Is Your Data Center Ready for SDDC?
by Mark Gaydos
Software-defined Data Center (SDDC) is a secure facility where servers, networking devices, storage arrays, CPUs and security applications are virtualized across all resources and their output is delivered as a service. The provisioning and operation of the entire infrastructure is automated by software.
Why is SDDC desirable?
Data Center operators are seeking this level of automation to achieve more scalability, flexibility, agility, optimization, and resilience. Through SDDC, operators can also take advantage of economies of scale and build larger data centers that are capable of delivering an elevated amount of computing, storage and networking without the need for extra floor and rack space.
Research & Markets estimates that the SDDC market will achieve a compound annual growth rate of 22% over the next 5 years, to reach a total market size of $80 billion by the end of 2021. It’s a trend that’s not going away.
How to prepare for SDDC
In order to bridge the gap between IT and facilities needs, every stakeholder needs to see the physical infrastructure to manage and optimize it properly. Many data center operators struggle with this visibility because they are unable to see all the relevant data needed to make informed decisions. Without accurate visibility and management of the assets, the resources those assets consume and the changes being made to the overall environment, the risk of an outage is increased. In a highly virtualized environment, greater demands are placed on underlying infrastructure to maintain availability and capacity.
The key to preparing for SDDC is integration and interoperability. Traditionally, in a typical data center, IT and facilities systems existed under the same roof, in their own silos and were not sharing data. A single pane-of-glass view is needed to achieve complete visibility. This real-time view is needed to share and combine information that can properly optimize the physical infrastructure to ensure a successful SDDC deployment.
Many operators turn to Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) solutions to bring all this disparate information together, so it’s both understandable and useful. By eliminating the IT and facility data silos, DCIM solutions offer real-time insight on both sides of the house to enlighten decision makers on power capacity, space and cooling, and asset and workflow management to name a few. In addition, DCIM enables operators to quickly identify, diagnose and resolve issues in the data center before they reach a critical stage that can lead to service disruptions.
With a DCIM solution deployed, mission-critical facility operators gain a clear view of asset location, as well as the resources assets are drawing. With this information, managers are aware of asset lifecycles, what assets changes have occurred, who made those changes and other relevant, but critical data.
As an added bonus a DCIM solution:
- Provides valuable historical data vital for predictive analysis of future data center needs and closer integration with IT Service Management (ITSM).
- Correlates data with the virtual layer and application layer — for more efficient and economical operations.
SDDC is not going to happen overnight. Most organizations need to take the necessary steps before they will be ready for a SDDC adoption by laying an improved foundation for managing their infrastructure. They will have to make changes to their physical data centers and their prevailing IT culture as well as add new skill sets. SDDC is not off-the shelf software; it consists of many moving parts, from several different sources. Because of this, choosing a DCIM system that is vendor neutral and interoperates with many different manufacturers’ equipment is vital.
Start by assessing your company’s needs and above all be patient with the process — it may take several years to make SDDC a reality for your organization. A great first step to SDDC is ensuring that the physical data center environment is scalable, available, consistent and dependable.
This will enable you to deploy a successful software-defined data center and reap its benefits over time while minimizing risks posed by ongoing changes.
Mark Gaydos is the Chief Marketing Officer at Nlyte Software.