Software-Defined Everything

"Software-defined" is a trending IT term in recent years. In particular, there are three terms that generate the most buzz:

There are a number of vendors in each of the areas, and each of them has a different focus. Thus, there is really no consistency in what each one calls "software-defined". In reality, software-defined means that the system (network, storage, or data center) is managed by policy-driven software that is decoupled from the underlying hardware (switches and routers, storage systems).

One software-defined area that is pretty mature is software-defined computing. Today, people can easily set up a virtual machine on their computer to run a different operating system. For example, a Mac can easily run a Windows image. In this instance, we are looking at software-defined computing.

The goal for this site is to provide readers with an understanding of these "software-defined" terms in a vendor-neutral fashion. We explain what each term means, list the benefits, and discuss the challenges each faces.