How to Meet Customers’ Expectations of the Software-Defined Data Center
Many industry experts consider the software-defined data center (SDDC) to be the data center of the future because it enables a service-centric approach to provisioning IT resources and managing applications. According to one recent report, the market will grow at a compound annual rate of 28.8% between 2015 and 2020, reaching nearly $80 billion by the end of that period.1
Although the idea of the SDDC may be seemingly new, or that of the future, all of this growth isn’t coming out of nowhere. There are a variety of inter-related trends, which, taken together, have the potential to add vast layers of complexity to data centers if new approaches are not adopted. Among these trends are:
- The proliferation of virtualization and cloud computing
- Explosive growth of data creation and storage
- Changing business requirements for speed, agility and availability
- The need to enable critical megatrends, such as mobility, social networking, big data analytics and the Internet of things
For a solution provider, it’s critical to develop an understanding of the changes that are taking place in the data center so you can help guide customers through this evolution. That means being informed about the trends and technologies that are shaping the SDDC so you can meet customers' expectations.
Meeting Customers’ Expectations
For many customers, the SDDC is more about the future than the present. But, as we know with technology, the future comes upon us very quickly. For systems integrators and solution providers, now is the time to begin talking about the SDDC and, where possible, putting in the necessary components that will form the right foundation for a successful evolution/deployment.
One of the interesting things about the SDDC is that it mitigates the need for some of the fiefdoms that have become so much a part of the IT culture over the years. For example, storage and networks are managed together in the SDDC, and many of the functions involved in deploying these solutions become automated.
Typically, the SDDC will be driven within the organization at a fairly high level—CIO, director of IT, etc. This is because the benefits of the SDDC stretch across the entire organization and touch every aspect of the IT infrastructure–and, thus, the overall business. At this level, decision makers are concerned about many of the issues the SDDC can help them address:
- Controlling costs and reducing total cost of ownership
- Reducing IT complexity
- Increasing business agility
- Supporting cloud initiatives
- Improving application performance
- Increasing availability
- Enabling a service-centric approach to IT provisioning
However, while SDDC decisions will ultimately reach individuals in corner offices, systems integrators and other solutions providers should also be talking with individuals throughout the IT organization. At some point, networking personnel will have to deploy SDN, and storage personnel will have to deploy SDS.
For example, if you are dealing with a customer that is looking to upgrade its network, now would be the time to deploy a software-defined networking model. Also, as you deploy new technologies such as flash storage or virtual desktop infrastructure in the enterprise, you want to deploy software-defined management platforms to reduce operational costs and simplify provisioning—while also establishing a model that will evolve to a next-generation data center.
In guiding your customers as well as your own organization to the software-defined data center of the future, work with companies that can share and articulate the vision of what that future should look like. As the world’s leading global enterprise IT solutions distributor, Avnet makes it easier and more affordable to enter and excel in high-growth technology and vertical markets locally and around the world. To learn more, download our free whitepaper, Preparing for the Software-Defined Data Center.
1 “Software-Defined Data Center Market Worth $77.18 Billion by 2020,” MarketsandMarkets, March 2015