Software-Defined Data Center
A data center where all the infrastructure is virtualized and delivered as a service. Data center is controlled via policy-driven, hardware-independent software (shown as the Control Plane above). Software-defined data center builds on software-defined network (shown in blue above), software-defined storage (shown in gray above), and software-defined servers (shown in orange above).
There are a number of benefits to the SDDC approach:
If hardware fails, the management software automatically shifts the workload to another server in the data center. This minimizes downtime.
There will no longer be a need to rely on specialized hardware, thus realizing cost savings.
Unused hardware can run at decreased power levels or be turned off.
Physical components of a SDDC can reside in different locations.
There are several challenges that have been discussed:
Managing a mix of new and legacy applications together can be a difficult task.
If software-defined data centers are to become the normal in the industry, there needs to be standards in place -- currently no clear standard exists.
A data center contains a number of components, and to have a software-defined data center, all the components must have a fairly mature software-defined technology. Even though server virtualization technology can be considered as mature, the same cannot be said about SDN (software-defined networking) and SDS (software-defined storage).
SDDC will require IT to change its way of thinking and alter current processes in areas such as automation, orchestration, and billing. IT professionals are in general on the conservative side, so it may take years for this adaptation to take place.