The buzz around software-defined data centres has been growing for a few years now. Coined in 2012, and touted as the next big thing ever since, it promises to take infrastructure – such as networking, storage, CPU and security – and virtualise and deliver this as a Service. And we all know how much the IT industry loves an aaS.
According to analyst firm Gartner, adoption of the software-defined data centre (SDDC) is a must in the long term but it’s not necessarily the right choice for every business right now. With Gartner also stating that SDDC “is in the early stages of maturity and will change significantly over the next five years”, can we expect SDDC to be huge by 2020?
Although the number of companies going ‘full-on SDDC’ at the moment is small, there are a large number who have put various parts in place. Forrester Research called SDDC “an evolving architectural and operational philosophy, not a product that you can buy that has a demonstrated ROI.” You’re told that SDDC is the future, but it’s not proven to deliver, so is your business ready for such a risky transformation?
It’s important that every business must assess the viability of SDDC on a case-by-case basis. First of all, they must understand both the benefits and risks, and then make a decision based on the best solution offered by the vendor. Just changing your legacy infrastructure on a whim is not recommended.
Adopting software-defined products may not achieve tangible benefits unless you optimise your own company’s internal processes. For some businesses this won’t be possible for a good few years yet.
A way for businesses to get up to speed, and set themselves up for full SDDC-adoption, is to begin a gradual implementation process. Only the most forward-thinking and visionary organisations will be in the position to adopt SDDC in its current, and relatively infant guise.
In theory, it sounds great. In fact, a software-defined data centre right now is possible for your business, but it’s crucial to choose the right servers, networks and storage. But if businesses are to buy into SDDC, it must start to deliver on its promise as the next big thing in the evolution of virtualisation and cloud computing. And we could still be a few years away from that.