements, whereas the hardware data centre has four solid walls and a fixed capacity range.
The element of restriction in the hardware-defined domain extends to available resources – the cabling, switches, routers, servers and all other aspects of the data centre dictate what can happen from a software point of view. If the network infrastructure has to cope with more than it can manage, performance can plummet and the whole network’s wellbeing may fall into jeopardy.
The SDDC encompasses a range of infrastructural components and concepts that can be provided, operated and managed through an application programming interface (API).
The primary architectural aspects include computer virtualisation (the software implementation of a computer), and software-defined networking (SDN) which includes network virtualisation and refers to the merging of hard and software resources and their integration with networking functionality to operate within a software-based virtual network.
Software-defined storage (SDS) along with software for management and automation are two further key aspects, the latter of which allows an administrator to provide, control and manage all components within the software-defined data centre.
The drive for the SDDC has been evident for over twenty years, with today’s cloud services, DevOps and virtualisation enabling IT infrastructures to become increasingly agile, secure and scalable.
Traditionally, the dynamic of IT saw the hardware-defined data centre railroading applications and services according to network resources. The SDDC turns this on its head, enabling developers to create from a starting point of business needs, rather than of what works on the in-house IT hardware available.
This brings benefits in the following ways:
Applications: In an SDDC, applications operating on the network can create, provision and implement network resources in real time, adding or removing servers, routers and switches as and when requirements fall.
Speed: Optimising to accommodate for IT costs against delivery speed means that tech organisations can go from the ideas stage to realising full functionality in a way that prioritises value for the customer.
As such, large corporates and smaller businesses across all sectors stand to develop world-class processes and infrastructural improvements that resonate with how the modern world works.
Simplification: Data centre management can be hugely simplified with an SDDC, as all the previous hardware becomes virtualised. When routers, switches, servers and storage elevate to the cloud, provision, deployment, monitoring and maintenance become far more straightforward for IT administrators.
Under virtualisation, the network, its components and resources become streamlined and ethereal, to be managed from one cordless interface. Automation becomes a natural side-kick in this software-defined domain, maximising delivery speeds for network resources and leveraging them with optimum agility and reliability.
Ultimately, managers failing to embrace the SDDC risk sacrificing scalability, which can mean life or death for a business of any ambition.
It’s not about a few seconds of latency ticking off potential customers, so much as a slump occurring at a peak holiday time when download delays can heavily impact the bottom line. A correctly implemented SDDC can foresee and automatically scale to peaks in demand so that performance is always optimised according to the weight of traffic.
As the majority of agencies are now making the move towards adoption of the software-defined data centre, bosses across all industries are seeing the shift to IT through cloud-native applications as a necessity as opposed to an option.