Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What Exactly is a Software Defined Datacenter?

As one of the hottest topics in the industry, the Software Defined Datacenter gets a lot of buzz. But what exactly is a Software Defined Datacenter? And just what are the true benefits that this technology can provide for you datacenter? We’ll walk you through why this industry revolution is truly worth the hype.

Our best, boiled down, definition of the Software Defined Datacenter is, “A datacenter in which the entire infrastructure is virtualized, allowing for control of the datacenter to be automated by software and the infrastructure to be easily delivered as a service.” As a result, the services that used to require hardware can now be performed using software alone.

There are four main components of the Software Defined Datacenter: network virtualization, server virtualization, storage virtualization, and a business logic layer. Basically, the virtualization components are what we mean when we say your entire infrastructure needs to be virtualized. The business logic layer is also required in order to translate application requirements, service level agreements (SLAs), policies and any cost considerations.

In addition to the easy delivery of infrastructure as a service (IaaS), another key benefit offered by the Software Defined Datacenter is that it provides support for both legacy enterprise applications and emerging cloud technologies. This allows organizations to continue running their existing applications, but also take advantage of cutting-edge technologies if and when they so desire.

This trend results in a shift of mindset since a Software Defined Datacenter sounds a lot like the cloud. That’s because a lot of what the cloud promises to do, the Software Defined Datacenter promises to do as well. In fact, the Software Defined Datacenter solution offered by VMware is referred to as the vCloud Suite. Coincidence? Not even close.