The goal of a software defined data center (SDDC) is to enable an organization to leverage standard hardware to reduce costs and leverage intelligent software to increase flexibility by dynamically defining the data center as the needs of the application workloads and the organization change. A data center has three tiers; computing, networking and storage. For the SDDC to be reality each of these tiers requires a strong complement of software and a robust selection of quality standard hardware. Of the three tiers, it seems that the storage tier is the one that grinds an SDDC project to an abrupt halt most often.
The computing part of the data center achieves the SDDC goal well thanks to strong software offerings like VMware, Hyper-V, various Linux hypervisors and the rapidly emerging container market on Kubernetes. Even the networking component of the SDDC is coming into shape with intelligent network operating systems and network management software. In addition to software, the nearly complete standardization on the Broadcom chip set has led to a plethora of standard network hardware options.
Storage though has been a different story. In fairness, storage requirements change as the data center modernizes and becomes more software defined. First, storage has to continue to support traditional applications like Oracle, SAP and MS-SQL while also supporting new applications like Hadoop, Cassandra, and Splunk. It also needs to support legacy environments like VMware while also supporting container based environments like Kubernetes. Second, storage has to scale to meet the ever-increasing demands on performance and capacity. Third, and potentially most importantly, storage needs to add automation and orchestration features, so it can respond to new requirements of the SDDC without tedious manual administrator intervention.
The problem is most software defined storage solutions primarily focus on replacing monolithic storage systems and features instead of adding new features and capabilities that the SDDC requires. In our latest white paper, Storage Switzerland explores why storage breaks most SDDC projects and how storage vendors need to evolve their solutions to empower SDDC projects to completion.
A preview copy of the white paper “What Ever Happened to the Software Defined Data Center?” is available exclusively to registrants of our webinar, “Overcoming the Storage Roadblock to Data Center Modernization”.