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Composable infrastructure creates new path to SDDC nirvana

WWT Practice Director of Cloud and Automation Jason Campagna discusses how composable infrastructure is helping organizations on the path to SDDC.

Posted by TechTarget on November 16, 2017:

Virtualization changed the data center when hypervisors and virtual machines abstracted the underlying hardware. Now, it's microservices and containers pushing a different abstraction paradigm: products that pool and more easily provision data center resources.

A variety of new companies are cropping up, all with the promise of achieving this goal -- but in very different ways. The so-called data center operating system, composable infrastructure and on-premises cloud platforms each offer a new route to the perceived software-defined nirvana.

But the definition of the software-defined data center (SDDC) remains hazy at best.

For years, VMware touted the concept of the SDDC in an attempt to push products such as vRealize and vSphere. But VMware struggled to explain just what it meant when it talked about SDDC, said Mike Matchett, an analyst at Taneja Group.

"It was a vision of saying, 'Well, as our hypervisor evolves, it would come to support more things to encompass the whole data center,'" he said. "That's a corporate land grab."

With a true SDDC, IT departments can reduce their data center to sets of files, Matchett said. Then, IT can take a snapshot that can be reproduced and sent to a service provider. This flexibility allows IT to more easily provision new workloads and quickly respond to business demands.

"From that file, [a service provider] can spin up and provision everything that I have -- from the networking to the firewall to the servers and storage devices -- and create that virtually for me," Matchett said.

Like software-defined resources, composable infrastructure gives organizations more flexibility over the deployment and configuration of data center resources, he said.

While both help further de-emphasize physical servers, they are separate concepts.
Composable infrastructure is a framework that enables a physical set of resources to be delivered as services, said Jason Campagna, practice director of cloud and automation at World Wide Technology, a technology service provider based in Maryland Heights, Mo.

"[Composable infrastructure] is more of an underlying efficiency play related to software-defined. You can't really compare them directly," Campagna said.

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