What does Software Defined Data Center Really Mean?

Traditional business operations required an in-person, genuine experience. The internet changed the game, and digital transformation is pushing further into all industries. Most processes that were believed to reside solely in the physical world can now be executed through digital means. Trending toward omnichannel service in any industry requires an enhanced information technology (IT) strategy. Digital transformation is a path, not a single process. Additionally, the digital moves you make today, may not necessarily reflect those of tomorrow.

For example, remember when ordering pizza required a phone call? Now, your Google Home Hub can do it with a simple command. That level of progress continues to redefine experiences, explains Tech Native, so the use of a data center must evolve to meet the changing demands of consumers and businesses. That is where a software defined data center comes into play.

What is a Software Defined Data Center?

Software defined refers to the use of technology, i.e., software, to transform a process into a virtual action. Remember the efficiency of digital systems; virtual actions save time, money and resources, so the modern data center must follow suit. Data centers must evolve their older, more complicated processes to simpler, faster actions. Integration between software and hardware allows for such capability.

In 2006, VMware introduced x86 virtualization, which is the common ancestor of today’s software defined data centers. Such centers eliminate the hardware and complex processes needed to leverage data storage by moving infrastructure management to the hands of users through a series of simplified processes.

The applications of software defined data centers also go beyond the traditional scope of data center solutions. Now, software can redirect users to tap into the power of the cloud, including platforms that leverage both traditional, server-based and cloud-based systems. The degree of flexibility within the system further offers an opportunity to increase efficiency.

Software defined data centers also leverage dedicated IT platforms, i.e., the management software, to identify, connect, deploy and provision your data center. What does that mean?

Put simply, software defined data centers rely on an ingrained, coded infrastructure, a key factor in APIs, to enable data uploads, templating and automated software configuration. It eliminates the redundancy of traditional data management and speeds deployment. Software defined capabilities, including those found within HPE OneView, also enable integration with innovative tools and platforms, such as Ansible, Microsoft, VMware, HubSpot, Citrix, Adobe, HP Enterprise and many more. Since all infrastructures reside within an as-a-service model and virtual environments, it might be more appropriate to describe a software defined data center as data center-as-a-service.

Why Are Companies Turning to Software in Lieu of Traditional Data Center Solutions?

Virtualization within the data remains a key factor in deciding to use a software defined data center for companies in need of nontraditional, adaptive solutions. A software defined data center generally includes these virtual components:

  • Server virtualization.Server virtualization eliminates the need to manage complex server-resource details while increasing resource sharing and utilization, as well as enabling future scalability.
  • Storage virtualization. These pools of data combine physical storage from multiple network devices into a single storage device, managed by a central console. As a result, it simplifies data storage and maximizes system uptime.
  • Network virtualization.Network virtualization takes all processes combined and divides them into independent channels based on bandwidth. These channels can then be assigned or reassigned to a server or device in real time, enabling faster processing and ongoing maintenance in one action.

The Benefits of a Software Defined Data Center.

The question of the tech world lately is what exactly are the benefits of a software defined data center?

  • Faster processing through dynamic configuration and provisioning of your infrastructure and IT resources.
  • Immediate provisioning reduces delays in configuring, implementing, launching and maintaining new applications, modules or other programs.
  • The software defined data center allows for easier upgrades and modifications within virtual, closed-door environments while providing the ability to test upgrades and keep the system at the highest-functioning level.
  • There is a reduced risk for disruption, as well as decreased virtual risk, allowing a company to access its own “private cloud” and control hosted data.
  • Obtain enhanced accountability and reporting through API-based analytics, allowing companies to take advantage of more information and operate efficiently without the traditional strains of a physical IT infrastructure.
  • A more scalable solution that allows you to meet increased IT demand, with improved flexibility and reduced pressure on internal resources from infrastructure management and workload management.
  • Cost reductions through increased fluidity within workload management and boosting capacity, giving internal IT staff the time to focus on profit-generating initiatives.
  • Automation through the as-a-service model, speeds IT operations and making IT a turn-key process.

What Does Software Defined Mean for Your Business and How Can You Get Started?

The growth of software defined data center indicates ongoing evolution within the global data market. These data centers will create a new level of application management and effectively provide the measure of cybersecurity and scalability necessary in global processing. Every digital process can be software defined in some form, and the integration through software defined data centers offers an opportunity to level the playing field, counteract cyber threats and more.

Hyper-converged systems, another term used to reference software defined data centers, allow your business to adjust to changing IT demands and unify existing systems via a simple, easy-to-deploy API.

Hardware vendors also offer pre-qualified solutions that can be bundled and used in conjunction with open-source software. This allows for rapid creation and deployment of your software defined data center. Data Center powerhouses like HPE (with both SimpliVity Hyperconverged Infrastructure and Synergy Composable Infrastructure) or Nutanix Hyperconverged Infrastructure offerings make it easier for organizations to adopt the software defined model.

Although the use of a software defined data center may be available for smaller businesses, users may only wish to invest in this level of technology if they have the demands for a traditional data center. Software defined service goes back to simplifying existing processes, so those that have advanced IT needs now will benefit the most. However, even smaller businesses that find themselves growing beyond their existing systems may leverage software defined data centers when the threshold of savings is met.

This threshold varies by organization, profitability and other factors. If a company exhibits struggles in managing and maintaining its IT infrastructure, it is a safe assumption that it is time to put the power of software defined data centers to work. At the same time, different tiers of software defined data centers exist, providing the resources needed for a Fortune 500 company or even smaller organizations that expect to see strong surges in IT demands within the next two years.

Summary: Software Defined Data Centers Will Reshape Every Facet of Your IT Strategy.

Software defined data centers evoke fears of disruptions and inability to merge legacy systems with modern technology. However, their benefits for improved system performance, the ability to leverage a software stack, improved uptime, decreased stress in managing infrastructure and integration capacity via an API make them an ideal solution for the modern business. In time, software defined data centers will replace traditional, on-premises data centers, and by some accounts, the value of software defined data centers will exceed $96.6 billion by 2023, says research firm Markets and Markets. The trend is clear, and it will define your business success or failure. Know the value of a software defined data center; apply it in your IT infrastructure and strategy.

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