“Software-defined” has become the watchword for the future of the enterprise. We have software-defined networking (SDN), software-defined storage (SDS) and now software-defined data centers (SDDC). By applying more software intelligence to control the infrastructure, the SDDC allows IT managers to make better use of available resources and manage data centers more cost-effectively.
You can offer compelling arguments to both senior management and IT management when it comes to implementing an SDDC.
According to ReportsnReports.com, the SDDC market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 30.98 percent, reaching $77.18 billion by 2020. That anticipated growth is being fueled by the growth of the three pillars that support the SDDC—software-defined computing, SDN and SDS.
A study by the Antithesis Group and Stanford University also revealed that 10 million servers are idle in data centers, resulting in an estimated capital loss of $30 billion. These servers are idle because enterprise resource planning allocates far more data storage and computing power than needed in order to handle unpredictable peak demands. Using software-defined enterprise systems, you don’t have to over-purchase in order to handle higher computing demands; the system can be programmed to adjust to changing needs automatically, making better use of available hardware and tapping cloud-based resources as needed.
In order to make the case for adopting an SDDC, you have to be able to highlight the value of a software-driven infrastructure. Here are eight sales tips you can add to your pitch:
The SDDC Case for IT Managers
For the IT manager, the SDDC ultimately simplifies administration and improves enterprise control. Using virtualization in order to abstract the hardware from the underlying infrastructure, the SDDC takes the guesswork out of hardware allocation by using automated systems programmed to manage the hardware. The result is a more efficient data center that provides automated control from a central console.
Here are some of the ways the SDDC will benefit IT:
1. An SDDC allows you to make better use of existing resources. Rather than spending more of the data center budget on hardware that remains idle, SDN allows IT to allocate systems as needed. If, for example, a database query or Web application demands more computing resources, the system can be programmed to automatically provision additional servers. Ultimately, the SDDC allows you to do more by more efficiently using available systems.
2. The SDDC is scalable. A software-defined infrastructure is the most efficient way to access cloud services. The SDDC can allocate cloud storage, resources and infrastructure as just another data center resource. And the SDDC abstraction extends beyond the hardware at hand and can include any computing platform. The SDDC is the perfect solution to manage a private cloud.
3. The SDDC provides centralized management. Rather than using multiple interfaces for different hardware, the SDDC offers the promise of a single pane of glass to provide visibility into the entire enterprise. Because all the systems are virtualized, they can be consolidated in a single management infrastructure. The SDDC also breaks down siloed systems and ultimately eliminates the need for IT technicians to manually provision storage or hardware. Instead, provisioning is automated and defined by programmed policies and service-level agreements.
4. The SDDC reduces operating costs. Using software in order to automate the data center means greater efficiency with less hands-on management. Fewer hardware resources are needed because existing systems are used more efficiently, so rather than provisioning new hardware, the SDDC makes optimal use of cloud resources in order to save on capital costs. And the SDDC saves energy by shutting down or reducing power for non-essential systems, right down to the chillers.
The SDDC Case for Senior Management
While the C-suite is less involved in the day-to-day operations of the data center, it is concerned with the quality of data-center output and has control over the IT budget. Moving toward an SDDC is a big step, so you will need to have additional arguments in order to convince the executives:
1. The SDDC promotes business agility. Using software-defined systems means that businesses can react more quickly to changing business needs. High levels of automation and standardized technology make it easier to adapt to changes in production, processes or technology without necessarily having to wait for the installation and configuration of additional hardware.
2. The SDDC is innovative. More companies are describing themselves as “innovative,” but innovation has to be demonstrable. Adopting an SDDC strategy goes beyond the same old data center products and services and provides a true competitive edge in any application. For example, the SDDC can be adapted as quickly as it can be deployed, making it practical to “fail fast” and reset the strategy quickly with minimal cost. The level of innovation associated with an SDDC helps bring something new to the market while attracting the best and the brightest workers.
3. The SDDC promotes a better customer experience. Customer service is becoming an automated, 24/7 requirement, and customers increasingly demand more efficient self-service, including accurate and fast answers delivered in a secure online environment. The SDDC makes provisioning of high-performance customer service faster, more efficient, more secure and more cost-effective, with more consistent performance, thanks to automation.
4. The SDDC promotes fiscal responsibility. Cutting costs is on every CEO’s list of business objectives, especially if they answer to a board of directors and stockholders. An SDDC reduces IT expenses, aligning resources with the cost of use. The SDDC gives the company a true window into IT operating costs that it never had before, showing computing costs as they are actually incurred by various departments. This kind of insight enforces accountability and provides real-time information in order to improve decision-making.
These are just a few ways you can approach selling an SDDC. There will be different arguments that can be used for different markets and applications, but many of these selling points have universal appeal—getting more from less with better control and lower overhead. Who can argue with that?