Analyst Report: The Software-defined Data Center in the Enterprise

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Analysis

The software-defined data center lets users control their data center resources with software instead of hardware. It does so by moving organizations from physical storage, networking, and compute to a programmatically accessible infrastructure that offers the flexibility and efficiency to tailor infrastructures to suit specific needs and applications.

The rise of virtualization introduced the software-defined data center. Three pillars—server virtualization, software-defined networking and software-defined storage—created a new paradigm in which software took control of the entire data center operation thanks to its much more flexible and adaptable nature. The move empowered companies with speed and nimbleness that was unfathomable before, leaving them adequate time and resources to concentrate on the applications that drive business while the agile software layer did all the heavy lifting for them. It also allowed them to deliver the fourth pillar of a software-defined data center—a modernized security model.

Key highlights from this report include:

  • Software-defined data center architecture enables companies like Google and Facebook to expand and contract their webscale infrastructures seamlessly while delivering a reliable service.
  • Non-webscale enterprises are increasingly looking to replicate this approach for their own data center infrastructures.
  • Regulatory compliance mandates, performance, and security considerations may prevent some organizations from using the public cloud for some or all of their applications.
  • In applying the software-defined approach to private infrastructure, organizations have two choices: build their own solutions from individual components or leverage a turnkey solution.

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Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Why Enterprises Need the Software-Defined Data Center
  3. Focusing on Agility
  4. Two Approaches: Turnkey or DIY
  5. Issues to Think About
  6. Key Takeaways
  7. About Ben Kepes
  8. About Gigaom Research

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