All About Software Defined Data Centers

Data centers are facilities used by companies to house their computer systems and other relevant files and data.  These are often private servers where all of their data and cloud computing is stored and where backups of the company’s data are often kept. It is often considered the brain of the company and some of the most critical processes are run in a data center.

Historically, computers were massive and needed to be stored in large rooms or facilities.  Even as technology improved and miniaturization of computers was becoming a thing, these facilities were kept as you would still need more computers and hardware to process larger amounts of data than your typical computer.  Now that laptops, tablets, and smartphones actually have more processing power than the computers of old, the amount of data that a company needs to process is so massive that companies still need huge amounts of hardware to make sure that processes are running smoothly.  These rooms or locations are often referred to as server rooms or data centers.

Traditionally, when you talk of data centers, they are defined typically by the hardware and devices.  This is different when we talk of software defined data centers or SDDC. SDDCs, on the other hand, create a virtualization of IT infrastructure and delivered to the end user as a service.  This means that it creates a virtual version of the services that are normally handled by hardware so it can be delivered to the end-user.  An example of virtualization would be the simple process of creating a partition on a hard drive.  By partitioning, you let the system believe that there are 2 hard drives instead of actually just one physical hard drive.  These processes could normally be done through hardware management but are definitely easier if it was software-driven.

SDDCs are known by many to the next step in technology when it comes to cloud computing and virtualization. It is considered to be truly the evolution of existing information technology and is able to support large legacy enterprise applications and even the newest cloud computing technology.

Now Software-defined data centers are defined by its three core components: storage virtualization solutions, server virtualization, and network virtualization.  We’ll take a look at these three and see how they come together to form your standard SDDC.

When we talk about Storage Virtualization, we refer to the use of multiple network drives combined together to form one virtual storage device.  Often from the perspective of the end-user, this is like having a hosting service that gives you a storage space that while it looks like a singular drive, it is actually made of several network drives to form one singular drive.  This allows for the access of multiple drives at any time even if it seems like just one storage area.

Server virtualization, on the other hand, is the partitioning of a singular physical server into smaller parts called virtual servers that help maximize server resources.  In this case, access to the actual physical server is hidden from the end-user but then through the use of software, you partition the physical server into smaller sections earmarked for use for different needs.  This is different as to assign one task to one server.

Finally, network virtualization treats all servers and networks as a single pool of resource similar to storage virtualization and through the use of a software, you are able to control and manage the network without regard to the actual physical components.