Software-Defined Everything Offers Business Value

By Bob Violino Print this article Print
software-defined everything

One of the fast-growing trends in IT today is software-defined everything, technology that presents some compelling potential benefits for organizations.

The medical center had a number of IT projects that needed to scale over time, while delivering consistent performance to users from beginning to end. Openshaw states that the software-defined approach—specifically software-defined storage—will help achieve that.

For example, Yale New Haven launched a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) pilot that had to have a design that could go from 1,000 to 9,000 users over the next three years, at an undetermined rate. "Storage was the bottleneck," Openshaw says.

To address the challenge, the medical center deployed software-defined storage products from Nexenta Systems.

"Using a traditional model, we would be forced to purchase a great deal of storage resources that would not be consumed for some time," Openshaw says. "Nexenta's storage solutions enabled us to build modularly."

Currently, the pilot is supporting close to 2,000 concurrent-user VMware View virtual desktops, with capacity for failover.

The medical center is also implementing VMware's suite of software-defined data center products to help it deliver infrastructure as a service. Specifically, it is using the vendor's vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS) hybrid cloud, NSX virtual networking and vCenter Operations Manager for data center operations management.

Like other organizations that are moving to a software-defined approach to IT, Yale New Haven is finding that this strategy can redefine the way enterprises build their IT infrastructures.

"Software-defined solutions create efficiencies through proper utilization rates of the underlying hardware," Openshaw says. "The traditional model used in the past forced IT to build up silos that have the potential to become underutilized."

Additional benefits of the software-defined approach are that it is easier to deploy and manage systems and to migrate to the next generation of hardware, he adds.

"I think the writing is on the wall for an industry change in direction to the software-defined data center," Openshaw says. "The discussions of [this topic] between colleagues and peers within IT organizations across the country are becoming more and more frequent.

"It will not happen overnight, and it will take a good deal of planning and design. If you are not investigating technologies or building a [software-defined] strategy, the start time is now."

This article was originally published on 2014-08-01

Bob Violino, a Baseline contributing writer, is the editorial director at Victory Business Communications.

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