Software defined data centres will be vital for business agility – but not just yet


Analyst house Gartner argues the software defined data centre (SDCC), otherwise known as the virtual data centre (VDC), is not the right choice for every IT organisation today – but long term it will be crucial to the evolution of an agile digital business.

The SDDC is whereby IT infrastructure is virtualised and delivered ‘as a service’, leading to greater levels of automation, flexibility and, in turn, business agility. The development is seen as crucial by the analyst house in moving forward with DevOps and hybrid cloud deployments.

Gartner argues the majority of orgnaisations are not ready to begin adoption and should ‘proceed with caution’ – but by 2020, the programmatic capabilities of an SDDC will be required for three quarters of Global 2000 Enterprises that seek to deliver a DevOps and hybrid cloud approach.

“Infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders can’t just buy a ready-made SDDC from a vendor,” said Dave Russell, Gartner VP and distinguished analyst. “Due to its current immaturity, the SDDC is most appropriate for visionary organisations with advanced expertise in I&O engineering and architecture.”

Organisations considering a SDDC need to consider two steps; understand why they need it for the business, and then with integration, it will more than likely come from different vendors. Different organisations have different cultures, and Russell argues this also needs to be assessed. “A broken process is still a broken process no matter how well it is automated,” he said.

“Build the right skills in your organisation by enabling top infrastructure architects to experiment with public cloud infrastructure in small projects, as well [as] giving them the opportunity to get out and learn what their peers in other organisations and visionaries in this field are doing.”

Certain components of SDDC, such as software defined networking (SDN) and storage, are still relatively immature, Gartner argues. It is a view with which this publication agrees; last month Andrea Knoblauch wrote: “The jury is still out when it comes to whether widespread adoption is ready for mainstream.

“It’s yet to be seen what the true benefits of software defined networks will be, but the ability to adapt the network to different loads, be able to prioritise traffic or reroute, and of course the ability to see a better overall picture, is enough for many organisations to start investigating this new methodology.”

Do you agree with the Gartner analysis? Let us know in the comments…