SDDC 101: The Why, the What, and the How

The Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) has fundamentally changed how IT delivers infrastructure and services. SDDC rethinks traditional ways of using virtualized resources by adding virtual networks (SDN) and virtualized storage (SDS) to virtual compute as a better way to build data centers, improve security and keep costs down.

The included automation and orchestration of resources has made infrastructure operations smooth and, more importantly, has enabled security to be “built-in” to the architecture.  This is in stark contrast to traditional data centers, with physical infrastructure, where security was an afterthought.

To evaluate the impact of the move to SDDC – McAfee in partnership with VMware, sponsored the Osterman Research  “The Why, the What and the How of the Software-Defined Data Center,” which explains the nuts and bolts of SDDC, provides a deeper understanding of its value to your business as it moves to the cloud and also how it improves your security posture.

From the research, we see that while many organizations have virtualized their servers, they haven’t yet embraced the full virtualization of a software-defined data center:

Figure 1

Percentage of Servers that are Virtualized
2017 and 2019

Source: Osterman Research, Inc.

And while only 3% have moved to SDDC, there is great intention to do so:

Figure 2

“Does your organization plan to transform your data center(s) into Software-Defined Data Centers? 

Source: Osterman Research, Inc.

So, Why SDDC?

From our survey respondent confirmed what we believed- an SDDC improves operational efficiency, creates a more secure data center and reduces costs.

Reasons That Organizations Want to Move to an SDDC 

Source: Osterman Research, Inc.

Source: Osterman Research, Inc.

These business benefits help organizations as they transition their infrastructure into a cloud-ready agile environment for both private and hybrid cloud.

Probably the greatest benefit of an SDDC is its ability to transform the data center from being a slow-to-support-the-business department of saying “no” to an agile business driver, where the department says “yes” to quickly deploying applications and services, truly helping to grow the business objectives of your company. With the agile infrastructure of an SDDC, you can elastically scale as demand on your applications increases. An SDDC allows you to extend and manage applications across private and public clouds so you can optimize based on your current and evolving needs.

How does SDDC Work and Improve Security?

With SDDC, the three main pillars of datacenter – compute, networking and storage are virtualized. This virtualized environment provides high degree of automation with agility. Traditionally, virtualized architectures are drawn by expedience, which means that managing a virtualized data center required lots of interaction with many moving parts. However, these moving parts are not integrated and do not have the understanding that they had been virtualized. SDDC rethinks and redraws functional boundaries, by moving intelligence from lower layers up into the VM platform, thus improving automation, management and security.

This new virtual and dynamic data center architecture introduces new security and compliance considerations as well. You will need complete visibility into all your workloads as they are provisioned so you can know what needs to be secured. In addition, as you now have east-west traffic flows between your VMs, inspection of that traffic is key. McAfee Data Center and Cloud Defense solutions help secure the new infrastructure of an SDDC, all within the same management as your traditional security. Integrated, dynamic protection technologies match the agility of your new data center infrastructure to protect against advanced threats and maintain compliance, including the ability to monitor east-west traffic flows inside the SDDC environment.

The bottom line? Transforming your traditional data center into a SDDC offers numerous benefits, including significant improvements to data center security. The SDDC is ready for prime-time and offers substantial advantages over traditional data center approaches. Are you ready to grab hold of the opportunity?

To learn more, download the whitepaper “The Why, the What and the How of the Software-Defined Data Center.”

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