January 25, 2023

3 min

5 Benefits of Transitioning to SDDC

From automation to security, a software-defined data center can help organizations achieve IT benefits that help meet business goals.

Rick McGee

Traditional three-tier data center architecture, with separate infrastructure for networking, processing and storage, remains very much the norm. But for organizations looking to modernize their legacy data center infrastructure, a transition to a software-defined data center (SDDC) can unlock a number of important benefits.

Automation Can Add Speed and Reliability to the Data Center

Most legacy data centers rely heavily on manual processes that can be inefficient and prone to error. By contrast, an SDDC approach promotes automation and orchestration in the data center. This can speed up IT processes and make tasks more reliable and predictable.

How to Add Scalability and Agility to Data Storage

In a spine-leaf networking architecture, SDDC can increase the bandwidth available between the leaf and spine, allowing organizations to add more switching capability. This improves performance, redundancy and availability. Software-defined storage is also extremely scalable, allowing organizations to quickly pivot and expand capacity to support new workflows.

How to Improve Data Management and Increase Visibility

Historically, data center administrators have managed their networks, servers and storage separately from one another. In a SDDC, management is abstracted and centralized, giving IT professionals greater visibility into their data centers. Rather than making changes and pushing them out to individual devices, data center administrators can make changes centrally and implement them across their entire environments. 

SDDC solutions vary, but the new environment will typically feature a centralized dashboard. This makes it simple and intuitive for IT professionals to monitor and track important health and performance metrics across all aspects of the data center.

What Is Multitenancy, and How Can It Improve Security?

The micro-segmentation and multitenancy made possible by SDDC boost security in important ways. Being something of a geek, I like to explain multitenancy by imagining that Marvel Comics and DC Comics are both customers sharing a corporate datacenter. Multitenancy means that these rivals will have their own separate networks, and one tenant won’t have any visibility into what the other is doing.

An organization need not serve two dueling pop-culture superpowers to take advantage of multitenancy, though. For instance, a school district with a dozen different sites might make each of its schools a separate tenant. Organizations can also leverage multitenancy to create separate testing and development networks that won’t interfere with their production networks.

Hybrid and Multicloud Strategies Offer Many Benefits

According to some estimates, more than 90 percent of organizations already employ a multicloud strategy that leverages resources from more than one public cloud provider. Many of these organization also use a hybrid cloud model that integrates their on-premises private clouds with resources from public cloud hyperscalers. 

With SDDC solutions, organizations can easily connect each of their public clouds to their on-premises networks. Whether an organization has resources in Azure, Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud Platform (or all three), they can tie these investments into their data centers.

One reason organizations may delay a transition to an SDDC model is that business and IT leaders simply don’t know where to start. That’s why CDW offers several services to help organizations assess their environments, plan out their new architectures and ultimately implement SDDC solutions. These range from no-cost presale engagements to full deployment. The result: Organizations can transition to a tailored set of solutions that meet their IT needs to help achieve all of the benefits SDDC has to offer.

Story by Rick McGee, a principal field solution architect at CDW. He specializes in Cisco ACI and VMware NSX environments, enterprise networking architecture with Cisco architecture and network analytics tools including Cisco Secure Workload and VMware Network Insight. He is also a facilitator, trainer and public speaker.