At VMworld this year, both in San Francisco and Barcelona, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger introduced the concept of the Software-Defined Datacenter (SDDC). This builds on the concept that as more and more of the Data Center becomes virtualized (servers, desktops), delivering greater cost-savings and agility to customers, software-defined automation and functionality (network, security, storage, backup) become the next logical steps to help IT deliver greater value to the business.
As with any new technology or vision, there are often many questions about how this will impact the market, how it will affect IT organizations. Wikibon did a nice job providing their view on "Software-led Infrastructure". It's one of many attempts that I've seen to start trying to put a scope around this concept. Some portions are agreed upon, while others are creating some headaches.
I created this short FAQ to help answer some of those questions:
1. VMware is using a new term, "Software-Defined Datacenter" (SDDC), at the center of the 2012 conference. What is Software-Defined Datacenter? [Steve Herrod blog]. Software Defined Data Center is VMware's vision that greater business value can be created from IT when intelligent software is abstracted from standardized hardware. In the simplest technical definition, it is the separation (or abstraction) of the "control plane" (configuration, topology awareness, management, operations) from the "data plane" (moving data, storing data).
1a. Is there a clear spelling of this term?
Meh. Maybe, but it will have at least 3-5 variations in 2013. Just call it "SDDC" and save yourself a lot of auto-correct headaches.
2. Is there a clear, agreed upon definition (or standard) for Software-Defined Datacenter at this time?
Software-Defined Datacenter is not defined by an existing standards body (eg. IETF, ITU, NIST), but rather it is vision for the evolution of how Data Center environments will become more flexible in responding to business demands. SDDC builds upon the abstraction that server virtualization has created and extends this to broader elements of the Data Center (eg. network, storage), as well as expanding the roll that automation will play in the future.
3. How is "Software-Defined Datacenter" different than "Cloud"?
Cloud (or Cloud Computing) is fundamentally a new operational model for IT, where resources are delivered on-demand. While Cloud uses technologies such as virtualization or converged infrastructure, it's primarily about the shift in delivery and consumption of IT services. Software Defined Data Center is the next evolution of the underlying technology, where software delivers greater levels of intelligence and value, on top of standardized hardware.
4. Does Software-Defined Datacenter eliminate the need for traditional Data Center hardware?
No. There will still be a need for physical serves (CPU, memory), network devices to connect ports and deliver bandwidth, and devices that can store data on flash/disk/tape. But the trend in the industry is that these devices are becoming more standardized on x86 chips, mass produced memory/disks and mass produced ASICs. This trend should allow faster, more simplified "fabrics" (interconnecting servers, networks and storage) to be built, with the intelligence for policy, security, operations to continue to move into software, which is faster to develop and adapt to changing business requirements. Leading companies have been shifting their product strategies to embrace this trend for the last few years.
5. Which market segments does Software-Defined Datacenter target, or which use cases?
Software-Defined Datacenter technology are applicable to markets of all sizes (Enterprise, Mid-Market, Service Provider), but the initial adopters have been large Service Providers that are attempting to solve challenges with large-scale Data Centers. As the competition for Public and Hybrid Cloud services increases (Amazon, Google, Rackspace, Microsoft, Cloud Service Providers), the need to drive greater operational efficiency, and associated costs and time-to-market, is pushing them to solve problems in new software-centric ways.
As more Enterprise and Mid-Market customers adopt Private Cloud and deliver IT-as-a-Service, I also expect SDDC technologies to evolve to solve challenges at different scale, as well as user-centric challenges such as BYOD.
6. How will Software-Defined Datacenter impact IT organizations?
Even more than ever, the current era of IT is ultimately defined by rapid change, in terms of new devices (smartphones, tablets), new application consumption models (PaaS, SaaS), or converging technology silos (virtualization, converged infrastructure). Software-Defined Datacenter is the next step in converging functional areas, while attempting to give IT the ability to respond to business challenges faster.
7. Is Software-Defined Datacenter a competitive threat to traditional hardware companies?
As mentioned above, Software-Defined Datacenter does not eliminate the need for physical hardware within the Data Center. Rather it is a vision to enable customers to better take advantage of the trend towards delivering software intelligence on standardized hardware. As with many technology transitions, there are opportunities to evolve technology portfolios, evolve business models and unlock new partnership opportunities.
8. Is Software-Defined Datacenter explicitly linked with open-source technologies such as OpenStack, OpenFlow or Open vSwitch?
While there are open-source projects today that will have an influence on Software-Defined Datacenters, by no means does this mean that this is the only delivery mechanism for customers to obtain the technology needed for this IT technology evolution. A few examples of this:
OpenFlow is a standards-based protocol for network virtualization that can be implemented by any vendor, for either open-source or commercial products.
"Project Razor" is an open-source project that was jointly created by EMC and Puppet Labs to deliver advanced server and application automation for Data Center and Cloud environments. The software can be used with either commercial products (eg. VMware vSphere, Cisco UCS, etc.) or open-source projects (OpenStack, KVM, CloudFoundry)
About Brian Gracely An 19 year technology veteran, Brian Gracely is VP of Solutions Marketing at Virtustream. He holds CCIE #3077 and an MBA from Wake Forest University.
Throughout his career Brian has led Cisco, NetApp, EMC and Virtustream into emerging markets and through technology transitions. An active participant in the virtualization and cloud computing communities, his industry viewpoints and writing can also be found on Twitter @bgracely, on his blog Clouds of Change and his podcast The Cloudcast (.net). He is a VMware vExpert and was named a "Top 100" Cloud Computing blogger by Cloud Computing Journal.
Cloud Expo - Cloud Looms Large on SYS-CON.TV
Cloud Expo 2012 East Opening Keynote by SHI
In this Cloud Expo Keynote, Henry Fastert, SHI's Chief Technologist and Managing Partner, will share insight on how the latest generation of cloud computing is now capable of addressing the needs of the enterprise mission critical applications. These mission-critical applications require computing infrastructure that is secure, optimizes performance, and is highly resilient. The purpose of the keynote is to highlight how the latest cloud computing designs have evolved in terms of security, availability, and overall service quality to meet the needs of mission critical applications.
John Engates, CTO of Rackspace Hosting Live From New York City
Last year, cloud computing pundits predicted that 2012 would be the year when the clouds would open. They were right as cloud computing enthusiasts all over are embracing the open ecosystem; however, denying one vendor the right to serve as the de facto API is only the tip of the iceberg of this computing climate change. Join Rackspace Chief Technology Officer John Engates as he discusses the open ecosystem and how ultimately, winning cloud technologies will be based on the ecosystem they represent.
Keynote: Step up to a Higher Cloud
Cloud is a transformational shift in computing that can have a powerful effect on enterprise IT when designed correctly and used to its full potential. Join Citrix in a discussion that centers on building, connecting and empowering users with cloud services and hear examples of how enterprises are solving real-world business challenges with an architecture and solution purpose-built for the cloud.
A Pragmatic Journey to the Cloud
As enterprise adoption of cloud computing accelerates, organizations must have a strategy and roadmap for moving to the cloud. Faced with different options including building a private cloud, subscribing to public clouds, or leveraging a hybrid cloud, organizations need a rational and pragmatic approach. This session explores the emerging trends in cloud computing and offers best practices for how organizations can successfully navigate a journey to the cloud.
“Open source has always provided a number of benefits, including easing adoption costs, propagating a better understanding of the technology, and allowing for faster evolution and commercialization of products and services based on it,” noted Terry Woloszyn, Founder & CEO, Leeward Security Ltd., in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan. “This is clearly evident with the OpenStack and CloudStack,” Woloszyn continued, “and others that have been quickly commercialized as...
SYS-CON Events announced today that OpenStack will exhibit at SYS-CON's 12th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 10–13, 2013, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. OpenStack software controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a datacenter, all managed by a dashboard that gives administrators control while empowering their users to provision resources through a web interface.
OpenStack powers some of the most widely-used SaaS app...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Wowrack will exhibit at SYS-CON's 12th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 10–13, 2013, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York.
Wowrack’s core expertise lies in high-availability Private and Public Cloud IaaS Hosting Solutions. Wowrack provides a true Hybrid service – where business release all IT management and hardware provisioning – taking the data center and server system administrative headaches off our customer’s shoulders. ...
Many have heard of OAuth but are unsure of how it might apply to their business.
In his session at the 12th International Cloud Expo, Alistair Farquharson, CTO of SOA Software, will describe how OAuth can be used to facilitate certain business models and simplify the sharing of private data.
Alistair Farquharson is a visionary industry veteran focused on using disruptive technologies to drive business growth and improve efficiency and agility within organizations. As the CTO of SOA Software A...
“Cloud has everything to do with what has happened with Big Data,” explained Jason Deck, Director of Strategic Alliances at Logicworks, in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan. “Big Data doesn’t exist in its easily accessible way without cloud. From reduced startup costs, to cheap storage, to fast processing, to adequate security, to the easy incorporation of third-party analytics tools, cloud made Big Data accessible to customers of all sizes, with all different bud...
SYS-CON Events announced today that nfina Technologies, a provider of highly reliable cloud server products, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 12th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 10–13, 2013, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York.
nfina Technologies develops, manufactures, and markets highly reliable cloud server products, designed to solve the most demanding data center requirements in mission-critical cloud applications. Nfina’s staff has decades of experience in co...
“Social, mobile, analytics and cloud can’t be looked at as distinct technology trends; they are facets of the same movement and an everyday reality for consumers and businesses alike,” said Craig Sowell, IBM VP of SmartCloud Marketing, in this exclusive Q&A with Cloud Expo Conference Chair Jeremy Geelan. “This means that businesses need to start looking at trends as one: cloud is the delivery, analytics is the unique insight, social is a shareable service, and mobile is the ubiquitous access.”
In his session at the 12th International Cloud Expo, Dave Eichorn, Global Data Center Practice Head at Zensar, will share a case study describing how a utility services company handled the migration of its Microsoft platform to the cloud. Challenged with the time-consuming task of opening operations out of temporary offices, this company struggled with the need to simultaneously access data that was accumulated from a vast amount of data-intensive jobs. Zensar migrated the company’s application ...
Organizations across the world are increasingly starting to see the benefits of moving more and more services to the cloud. The focus on the cost-saving potential of cloud is rapidly shifting to completely transforming the business with cloud. As organizations are investing enormous sums on technology they are starting to realize that in order to maximize the return on investment and accelerate the business transformation process the first area of focus should be people. By ensuring the organiza...
You're getting pitched every day from your legacy enterprise software and hardware vendors about "cloud." They're doing an amazing job of convincing your CIO and CTO about what cloud is and how you should use it. The reality is they're defending their shrinking market share and keeping you on the legacy treadmill for as long as they can by selling you solutions that aren't "cloud."
In her session at the 12th International Cloud Expo, Niki Acosta, Cloud Evangelista for Rackspace, will talk thro...
The Arlington, Virginia-based National Science Foundation has just released its "Report on Support for Cloud Computing" - in response to the America Competes Reauthorization Act of 2010, Section 524.
It is an absolute must-read for all concerned with current and future research projects in Cloud Computing.
"The volume of data we're generating now from machines pales in comparison to the volume of data we'll soon generate from our own bodies," says data security expert Dave Asprey. Writing in a Trend Micro blog, Asprey - who is one of the leaders in the emerging Quantified Self movement - explains his vision of a world in which personal biometrical data is shared via the cloud.
Cloud computing has caught the attention of business leaders around the world in every
industry because of its enormous transformative potential. Visionary companies know that
the value of the cloud is far greater than the current focus solely on technology and operating
costs: when combined with a collaborative approach to designing processes, cloud computing
will change how we do business.
Want to make sense of the hottest new concept in Enterprise IT?
Want to understand in just hours what experts have spent many hundreds of days deciphering?
Cloud computing is a technology that has rapidly evolving peppered with a lot of hype along the way. Customers find it hard to navigate through this and make sense of what aspects of this technology will give them real business benefit.
Cloud Computing Bootcamp, led by our 2013 Bootcamp Instructor Larry Carvalho, is a great way to get a practical understanding of this technology. We offer multiple days of actionable insight into what vendor offerings are currently available and help you comprehend their strategy.
The ever-popular Bootcamp, which is now held regularly around the world, is being held in conjunction with the 12th Cloud Expo, June 10-13, 2013, at the Javits Center, New York, NY.
Did you know that ninety percent of the data in the world has been created in the last two years? Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion (or 2.518) bytes of data, according to IBM.
As corporations across all industries globally are struggling with how to retain, aggregate and analyze this mounting volume of what the industry refers to as Big Data, it also provides a unique opportunity for innovative startups that recognize the business prospects Big Data presents. Big Data is not just unlocking new information but new sources of economic and business value.
Interactivity is driving Big Data, with people and machines both consuming and creating it. Digital companies focused on becoming good at aggregating and analyzing the data created by the end users of their product, who then provide their customers with solid insights taken from that data are at a distinct competitive advantage over others in the marketplace.
Industry-specific clouds are those PaaS, IaaS, and PaaS services that are tailored for a specific vertical, such as transportation, retail, finance, and health care. IDC sees a $65 billion market in these industry solutions for 2013, rising to $100 billion in 2016.
The value of industry-specific clouds is that businesses within a vertical can connect to applications, processes, and databases that are pre-defined for that vertical within a public or private cloud. They can extend processes and databases into the business domain, versus defining the data and processes within a generic cloud-based platform.
So, are industry specific clouds right for your business? What options are out there? How do you figure out the ROI?
SYS-CON Events announced today that Rackspace Hosting, the open cloud company, has been named "Platinum Plus Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 12th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 10-13, 2013, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York.
Rackspace® Hosting (NYSE: RAX) is the open cloud company, delivering open technologies and powering more than 205,000 customers worldwide. Rackspace provides its renowned Fanatical Support® across a broad portfolio of IT products, including Public Cloud, Private Cloud, Hybrid Hosting and Dedicated Hosting. Rackspace has been recognized by Bloomberg BusinessWeek as a Top 100 Performing Technology Company, is featured on Fortune's list of 100 Best Companies to Work For and is included on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Rackspace was positioned in the Leaders Quadrant by Gartner Inc. in the "2011 Magic Quadrant for Managed Hosting." Rackspace is headquartered in San Antonio with offices and data centers around the world.
10th International Cloud Expo, held on June 11-14, 2012 at the Javits Center in New York City, featured four content-packed days with a rich array of sessions about the business and technical value of cloud computing led by exceptional speakers from every sector of the cloud computing ecosystem.
The Cloud Expo series is the fastest-growing Enterprise IT event in the past 10 years, devoted to every aspect of delivering massively scalable enterprise IT as a service.
We invite you to enjoy our photo album of the show - we'll be adding new images all week.
Ulitzer.com announced "the World's 30 most influential Cloud bloggers," who collectively generated more than 24 million Ulitzer page views. Ulitzer's annual "most influential Cloud bloggers" list was announced at Cloud Expo, which drew more delegates than all other Cloud-related events put together worldwide. "The world's 50 most influential Cloud bloggers 2010" list will be announced at the Cloud Expo 2010 East, which will take place April 19-21, 2010, at the Jacob Javitz Convention Center, in New York City, with more than 5,000 expected to attend.
Cloud computing is becoming one of the next industry buzz words. It joins the ranks of terms including: grid computing, utility computing, virtualization, clustering, etc.
Cloud computing overlaps some of the concepts of distributed, grid and utility computing, however it does have its own meaning if contextually used correctly. The conceptual overlap is partly due to technology changes, usages and implementations over the years.
Trends in usage of the terms from Google searches shows Cloud Computing is a relatively new term introduced in the past year. There has also been a decline in general interest of Grid, Utility and Distributed computing.
Likely they will be around in usage for quit a while to come. But Cloud computing has become the new buzz word driven largely by marketing and service offerings from big corporate players like Google, IBM and Amazon.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dell Inc. has been named "Silver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 12th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 10-13, 2013, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York.
For more than 28 years, Dell has empowered countries, communities, customers and people everywhere to use technology to realize their dreams. Customers trust Dell to deliver technology solutions that help them do and achieve more, whether they're at home, work, school or anywhere in their world. Learn more about Dell's story, purpose and people behind its customer-centric approach.
One of the most compelling promises of the cloud is that you can pull out a credit card and be working in minutes. No purchase orders to fill out, no equipment to wait for on the loading dock. Just instant access to the resources you need, when you need them. But accessibility comes at a price, and an unintentional consequence may be that you create yet another orphaned identity silo. Enterprise IT has spent years consolidating its mishmash of directories, only to discover that cloud now threatens to turn back their hard-won victories.
In his session at the 12th International Cloud Expo, Scott Morrison, CTO and Chief Architect at Layer 7 Technologies, will look at strategies to incorporate identity into cloud applications. Enterprise identity or social login can both be a part of your go-to-cloud strategy, but you must plan for this upfront, rather than try to retrofit identity and access control at a later date.
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Introducing There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Get a jump on that rapidly evolving trend at Big Data Expo, which we are introducing in June at
Cloud Expo New York.
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Cloud Expo was a fantastic event for CSS Corp - we easily exceeded our objectives for engaging with clients and prospects."
AHMAR ABBAS SVP, Global Infrastructure Management, CSS Corp.
With our launch at Cloud Expo, we successfully transformed the company from a relatively unknown European player into the dominant player in the market. Our competitors were taken by surprise and just blown away. We got a huge number of really high quality leads..."
PETE MALCOLM CEO, Abiquo
We were extremely pleased with Cloud Expo this year - I’d say it exceeded expectations all around. This is the same info we got from partners who attended as well. Nice job!"
MARY BASS Director of Marketing, UnivaUD
Cloud Expo helps focus the debate on the critical issues at hand in effect connecting main street with the next frontier."
GREG O’CONNOR President & CEO, Appzero
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Hyper-V Replica is our included asynchronous site-to-site VM replication capability for Windows Server 2012 and our free Hyper-V Server 2012 bare-metal enterprise-grade hypervisor. Using Hyper-V Replica, you can quickly implement a cost-effective disaster recovery plan for your business critical VM...
Imagine if you could take a time machine five years into the future, so that you would know which of today’s new technologies panned out and which did not.
Most companies have only started using cloud in the past two years. But there are some companies that have been using cloud for five years or...
“The last time I checked, people do not change their social security numbers very often...”
While in constant debate over data encryption and ease of access, I encountered a train of thought that made my jaw drop. A tradeshow attendee suggested encrypting everything, but just use a weak algorithm; ...
Don and I have four children, all of whom have had the fortune to take piano lessons (I'm not sure if the youngest would agree he's fortunate at this point in his life but at five, he's not really able to answer the question with any degree of wisdom, anyway. Come to think of it, not sure the other ...
Our prior post, A Roadmap to High-Value Cloud Infrastructure: Disaster Recovery and Data Protection, discussed both the benefits and limitations of a cloud-based disaster recovery (DR) strategy. As we highlighted last week, traditional disaster recovery options leave open a huge hole: At one extreme...
Online collaboration has evolved during the last decade, delivering even greater value -- thanks to a new generation of business technology applications. Forbes Insights released "Collaborating in the Cloud," a Cisco-sponsored study examining the ways business leaders increasingly look at cloud coll...
New technologies allow schools, colleges and universities to analyze absolutely everything that happens. From student behavior, testing results, career development of students as well as educational needs based on changing societies. A lot of this data has already been stored and is used for statist...
A recent Gartner study states that the function of the modern CIO is in flux and that his or her future focus must incorporate digital assets (aka cloud-based data and applications) to remain relevant. Towards the goal of riding the sea change a compiler of stacks to a broker of business needs, secu...
In the coming years, big data will change the way organisations and societies are operated and managed. Big data however, is not the only trend that will impact significantly how organisations operate. Another major trend at the moment is gamification. Gamification will change the way organisations ...
We all talk about cloud differently, but is there a way we should be speaking about this tech?
Cloud computing is now a widely reported, if not accepted, IT movement that, depending on who you talk to, has changed or is changing the way businesses utilize infrastructure.