Addressing Virtualization Challenges with SDDC

Virtualizing Hardware Enables Greater Flexibility, Reduced Capex and Opex

Kurt Hildebrand

The rise of virtualization has shifted focus and control away from physical hardware, initially for servers, and eventually for storage and networking. A study by MarketsandMarkets predicts that the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) market will surpass $77 billion by 2020. SDDC is an important concept because it virtualizes, abstracts, and automates all major IT infrastructure, enabling far more flexibility and eliminating much of the complexity in configuring and making changes.

SDDC allows you to scale up data center infrastructure seamlessly with less overhead and at lower cost. But first, you must successfully address technical, management, and economic challenges inherent in virtualizing data center infrastructure via SDDC migration.

Technical Challenges

Virtualization abstracts data center hardware platforms and overlays them with a common software layer that allows centralized management and control. Since the virtualization layer is managing the underlying hardware, actions can be controlled via software. When data center services are virtualized, it eliminates islands of CPU, memory, storage, and networking resources that are typically available in a single-purpose device.

But if you’re like most IT organizations, you’re still in the process of migrating to SDDC. Siloed physical storage, servers, and networking platforms still often require management by vendor-specific tools. Deploying converged infrastructure platforms that consolidate server, storage, and networking functions into a common platform accelerates SDDC migration.

However, you’re often faced with the challenge of streamlining data center management and provisioning using a combination of virtualized hardware platforms and dedicated legacy components. Hastening the adoption of SDDC and accelerating the migration to converged infrastructure helps you consolidate data center management and increase business agility.

Management Challenges

You also face pressure as you evolve your data center to increase the flexibility and scalability of enterprise services and applications. But perhaps the greatest management challenge is to identify and prioritize the resources that should be virtualized, while making more productive use of under-used data center resources.

Before virtualization, it was common for server utilization to average under 10%, but with virtualization it’s not unusual to see server utilization in the 90% range. Documenting and prioritizing data center resources that should be virtualized is a major challenge you can most effectively address by implementing best practices for SDDC migration.

Economic Challenges

The primary economic challenge in virtualizing data center resources is controlling capital costs, while streamlining operational costs. Converged infrastructure platforms offer a clear return on investment, but they require the capital budgets necessary to procure them.

Operational costs are also an important factor, since the complexity of virtualizing applications and services can force you to simultaneous manage legacy and converged data center infrastructure. By migrating to SDDC using proven best practices, you can make informed decisions to structure migrations based on business priorities, budget availability, and the ability to control the operational costs of managing and controlling data center infrastructure.

Overcoming Virtualization Challenges

If you need assistance in overcoming the technical, management, and economic challenges of virtualizing data center infrastructure, discover how our Converged Data Center Practice can help you realize your virtualization goals.