Software-Defined Data Centers: What Are They And Why Do They Matter?

28th May, 2019 by

Businesses are constantly on the lookout for ways to improve efficiency and productivity. Many modern firms have identified greater IT agility as one way to achieve those goals, which has led to the development and exploration of new IT architectures. A prime example is the development of software-defined data centers, and implementing these can help a firm react more quickly to changing market conditions. Among other benefits, software-defined data centers may also reduce long-term IT costs and improve scalability.

Center of attention

The phrase ‘software-defined data center’ was coined in 2012, and the credit for this term is generally given to former VMware CTO Steve Herrod. The concept is a natural evolution of the general move toward virtualization in the world of IT. In a software-defined data center, all elements of the IT infrastructure are virtualized and delivered as a service, from storage and CPUs to networking and security. As its name suggests, control of the data center is automated by software.

Core exercises

Software-defined data centers can be adapted to cater to their owner’s individual needs, and this represents one of their greatest strengths. Nonetheless, there are four core components involved in any such center:

  • Network virtualization.

A software-based virtual network merges hardware and software resources, as well as networking functionality. This is achieved through the splitting of available bandwidth into individual channels. Those channels can then be assigned to a particular device or server, as required.

  • Storage virtualization.

Physical storage is pooled from multiple network storage devices. It’s brought together into a single storage device, managed from a central console.

  • Server virtualization.

This is the partitioning of a physical server into smaller virtual servers. This helps to maximize server resources, and also reduces the costs and other inconveniences associated with physical servers. Resources on the server itself are masked from users.

  • Management or automation software.

An additional layer of software which controls, provisions and manages the other four components.

Defined benefits

Implementing software-defined data center architecture can deliver a raft of benefits, which are beneficial in both the short and longer term. Among the immediate benefits is an upturn in IT agility. Implementing a software-driven solution reduces the time taken to provision new resources. That includes increasing storage capacity or modifying physical networking since these no longer need to take weeks or months. Companies are therefore able to respond more quickly to opportunities, or changing customer needs. It can also deliver a noticeable improvement in the performance of your IT infrastructure. It allows you to optimize server, storage, and networking applications. You can also abstract different workloads when desired – and all without making physical changes to your infrastructure.

In the long-term, software-defined data centers can also help businesses to control costs. Pooling resources through virtualization lets you improve the utilization of existing IT infrastructure while helping firms to avoid costs associated with new infrastructure purchases. Better utilization of resources additionally helps with cost efficiency, as less IT infrastructure will be sitting idle. That means less wasted real estate, power, and cooling – all of which can have a profoundly positive effect on a business’s bottom line.

Data centers also excel in terms of flexibility and scalability. Software-based IT infrastructure relying on cloud computing is infinitely flexible so new technology can be more easily integrated. The capacity of the system can be enhanced as and when a company grows. To learn more about 100TB data centers and how we can boost your speed, connectivity, and reliability, visit or contact our expert sales team today.

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