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Analyst: Future Datacenters Will Be Software-Defined, but Take It Slow

Beyond mere software-defined networking (SDN), the future of the enterprise datacenter itself will be defined by total infrastructure virtualization, research firm Gartner Inc. said today. But for now, only advanced companies with the prerequisite vision and expertise should try to get a jump on that future.

Those insights came as Gartner teased a research note, "Should Your Enterprise Deploy a Software-Defined Data Center?" and upcoming presentations in Europe and the U.S. for "infrastructure and operations" (I&O) execs.

The software-defined datacenter (SDDC) virtualizes all infrastructure and delivers it as a service, a complicated task most companies are not quite ready for, according to Gartner.

"I&O leaders need to understand the business case, best use cases and risks of an SDDC," said analyst Dave Russell in a statement. "Due to its current immaturity, the SDDC is most appropriate for visionary organizations with advanced expertise in I&O engineering and architecture."

That will change in about five years, though, Gartner said, predicting that "the programmatic capabilities of an SDDC will be considered a requirement for 75 percent of Global 2000 enterprises that seek to implement a DevOps approach and a hybrid cloud model."

Enterprises should do a realistic risk/benefit study of SDDC implementations and be prepared for failure, by assessing their available skill sets and company culture; judging the correct time to undertake such a modernization; and guarding against vendor lock-in.

"I&O leaders can't just buy a ready-made SDDC from a vendor," Russell said. "First, they need to understand why they need it for the business. Second, they need to deploy, orchestrate and integrate numerous parts, probably from different vendors."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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