Are software-defined data centers a cure-all for it complexity?
IT complexity is inevitable in the modern data center, with many IT professionals basing their careers on managing complex silos by specializing in certain areas of the IT stack (e.g., backup administrator, storage administrator). Today, many vendors and analysts are touting the advantages of simplification; however, the reality for the IT industry is that IT is on a never-ending quest to hide complexity either through processes or new technology. The problem is as soon as one part of the environment is simplified, complexity just creeps in elsewhere. According to blogger Keith Townsend, complexity drives IT professionals to have to, “abstract away the abstraction, so that we normalize it.”
Will the industry ever find a “cure-all” to solve complexity? Maybe not, but the right approach may bring us closer to an answer. Many people believe this approach will be “software-defined.” Software-defined technologies offer many typical capabilities that make IT infrastructure simpler, including policy-based management, stretched networks for disaster recovery and workload mobility and abstraction of management across data centers. As a whole, though, software-defined technologies are not always simple to implement or support.
When software-defined technologies are delivered in a software-only model, the complexity tends to be high. For the vendor, development and support teams must consider all the permutations of hardware and software that their customers might have in their data centers. The IT staff are then responsible for the integration of all the hardware and software components within their unique data center, along with the maintenance of all the cross-system interactions. These factors must be dealt with in the field with whichever permutations apply to each environment.
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via the fine folks at HP Enterprise.