In the software-defined data center, compute, networking, storage, management and security components are virtualized and delivered as a service. The SDDC is a natural evolution from server virtualization, but it increases exponentially the level of flexibility, scalability and cost savings that virtualization can provide. And companies challenged today to meet increasingly dynamic marketplace demands need all of the flexibility, scalability and cost savings they can get—and more—in order to rise above the competition.
The SDDC—and companies’ awareness of the need for the model—made huge strides in 2016, and things show no sign of slowing in 2017. The time is right for IT pros and channel partners to determine how to best leverage SDDC for their companies, their partners and their customers. Here are five things to expect from SDDC this year.
1. Increasing Clarity
As the idea of “software-defined anything” takes hold among business and IT pros, vendors and other providers are all too ready to usurp the technology as their own. The problem—as happens with any promising new technology or application of technology—is that many of these providers are just slapping the SD term on whatever products they offer and hoping that customers won’t know the difference. In 2017, as the need for SDDC increases, we can expect to see a growing ability among true SDDC providers to clarify their offerings and at the same time a growing understanding among potential customers about SDDC and its potential.
2. Shifting Tech/Business Roles
Companies that move to a SDDC design can expect a decrease in capital and operational costs as data center operations are streamlined and automated. While this improves the bottom line, it also opens up time and opportunity for the IT department to work more closely with the business side to identify and implement new ways in which technology can be used to grow business. But companies can’t just expect that partnership to happen without some purposeful planning and even training on both sides (so that IT has a better understanding of business and vice versa).
3. Faster, Easier Pathways
No one said it would be easy to move to a software-defined data center—at least, not up until now. As technology matures, vendors and providers are focusing on solutions that will help companies move to the SDDC more efficiently and effectively, especially smaller companies and/or those that don’t have a great deal of in-house IT expertise. For example, VMware has announced the VMware Cloud Foundation, a unified SDDC platform for the hybrid cloud. VMware Cloud Foundation eases and accelerates companies’ migration to the cloud by providing an integrated stack of products that is easy to manage and maintain.
4. Different Takes on Security
The SDDC requires—and provides—a different kind of security model, enabling companies to, in effect, build different data centers for different applications and apply security controls based on investment and risk. Another benefit to this kind of compartmentalization is that there is no single point of failure: A breach of one component doesn’t mean a breach of all components. This model is very different from what most companies have in place now—basically, systems designed to keep the bad guys out—so the move to SDDC will require careful planning and orchestration. SDDC vendors and managed service providers will need to work closely with customers to ensure that there are no security gaps along the way.
5. Explosive Growth
A report from Allied Market Research states that the SDDC market will reach $139 billion by the year 2022 and that it will grow at a CAGR of 32% from 2016-2022. Companies that aren’t yet thinking about SDDC must at least have it on their radars in 2017.
What do you expect from SDDC in 2017? Please let us know in the comments section below.