The Cloud Management layer of the Software Defined Data Center is where the flexibility of the SDDC is translated into tangible benefits for the business constituents of the virtualized data center, the private clouds, the hybrid clouds and the public clouds. Without a robust Cloud Management layer, the IT Operations flexibility of the SDDC cannot translate into the relevant level of Business Agility for the business.
At EMC World 2013, EMC announced ViPR as the answer to storage within the software defined data center. ViPR presents multiple types of storage while segmenting the control plane from the data plane. In addition, ViPR is a head end, fronting traditional storage arrays as an automation and control point and does not replace any array, but, possibly, makes it easier to use those arrays as we move to the software defined data center. Yet, ViPR also raises several questions about how storage will be accessed by the software defined data center, is ViPR the future or is there more to happen?
Tintri is now shipping version 2.0 of their array software, Tintri OS, which further automates administration of their arrays and adds ReplicateVM remote replication features. ReplicateVM is an incredibly flexible asynchronous, IP-based replication technology that operates per-VM, allowing each VM to have custom RPOs.
A VMware win against Microsoft simply requires VMware to turn the pricing tables on Microsoft, and to leverage its highly differentiating functionality in its Software Defined Data Center strategy. VMware could re-establish technical dominance in the data center virtualization space as early as the end of this year by leveraging its software defined networking, software defined storage, and management software assets.
The SDDC and the Cloud are going to require a new SDDC Management Stack that will need to be based upon a multi-vendor big data datastore. There will likely be on-premise and cloud hosted version of these datastores. Splunk, VMware, New Relic, The Pivotal Initiative, CloudPhysics, AppNeta, and Boundary are all excellent hypothetical suppliers of such a datastore.