Virtualization has led to the increasing commoditization of computer hardware particular enterprise systems like servers, networking equipment, and SAN storage. Cloud service providers are now so common and mainstream that IT professionals need strong business cases to justify purchasing physical compute resources and even when possible private cloud options are typically at the forefront.
Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) is the term used to describe an architecture where all elements of a computer infrastructure are virtualized and automate management, and provisioning tools are utilized.
Main compute elements would include:
- Virtualized Compute;
- Virtualized Networking;
- Virtualized Storage.
Implementing an SDDC will abstract physical equipment from the compute requirements and offers the following advantages:
Hardware independence; traditional data centers tends to encourage and in some cases lock-in specific hardware vendors;
- Resource Pooling: CPU, memory and storage resources are pooled and made available without the need to consider the physical hardware;
- Resilience and High Availability: Not only are local resources pool but the SDDC can span multiple data centers and allow convergence with cloud providers such as AWS or Azure.
Hyerconverged infrastructures are similar to SDDC’s have many of the main elements virtualized but the main difference being that SDDC environments will typically have management and control systems particular using orchestration to simply and in some cases automate provisioning.
Instead of applying CPU\RAM limits and reservations, policies organizations to virtual machines, which allow for resource requirements to be defined and changed as application or business needs change. The policies changes can be automatically updated and controlled using management tools such as VRealize from VMware or Turbonomic.
In SAN based infrastructures storage is allocated in logical unit number (LUN) addresses on the SAN and made available as virtual machine disks. For Virtualized Storage, virtual workloads are decoupled from physical storage. Software-defined storage pools all storage devices into a data plane and assign storage by using a policy-based controls aligns with the performance characteristics of the underlying storage device. This creates a pooled storage resources that caters for the needs of the application or virtual machine.
SDDC’s must have three key fundamental feature:
- Must be able to run applications without requiring them to be redesigned or re-architected;
- It must allow organizations to utilize staffs existing virtualization skills while providing self-service capabilities;
- Allow seamless manage for standard data centers and cloud-based services.
The benefits of implementation an SDDC are:
- Significantly better resource utilization that will improve efficiency and lower costs;
- Rapid application provisioning;
- Ability to provide very high granularity to application security;
- Compute workloads that are evenly spread across the SDDC environment.
The Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) is a combination of virtualization and automation that will enable IT to adopt a hybrid cloud strategy and provide enhanced efficiency and security with low cost for IT projects.