The software-defined data center (SDDC) is crucial to the long-term evolution of an agile digital business according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). It is not, however, the right choice for all IT organizations currently, according to the research group.
“Infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders need to understand the business case, best use cases and risks of an SDDC,” says Dave Russell, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “Due to its current immaturity, the SDDC is most appropriate for visionary organizations with advanced expertise in I&O engineering and architecture.”
An SDDC is a data center in which all the infrastructure is virtualized and delivered “as-a-service.” This enables increased levels of automation and flexibility that will underpin business agility through the increased adoption of cloud services and enable modern IT approaches such as DevOps. Today, most organizations are not ready to begin adoption and should proceed with caution.
By 2020, however, Gartner predicts the programmatic capabilities of an SDDC will be considered a requirement for 75 percent of Global 2000 enterprises that seek to implement a DevOps approach and a hybrid cloud model.
“I&O leaders can’t just buy a ready-made SDDC from a vendor,” says Russell. “First, they need to understand why they need it for the business. Second, they need to deploy, orchestrate and integrate numerous parts, probably from different vendors.” Moreover, aside from a lot of deployment work – new skills and a cultural shift in the IT organization are needed to ensure this approach delivers results for the business.
Gartner recommends that I&O leaders take a realistic view of the risks and benefits, and make plans to mitigate the top risks of an SDDC project failure.