By Ian Jansen Van Rensburg, Senior Manager Systems Engineering at VMware Southern Africa
Research undertaken by Brocade in a survey entitled Software Defined Research, more than half of EMEA channel partners and systems integrators – a tidy 54% – expect the software-defined data centre (SDDC) to be a leading trend within the next two years. However, there are some obstacles that stand in the way of seamless integration and adoption and one of these is hype. Many enterprises are concerned that the outcry is just that, lots of noise with very little action.
What few businesses do realise, however, is that the SDDC can boost efficiencies and availability, enhance business agility and cut the costs. It has the capability to remove the expenses traditionally associated with the data centre that already struggles with issues around sprawl and complexity and growth. The SDDC can form the foundation of the cloud infrastructure as it transforms the physical into the digital and delivers the on the promise of agility.
The SDDC is not a slice of hype that’s being dished to the gullible. Although the trend has been for the software vendor to push the software-defined and the hardware vendor to question its validity, the latter are becoming more inclined to recognise its value. The key challenge is to develop a deeper understanding as to what the SDDC is and what it is not and how it differs from the traditional data centre, and what it comes down to is maths. Shifting from the physical to the digital is a compelling price point for the organisation.
Prior to sever virtualisation the workload on the server was tied to hardware and even if capacity was not 100% utilised it could not be used elsewhere on the network. Server virtualisation enabled optimal matching of need to resource which is a far more efficient model. Now this value is being played out in the SDDC as a comprehensive roll-out has an impressive impact on storage, networking and security. These processes become more efficient and agile, data centres can be rapidly deployed on demand – hardware takes weeks, software takes minutes.
As all the resources are virtual on the SDDC they can be automatically deployed with barely any human involvement which frees up the IT staff to more strategic efforts. It reduces hardware maintenance costs and delivers an impressive layer of agility to the business as a whole, knocking on into productivity and capability across the organisation. Operating and capital expenses are lowered and the SDDC allows the enterprise to combine enhanced efficiency and increased availability. This is a remarkable value proposition with impressive range for growth and adaptability.
Both Symantec and Columbia Sportswear are to organisations that have already deployed an SDDC and experienced significant results. Symantec consolidated 12 servers from multiple regions into two and has gained more than 11, 000 weeks in just over a year. More time for customers, less time on data centres. Columbia Sportswear reduced the time to make changes to their IT infrastructure from a month to a few hours and IT is more capable of engaging with the wider business as a result.
Speaking of results, these speak for themselves and underscore the point that the SDDC is not hype, but a powerful solution for the modern organisation.