Virtualization and cloud technologies have led to the rise of the Software Defined Data Center  (SDDC), which is changing the way enterprise IT manages its infrastructure and deploys applications.

Whereas software once merely played a support role to the hardware on which it was running, cloud and virtualization technologies have now moved software into the spotlight, with hardware now playing second fiddle.

This overall trend, and the term 'software-defined' itself, evolved in the data center. Beginning with virtualized compute technology, popularized by vendors like VMware, virtualized offerings for networking and storage followed soon after, laying the groundwork for what we now refer to as the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC)

Despite the growth of this trend, many business leaders still aren't sure what impact the SDDC will have on their organization, or what it means for enterprise IT generally. The SDDC is still young, but that doesn't mean that IT leaders can ignore it.

Defining SDDC

Depending on your organization, the rise of SDDC technologies could have major implications for the way resources are provisioned and apps are deployed.

A modern SDDC deployment is defined by virtualized, software-defined resources that can be scaled up or down as required, and can be deployed as needed in a number of distinct ways. There are three key components to the SDDC:

  1. Software defined computing
  2. Software defined networking
  3. Software defined storage


There's also often a fourth layer, known as the orchestration management layer.

The value of SDDC

Having defined it, let's examine why organizations are beginning to implement the SDDC approach, and how are they benefiting from it.

The initial value provided by the SDDC is threefold:

  1. more automation,
  2. more agility,
  3. and more flexibility.

With less manual effort, organizations can use their employees more efficiently and greater agility helps operations respond more quickly to business requests. An additional and often-overlooked use case for SDDC is in improving data center resiliency.

SDDC also helps to "provide the means by which the in-house enterprise IT staff can begin to configure, provision, and activate compute and storage resources at a level that's, maybe not the same, but much more competitive, much closer to what the large public cloud providers can offer".

More and more, companies in a variety of industries are beginning to realize just how much more of a software or technology company than, say, a financial services company they are. With this in mind, many IT leaders are looking to SDDC and its related technologies to help them remain competitive as they continued to adopt new and expanding business models.

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