Guest Blog: When to Recommend a Validated Design Approach to the SDDC
Until fairly recently, enterprises that wanted to migrate to a software-defined data center had to either have a lot of expertise on staff (and a lot of time), or engage a third-party expert who could not only put the data center in place, but also understand the company’s need well enough to choose the right components.
The software-defined network component alone, for example, required deciding on and configuration of routed networks and isolated networks, configuring SNAT rules and outbound Internet access firewall rules, determining DHCP settings and static IP rules, establishing VPN connectivity between sites, and developing firewall rules for traffic.
The same kind of complexity exists for software-defined storage and servers. In addition, the company has to create a localized Active Directory and implement and integrate an automation and orchestration layer to manage everything as one entity.
Today, however, some vendors provide validated designs. In essence, these are blueprints or templates that make it easier and faster to build a software-defined data center (SDDC).
“Think of them like cookbooks, in that they explain exactly how to develop something, down to the components you should use,” explains Dan Conde, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.
Sometimes, validated designs provide more than simply a recipe. In a report on VMware’s Validated Reference Design for its SDDC, for example, ESG Lab concluded that the comprehensive design–including operations guides, deployment walkthroughs, operations guides, recommendations, and future-proofing via an automated continuous update and validation process–was an approach that could serve many businesses well. In the case of VMware’s offering, each design includes everything needed to develop an SDDC, but allows the organization to choose the hardware it wants to use.
There are clearly many times when using a validated design makes good business sense. For example, if a company needs to stand up an SDDC quickly, validated designs can shave weeks or even months off of the process. It’s also more convenient, and ideal for companies with inadequate IT expertise.
It can also make sense if the company has a trusted managed service provider that can engineer the process. The MSP approach is particularly valuable if the company’s needs are unique or must meet specific compliance or security standards. With the right expertise and knowledge of the customer, MSPs can create a specific system based on those custom needs, Conde says.
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