The Software Defined Datacenter (SDDC) chatter is seemingly everywhere. Think about the possibility of virtualizing network and storage in a manner similar to how we have virtualized CPU & memory (compute).Think of virtually managed computing, networking, storage, and security delivered as a service. The provisioning and operation of the infrastructure could entirely be automated by software leading to Software Defined Datacenter.
Most of today's networking and storage gears mix data and control functions, making it hard to add or adjust network and storage infrastructure when adding virtual machines (VMs) to enterprise data centers. By adding a well-defined programming interface between the two, networking hardware and storage hardware will become progressively more commoditized, just as servers (compute and memory) have become commoditized.
This will occur because all the value associated with configuration and management will get sucked out of the hardware and into other layers. This means is that in the new world, the manageability, control and optimization would sit at a layer above the actual hardware - leading to a software defined, software managed and software controlled enterprise compute, storage and network!
We can expect independent software appliances or current hypervisors (VMware, Hyper-v) to come with the ability to abstract and centralize the management functions to deliver provisioning, configuration management, automation, performance optimization, capacity utilization and reporting. Then there is absolute certainty that the SDDC will require a completely new management stack - one suited to the highly dynamic nature of an environment in which every key resource (CPU, memory, networking and, storage) is abstracted from its underlying hardware.
Among the many things we might need to see in the new management stack include data protection, security, configuration management, performance management and automation. The key feature that I would like to see here is that of datacenter analytics, as every layer of management software for the SDDC will be generating data at a rate that will demand a big data store just to keep up with and index the data so that bits from the various sources can in fact be compared to each other at the right time - Big Data for data center management!!
SDDC offers challenges and opportunities for product vendors, IT organizations, service providers and integrators alike. The journey has already started. Have you reconsidered your data center strategy yet? Let me know your thoughts.