Software Defined Computing

Software defined computing (SDC), also referred to as the software defined data center (SDDC), is a vision of all IT being delivered as a service through APIs or similar pathways. The hardware is commoditized and abstracted from the consumption of the resource by applications and users.

Since there is no standard for what “software defined” means, numerous products, projects, and initiatives are getting the label “software defined something.” SDC can be a particularly muddled area as it refers to the overall data center system.

SDC is a global mindset about the manageability of network elements:

  • Virtualization of compute, either as IaaS or PaaS
  • Software defined networking (SDN)
  • Software defined Storage (SDS)

Looking back, there is a clear motivation for all this software definition.

The need originated when virtualization changed the face of the data center. Now, as cloud services offer new capabilities and flexibility, there is a clear need for SDC solutions. Non-virtual portions of the network become choke points that don’t run efficiently and are difficult to manage. Their hard-wired functionality became problematic when storage, compute, and network needed to serve the new virtualized, distributed world.

When virtual computing is reliant on systems intended for physical computing, things can become awkward. Networks get overburdened when virtual machines have to talk to each other through physical switches. Apportioning storage requires excessive manual effort.

Software defined networks, storage, and other data center elements promise to remove those hard-wired problems and introduce flexibility. The promise is real. Particularly when implementing hybrid cloud solutions, the promise is very inviting.

Software Defined Computing and the IT Service Provider

For the providers of service and hardware to IT, the idea of SDC is quite disruptive. Just as virtualization changed the requirements for servers, SDC seeks to redefine the roles of hardware and software in the data center. Will it matter anymore whose network switches are utilized? What will be the requirements for storage drives in a new software defined universe?

Does the Software Defined Solution Improve Anything?

As the “software defined” label is added to all manner of products, it is important to look back at the original reason that organizations sought these solutions. Does it contribute to:

  • Security;
  • Performance;
  • Manageability; or
  • Scalability?

Open Data Center Alliance and Software Defined Computing

SDC can be a critical piece to fulfilling an enterprise evolution in their cloud maturity, such as adding hybrid cloud elements. With the proper implementation, the enterprise can gain control over their existing systems and flexibility for adopting future systems.

The opposite can also be true. Services that are inaccessible to the organization can hamper the evolution of an organization. ODCA is committed to providing tools and insights that give IT teams the confidence that they are adopting software defined computing capabilities that move their organization in the right direction.

ODCA members collaborate to create usage models and other tools that guide the industry towards open capabilities on which their enterprise can grow.

Join the ODCA,  Shape Future of Software Defined Computing

Both IT professionals and solution providers can enjoy the benefits of ODCA membership. Learn how you can shape the direction of the open data center.

Attend Forecast2016, June 28-29 in Seattle, Washington

The Open Data Center Alliance welcomes you to join our members at Forecast2016™ in Seattle, Washington. This conference brings together a global community of professionals invested in unlocking the power of cloud computing. Attendees get world-class content, workshops, practical tools and networking focused on accelerating delivery of value from cloud investments. Register today.

Learn best-practices to adopt and worst-practices to avoid from those who have paved the way. With the combination of visionary keynote presentations, case studies, panel sessions and interactive workshops, conference participants can return to their jobs with actionable strategies and roadmaps based on tested, operational successes from leading enterprise IT organizations.

Topics address emerging challenges and opportunities facing enterprises around cloud deployments, including:

  • Managing Hybrid Cloud
  • DevOps: Enabling Cloud
  • IoT
  • Accelerating Speed to Value with Cloud Investments
  • Applying the ODCA’s Cloud Maturity Model