Come on, let’s get real here. The software-defined data center may become the norm in two years in the gilded cages of Silicon Valley, North Carolina’s Research Triangle, and the other “centers of excellence” out there. But in the real world—you know, the one where companies are still using NT4 servers to deliver real and useful work—surely this is not the case.

What we are talking about here is marketecture, right? Now, before you shut off, thinking this is just another of Tom’s rant posts, let me get out my thought process. A couple of years ago, a very good friend of mine posted “Cloud and the Three IT Geographies (Silicon Valley, US and Rest of the World).” He started his post with the following sentence:

In the last 3 years I spent most of my time advocating that the cloud world is marching at a (very) different pace based on where you are and who you are.

What prompted this post? Well, mainly this wonderful little gem from EMC World. It appears that in two years, everybody will use an SDDC. To be fair, it is only the title that states that “in two years, software defined datacentres will be the norm,” and then the article goes on to morph into a hybrid cloud debate. What is interesting is that the above comment is not from Silicon Valley players or even a Fortune 500 or FTSE 100 company, but rather from a UK-based charity (that said, Cancer Research UK is quite a large charity). Charities are not your normal spokespersons for the SDDC, and this  represents a step change in the conversation. The SDDC is no longer just vendor vapourware; it is actual customers, and not just the massive ones with money to burn, who are looking properly at the cloud and the SDDC.

There are still a lot of questions to be answered regarding the SDDC vision; however, it is slowly starting to coalesce. Questions surrounding orchestration, management, and federation have not yet been fully finalised, but these are icing on the cake. I agree with Edward that the SDDC is more a mindset than a product. There are many roads to Damascus—many competing technologies to win hearts and minds—but the vision is clear, and more importantly, end users and enterprises are finally understanding it at a low enough level to make coherent purchasing decisions and to formulate business strategy regarding their journey toward it. Personally, I do think that two years is too soon for the SDDC to become the norm in the data centers themselves. However, if you, as a C-level, are not thinking about it yet, by the time those two years are up you should have formulated your strategy and your path to execution.

Yes, we still have a long way to travel, but we are no longer on the Oregon Trail here, and I think the road has just been laid with tarmac or, at the least, cobblestone. So hop on the bus; it is now safe, and the bandits and varmints are all gone.

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Tom Howarth (62 Posts)

Tom Howarth is an IT Veteran of over 20 years experience and is the owner of PlanetVM.Net Ltd, Tom is a moderator of the VMware Communities forum. He is a contributing author on VMware vSphere(TM) and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing ESX and the Virtual Environment, and the forthcoming vSphere a Quick Guide. He regularly does huge virtualization projects for enterprises in the U.K. and elsewhere in EMEA. Tom was Elected vExpert for 2009 and each subsequent year thereafter.

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