What Is Software-Defined?

Leon BalarinWritten by | Cloud, NextGen Data Center

We hear a lot about “software-defined” today, but what is software-defined? Is it just a trending marketing phrase, or does it have clear and substantive business benefits?
The best way to understand the meaning of “software-defined” is to think about it in the context of a data center. According to TechTarget, a software-defined data center is a data center in which all elements of the infrastructure — networking, storage, CPU and security — are virtualized and delivered as a service (public or private cloud). Deployment, provisioning, configuration and operation of the entire infrastructure is abstracted from hardware and implemented through software.
“In the traditional data center of the past, IT departments were divided into servers, storage, networking and security functions,” says Adam Catbagan, Arrow Sr. Systems Engineering Manager. “It was a very layered administrative process to deploy an application, and it could take days or weeks.”
Today’s IT departments are expected to be agile and efficient while operational costs are scrutinized and budgets are tightly capped. Virtualization and increasing software-defined resources are helping IT to save costs, become more flexible and to better meet business requirements in a timely manner.
“Previously, to deploy an application, a person would need to go to separate server, storage and networking staff,” says Catbagan. “We are making progress with software-defined capabilities, because now one person can deploy the entire application in a few minutes or hours instead of days or weeks. Soon, the same ease of management will apply to the storage, networking and security layers as well — changing the IT landscape.”
Adam Catbagan Software Defined
Arrow partners are in a unique position to take a lead consultative approach with their end-user customers and show them the way to improving their IT organizations. Instead of relying on selling hardware to customers to meet revenue goals, partners should be capitalizing on software-defined resources to start selling services that maximize the end-user investment in hardware.

Consider these facts:

Arrow can help partners evolve from a physical to a virtual practice. With teams of experienced engineers, a robust Value-Add Center, and a top-notch Solutions Lab, Arrow has made a significant investment to help partners transition to a virtual practice. If you would like further information about how Arrow can help you learn more about software-defined resources, please contact your Arrow representative.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally posted in November 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Last modified: November 6, 2019