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It's important to have options when choosing infrastructure technologies. More options mean more control, right?

Not always

Let's step away from IT for a moment and imagine you're building a house. The builder offers a pre-selected package that includes flooring, cabinets, countertops and doors. You can either choose the package deal in which the builder installs everything, or you can hire individual contractors to provide each item. You like the pre-selected package, but the flooring isn't your favorite. On the other hand, you've found four contractors that have the exact finishes you're wanting for each item, but it's more expensive, requires longer installation timelines and there's a chance the product dimensions won't fit the builder's floorplan. 

Which option do you choose? 

While it's tempting to hire multiple contractors to completely customize your house, there's a lot of risk involved. The safer bet -- and more streamlined option -- is the pre-selected package that guarantees your house will be completed on time, within budget and sized to the correct dimensions. You can live with the floors; they can be replaced later.

The same concept can be applied to building a software-defined data center (SDDC). When implementing SDDC, many organizations hesitate to take a single-vendor approach due to fear of vendor lock-in. Vendor lock-in can occur when a customer exclusively depends on one vendor for products or services, making them unable to use another vendor without significant switching costs. While the concern around vendor lock-in is valid and should generally be avoided, SDDC is an exception to this rule. 

Whereas legacy data centers are built with a focus on the bottom hardware layer, SDDC builds center around the software layer. It's important that organizations carefully select the right software platform first. To determine which platform is right for you, WWT can help compare solutions and evaluate product roadmaps to determine which vendor meets most, if not all, of your needs. 

After selecting a software platform, organizations can then choose all other infrastructure components -- hardware, storage, network, compute, etc. -- based off that platform and vendor. Mixing and matching vendor technologies might sound like a good approach to achieve an optimal SDDC environment, but it can cause more harm than good with connectivity issues and complicated integrations. 

An example of a single-vendor approach is VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) on VxRail, a jointly engineered solution between Dell and VMware. VMware Cloud Foundation, which consists of vSphere, vSAN and NSX, provides the abstraction layer for physical infrastructure. 

Like choosing the builder's pre-selected package in the house example, there are several advantages to implementing a single-vendor approach like VCF on VxRail for your SDDC. 

Minimal support needed

VCF on VxRail includes full stack integration, delivering streamlined operations of the entire SDDC from Day 0 through Day 2. Additionally, VxRail Manager and SDDC Manager are integrated to provide automated updates using native VxRail Manager APIs orchestrated by SDDC Manager. The unique feature integrations of VCF on VxRail make it easier for organizations to support and maintain the solution with limited interaction throughout its lifecycle. 

Faster time to ROI 

With minimal support needed to implement VCF on VxRail, the solution can be deployed faster than a multi-vendor approach, shortening your time to ROI. For example, let's say your organization predicts a two-year ROI on SDDC, but deployment takes 18 months for a multi-vendor approach because of time-consuming integrations. If choosing a multi-vendor solution is going to nearly double your time to ROI, it's worth reconsidering whether that solution is worth purchasing in the first place. Choosing an SDDC solution that allows for rapid deployment is key to achieving financial goals.

No surprises 

Mixing and matching vendor technologies in SDDC can lead to false expectations and unpleasant surprises. Many organizations try to piecemeal together technology components from disparate vendors without any prior testing, only to discover the outcome they were hoping for isn't possible. By implementing a single-vendor approach, there are no surprises as the vendor can demonstrate how each of the components work together and set clear expectations on what the solution can and cannot do. WWT can help organizations test specific solutions and provide proofs of concept (POCs) in our Advanced Technology Center (ATC) to ensure complete confidence prior to implementation. 

Determine the right SDDC solution for you

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing an SDDC software platform. Our experts take an unbiased approach to helping organizations compare vendors and select the best solution to achieve their business outcomes. 

Interested in learning more about VCF? Request our VMware Cloud Foundation Briefing to discuss the capabilities and components of VMware's SDDC portfolio with our experts and determine if VCF is right for you. For a more comprehensive evaluation of SDDC solutions, don't miss our SDDC Workshop

TEC37 E09: Why Vendor Lock-in is the Best Strategy for SDDC