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Future Data Centers are Not Software Defined, They’re Enterprise Defined

By Dave Cappuccio | May 24, 2015 | 0 Comments

Data CentersData Center StrategiesSoftware Defined Data Center

Capacity 468There are times in life (and especially within IT) when we must realize that not all things can be delivered (and defined) by software or marketing.  I suppose this realization comes after years of seeing interesting ideas in software and delivery models turn into marketing hype and a distorted understanding of what the market could, and could not deliver.  

Cloud delivery of services comes to mind.  While it has important implications for data center planners, it’s not the end-all to solving all IT problems which many in the industry attest, or many readers of airline magazines believe.  But it has it’s part to play.

Software Defined relative to networking is an obvious evolutionary trend, and software defined storage is arguably the universal storage pool we’ve been talking about since IBM posited DFSMS back in the late 1980’s (without the lock-in), it’s just not quite “there” yet.  But each have their part to play.

Which brings me to data centers and the emerging view or definition of what they are.  We talked about the Integrated Data Center, the Intelligent Data Center, the Virtual Data Center, and lately Software Defined Data Centers, but each idea has fundamental constraints, that of ownership and/or asset location.  Most data center strategists are still confined to the box, so to speak.  Once control is relinquished elsewhere that part of operational excellence becomes someone else problem. Which successful enterprises couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Surveys have shown that the typical large enterprise uses two dozen cloud services (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) from nine different providers, including Amazon, Salesforce, Box, Microsoft, Google, and many others. More importantly, IT operations doesn’t define what the enterprise’s data centers are, or what their requirements are. Their job is to use all the tricks and technologies and processes etc. that they have to help the enterprise efficiently and effectively use multiple providers, exploiting multiple services, wherever they are. 

Which means that when defining a data center strategy it’s not about the software, or the hardware, or the network,or the vendor, or the building(s) – but about the services I need to deliver to help my business succeed.  

So SDDC may be something I do to my data center to modernize it, and to be an effective provider of services among many, but its only a part of a much larger whole.

the Enterprise Defined Data Center is a logical construct of many parts and services, some owned to me, some not, but all linked together with a common cause.  EDDC is something I do to most effectively govern, manage, integrate, aggregate, assure services, add value for a multi-provider, multi-data center ecosystem that my enterprise is using.

To deliver the Enterprise-Defined Data Center, I need to expand my skills and toolsets to be a better intermediary in a multi-provider ecosystem. Being good at managing JUST my data center simply isn’t good enough.  But, understanding the cascade effects as parts and services change within the EDDC and how they impact service delivery will become a critical skill for many, and a marketable skill for all.

 The ideas for EDDC were developed as part of our research process at Gartner, and posited first by

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