Recently, Gartner has identified Software Defined Infrastructure (SDI) among the top 10 industry trends that will be strategic for most organizations in 2014 and further. There are two simultaneous phenomena happening since last year or so. One is that enterprises are increasingly moving critical and performance sensitive applications to the cloud and the other is that many new mobile, social and analytics applications are directly getting developed on the cloud. This shifted the value proposition from cost reduction to time-to-value (agility) and optimization. SDI brings these capabilities together. According to Gartner, SDI enables the configuration and management of heterogeneous compute, storage, and network assets into an infrastructure environment that is flexible, resilient, responsive and optimized for workload demands. In addition to this, SDI incorporates initiatives like Open Standards, OpenStack, OpenFlow, etc. to enable more choice, to tap into a broad ecosystem of partner solutions, and to reduce business risk.
When it comes to IBM, we use a more global term – Software Defined Environments (SDE). IBM is well positioned to offer end-to-end SDE based on open standards and communities. With IBM’s Software Defined Environment, infrastructure is fully programmable to rapidly deploy workloads on optimal resources and to instantly respond to changing business demands. The Software Defined Networks (SDN), Software Defined Storage (SDS), and Software Defined Compute (SDC) are the major domains of IBM’s SDE evolution. SDN is disrupting traditional switch and router vendors by moving the network control plane away from the switch to the software for improved programmability, efficiency and extensibility. SDS is disrupting traditional storage providers by enabling developers to build their own control software to customize, optimize and integrate off-the-shelf storage components. SDC automatically selects the best system based on the attributes and capabilities needed for the computation. SDE will be highly configurable and fully programmable with the control of the hardware moving up from the firmware layer to the software layer to provide the benefits of agility and resiliency. Underlying all of this is the delivery of these capabilities through open standards and open source. To become effective in this new, data-driven world, organizations must move to this next generation of automation, one that understands the requirements of business applications, responds to those requirements in real time and is built on open standards – Software Defined Environment!
IBM Systems and Technology Group