Software-Defined Data Centers – Connecting the Dots

AvatarWritten by | NextGen Data Center

SDDC? SDN? NFV? NSX? OpenStack? What? If you haven’t heard these acronyms before now, then… welcome back from your vacation!

These acronyms stand for “software defined data center,” software defined networking,” and “network function virtualization.” But what are they exactly? And what is “NSX,” “OpenStack,” and “OpenDaylight”?

Software-Defined Data Center Defined

An SDDC is a virtualized IT environment where all elements of the infrastructure – networking, storage, compute, and security – are virtualized and delivered as IT as a service.  The control and management functions are completely handled in software, with the physical parts and pieces.

SDDC has shown strong market growth. In fact, IDC has stated that this part of the storage market will grow faster than any other part of the file-based or object-based storage market. In addition, VMware has made significant inroads with their NSX product and estimates an SDDC market size north of $40 billion (yes, with a B).

SDDCs Are Here to Stay

Arrow, too, knows that SDDCs are here to stay and expanding rapidly. Arrow’s supplier partners know it, too. That’s why they are developing more and more products to satisfy the IT industry’s ever-growing needs.

What makes SDDC so attractive? A fully realized SDDC allows for compute, storage, networking and security to be fully controlled from software, which automates:

  • Virtual machine provisioning
  • Storage pool management (flash vs. SCSI vs. SATA depending on workload, if you wish!)
  • Network creation
  • VLAN creation
  • Micro-segmentation/internal firewalling
  • Security policies that follow workloads no matter where they live
  • Consistent networking rules
  • Rapid provision and movement of workloads

In many cases, provisioning a Windows server can now be accomplished in literally MINUTES! While server virtualization drastically reduced the time to start up a lone server, SDDC and SDN allow for the entire operation – including storage provisioning and networking – to be done concurrently.
Training, obviously, becomes a critical piece here – storage, networking and server administrators now have an opportunity to become true “data center ninjas.”

A Closer Look at OpenStack and NSX

OpenStack has been in the news lately; and Arrow is the only distributor on the OpenStack Foundation. Using nearly any mix of hardware, OpenStack allows for massive scale, rapid provisioning, and is built on proven Open Source foundations. Many carrier-scale networks are using OpenStack, and integrating tools from Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks, and other enterprise-level toolsets. In addition, HPE, Dell Technologies and many of our hardware providers have their own OpenStack distributions.
VMware NSX is the networking virtualization software from VMware that installs on existing vSphere (and some other hypervisor) installations. NSX allows for numerous integrations; for example, Brocade’s VDX switches can be fully controlled by the NSX controller.

Both NSX and OpenStack can connect to many existing storage arrays, switches, and compute resources, so your customers can start a planned migration to a full SDDC vs. a “forklift upgrade.” This has been very attractive to many customers who want to explore SDDC in a DevOps-style scenario, or a “test/production” type scenario.

For full production environments, keep in mind that many of our suppliers have “turn-key,” fully supported and validated solutions for SDDC and SDN – so be aware of them and remember that sometimes “buying is better than building.”

Software Defined Products in Arrow’s Solutions Lab

To support our reseller partners, Arrow is rapidly integrating software defined products into our Solutions Lab, which will in turn provide optimum sales and demo opportunities for our partners – all free of cost!

  • VMware NSX – Arrow features VMWare NSX in our Solutions Lab as a core piece of our SDDC strategy.  We are also integrating other key suppliers into the NSX platform, including deep API-level “service insertions” from Palo Alto Networks, Brocade, Riverbed, Ixia, Trend Micro, Fortinet, and Gigamon.  In addition, we can support integration with OpenStack, KVM, and other hypervisors.  Contact Davitt Potter for assistance.
  • ScaleIO by EMC – ScaleIO provides capacity and compute scale-out from three servers to over 1,000. You also get seamless storage scale-out when application servers are added. Flexible deployment handles whatever you have, from multiple servers, configurations, and OS, to media types, with the option to go hyper-converged. You can add, subtract, or move resources on the fly. And the downtime? Zero. You get enterprise features that include multi-tenant capabilities, QoS, snapshots and thin provisioning. Contact Adam Catbagan for assistance.
  • EMC ViPR Controller – ViPR offers storage automation software that centralizes and transforms multi-vendor storage into a simple and extensible platform. It also performs infrastructure provisioning on VCE Vblock Systems. EMC ViPR SRM is storage resource management software that enables IT to visualize storage relationships, analyze configurations and capacity growth, and optimize resources to improve return on investment in traditional and software defined storage environments. Contact Adam Catbagan for assistance.
  • Nutanix – Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform leverages state-of-the art Intel x86-based servers and hyper-convergence to natively integrate compute, storage and virtualization in scale-out clusters. This solution replaces the silos of servers and storage along with the need for separate management tools and processes. Contact Katie Ann Lancaster for assistance.
  • Riverbed SteelFusion – Riverbed SteelFusion includes patented technology that delivers a modern, cloud-like experience to IT organizations managing increasingly complex, mission-critical branch office locations. SteelFusion is the first and only software defined Edge (SD-Edge) solution that delivers local performance while enabling data convergence, instant provisioning/recovery and lower TCO for distributed organizations. Contact Adam Catbagan for assistance.
  • IsilonSD Edge – IsilonSD Edge extends the data lake to the enterprise edge locations, allowing you to consolidate, simplify management and protect unstructured data used to support a wide range of workloads. Contact Adam Catbagan for assistance.

Contact Us

Not sure how SDDCs apply to you and your customers (trust me – it does…)? Then please contact your Arrow representative to take a test drive on Arrow’s software defined products currently available. Contact us today!


Last modified: August 12, 2019