Kathy Gibson reports from Infracom 2016 in Midrand – The software-defined data centre is not only the foundation of the cloud, but it helps businesses to become more flexible and free up resources.
VMware’s David Funnell point out that there is a need to bridge the traditional IT world of client/server computing and the mobile-cloud era that is more user-centric and often outside the control of the CIO.
“We are in a dynamic, changing world – and you never know who your next competitor is going to be, he says.
The new world is moving from rigid structures to da digital environment. Assets are no longer owned but shared; innovation is rapid and not necessarily planned; and app deployment is instant.
In the new app economy, customer service can be improved and the business can thus deliver more to the customer. And the old way of delivering apps just won’t cut it in the new world.
Which is where the SDDC comes in, Funnell says. Companies are able to quickly go around the app develop, deploy and analyse cycle.
“Actually the infrastructure is irrelevant. What is critical is the infrastructure SLA: how does it support this cycle; is it resilient; and is it secure?”
At the end of the day, the business shouldn’t have to care where the infrastructure is, or what it is.
“This is when organisations start to use cloud,” Funnell says. “But IT needs to change its model of delivery to encompass cloud to deliver services.”
The SDDC approach is the ideal architecture for the hybrid cloud, Funnell says.
“You can do so much more this way. Hardware is restricted by the physics – but that’s not the operating model for the new mobile cloud era. You get better flexibility; the ability to move data and applications; and scale on demand.”
In the SDDC, companies can use just about any hardware, but move the intelligence up into the software layer.
In fact, most of the born-inn-the-cloud giants run their data centres this way: they have any x86 processors, any storage and any IP network in the infrastructure layer, with any application running on the top. The whole is controlled and co-ordinated by the SDDC platform which includes data centre virtualisation.
Funnell points out that servers have been largely virtualised, and a move is being made to virtualise storage; the network layer also needs to be virtualised, he says, to complete the move to a SDDC.
“You have to transform how you are delivering services in the data centre. It’s not about incremental change. Your data centre should become a white box that only cares about the SLAs that are delivered.”
This infrastructure will allow businesses to quickly develop and deploy applications that are relevant to business needs.