Story image

The software defined data centre may not be right for your customer

28 Sep 2015

Gartner is urging IT managers to get ready for the software defined data centre, while cautioning that it isn’t the right option for everyone.

Dave Russell, Gartner vice president and distinguished analyst, says while the software defined data centre (SDD) is crucial to the long term evolution of an agile digital business, it isn’t right for all IT organisations at the moment.

“Due to its current immaturity, the SDDC is most appropriate for visionary organisations with advanced expertise in infrastructure and operations engineering and architecture,” Russell says.

While the SDDC’s virtualised infrastructure, delivered ‘as-a-service’ enables increased levels of automation and flexibility, underpinning business agility through adoption of cloud services and modern IT approaches such as DevOps, Russell says most organisations are not ready to begin adoption and should proceed with caution.

“I&O leaders can’t just buy a ready-made SDDC from a vendor,” Russell says.

“First they need to understand why they need it for the business. Second they need to deploy, orchestrate and integrate numerous parts, probably from different vendors,” he says.

New skills and a cultural shift in the organisation are also needed to ensure the approach delivers results for the business.

Nonetheless, Gartner is forecasting that by 2020, the programmatic capabilities of an SDDC will be considered a requirement for 75% of Global 2000 enterprises that seek to implement a DevOps approach and a hybrid cloud model.

Among the tips Gartner is offering up to help mitigate the top risks of an SDDC project failure are the need to assess skills and culture, completely rethinking the process associated with the IT service and optimising it.

“A broken process is still a broken process no matter how well it is automated,” Russell says.

“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.

Knowing when the time is right is also crucial, Gartner says. “The right time to move to an SDDC may be years away for most organisations, but for many it will come sooner than their preparations allow for.”

Russell says companies need to understand the core concepts of the SDDC, then examine the available solutions starting with on component, process or software-defined domain that can benefit. Preparation of a roadmap to full deployment if and when SDDC solutions are appropriate follows.

Gartner says the technology is still nascent, with even the more established software defined areas such as networking and storage ‘still gelling’ and experiencing early stage adoption levels.

Implementing in phases is recommended, and Russell says storage can be a compelling starting point as the capabilities often stack up favourably against traditional solutions.

Gartner is also recommending companies beware of vendor lock-in, with open source standards or cloud management platforms potentially helping IT organisations to reduce vendor lock-in, though not eliminating it altogether.

“Recognise that adopting an SDDC means trading a hardware lock-in for a software lock-in,” Russell says. “Choose the most appropriate kind of lock-in consciously and with all the facts at hand.”

Microsoft appoints new commercial and partner business director
Bowden already has almost a decade of Microsoft relationship management experience under her belt, having joined the business in 2010.
Zoom’s new Rooms and Meetings features
Zoom has released information about the upcoming releases for its Rooms and Meeting offerings for 2019.
Aussie company set to democratise direct-to-orbit IoT access
Adelaide-based Myriota has released a developer toolkit that has been trialled and tested by a smart waste management platform.
Apple's AirPods now come with 'Hey Siri' functionality
The new AirPods come with a standard case or a Wireless Charging Case that holds additional charges for more than 24 hours of listening time.
Dynatrace takes pole position in APM Magic Quadrant
It placed highest on Ability to Execute and furthest on Completeness of Vision in the 2019 Quadrant for Application Performance Monitoring (APM).
HCL and Xerox expand strategic partnership
Under the terms of the agreement, HCL will manage portions of Xerox’s shared services, including global administrative and support functions.
Avaya expands integration with Google Cloud AI
This includes embedding Google’s machine learning within conversation services for the contact centre, enabling integration of AI capabilities.
Forrester names Crowdstrike leader in incident response
The report provides an in-depth evaluation of the top 15 IR service providers across 11 criteria.