What is an SDDC?
A Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) extends virtualization concepts such as abstraction, clustering, and automation to all data center resources and services to achieve IT as a Service (ITaaS). Thus, all elements of the infrastructure - network, storage, processing, and security - are virtualized and delivered as a service.
One of the best things about an SDDC is that it can be operated and managed through an API. Thus, in order to achieve this, the following components (among others) are needed:
- Computer Virtualization: that is, virtualization of a computer, responsible for data processing.
- Software Defined Network (SDN): that is, network virtualization. It involves the process of merging hardware and software resources to achieve a software-based virtual network.
- Software Defined Storage (SDS): that is, storage virtualization to boost performance and durability.
- Atomization and management software: it is mainly used to help the system administrator to manage all the components of the Data Center.
The benefits of software-defined data centers include:
- Greater efficiency: By extending virtualization throughout the data center, better use of data center resources.
- Greater agility: ability to quickly install, uninstall or manage applications.
- Ease of management: being a software-defined system, the management of its components is totally centralized, so that its control, management and supervision becomes much easier. In addition, the technical knowledge required for its management is usually less, as it does not need to know all the specific protocols and languages of each device and manufacturer.
- Price: an SDDC represents a lower price for companies because the hardware it requires is much cheaper than that of a traditional DC.
- Flexibility: virtualization gives you great flexibility when running applications across multiple platforms and clouds.
- Power: a company's power usage could be reduced by allowing servers and other data center hardware to run at lower power levels.
- Security: unlike traditional data center infrastructure, SDDCs allow all security-relevant information to be linked to the virtual machines themselves. Thus, security flaws caused by human error when configuring devices are minimized.
- Reliability: SDDCs offer a lot of security, as their architecture allows them to quickly compensate for hardware failures. To do this, corresponding workloads are transferred to other components in a very short time, without requiring manual access to faulty or downed devices.
VMWare is one of the companies that sells software for SDDC. In your case, they are based on a 3-tier architecture, organized as follows:
- Physical layer: servers, hard drives and network equipment.
- Virtual layer: the software that abstracts each of these resources and delivers IT as a service (ITaaS). Includes virtual machines (or containers in Docker). Plus, it includes VSAN for software-defined storage (SDS) as well as NSX for software-defined networking (SDN). It can also include other security services such as AppDefense.
- Management layer: this is the layer that joins the two previous layers where you can find management tools such as vRealize Orchestrator and/or automation tools such as vRealize Automation or vCenter, which make it possible to run the data center from a centralized interface.
Few companies today can afford the luxury of migrating their architecture to an SDDC architecture, due to the complexity, risk, and cost involved in performing such a migration. Thus, this architecture, although it proposes some very interesting ideas, is growing at a slower pace than it could.
However, trends such as cloud computing, DevOps and the popularization of Docker containers could accelerate this growth, as they are closely related to it.