I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend PuppetConf 2013. When I walked into the first keynote session, I was shocked by the size of the audience. Over 1300 people were packed into the ballroom. Another 3700 had signed up to watch the event streaming online. Last year there were 800 people at the conference and only 300 the year before. Obviously, both Puppet and DevOps are hot topics these days.
I was going to write about how building a cloud is similar to moving, but the more I think about it, the more I think people are confusing an automated virtual environment with a cloud: IT as a Service is not just about cloud. Having automation does not imply your virtual environment is a cloud or visa versa. Granted, using IT as a Service is important for a cloud if you look at the NIST definition of a cloud, but it is not necessary for a cloud. Perhaps IT as a Service is just a stepping stone towards a cloud, perhaps it should start as a data center play?
As I shoveled even more snow, I was starting to think about automation, as in how could I get something to shovel the snow for me, which lead to thinking about automation within the cloud. I see lots of discussion about automation in the cloud. Many of my friends and colleagues are developing code using Puppet, Chef, vCenter Orchestrator, etc. This development is about producing the software defined datacenter (SDDC). However, I see very little in the way of security automation associated with SDDC.
VMware purchased Nicira, backed the Openflow Community, and is now touting software defined data centers (SDDC). But what is a software defined datacenter? Is it just virtualization or cloud with a software defined network? Or is it something more than that? Given heavy automation and scripting of most clouds, do we not already have SDDC? If not where are we going with this concept? What does SDN add to the mix?