Traditional Datacentres vs Modern datacentres

A key difference between traditional datacentres and Software-Defined Data Centres (SDDCs) is where the intelligence lies. That difference has significant implications for both the capabilities of the datacentre and its administration.

In traditional datacentres, the intelligence is in the hardware – diverse, poorly integrated, specialised devices, each with its own management system and administration needs.

In an SDDC, the intelligence is in the software layer, eliminating dependency on specialised server, storage or network hardware. It provides significantly improved flexibility, the opportunity to use policy-driven automation, and the ability to migrate workloads between datacentres and the cloud.

Network and Security – the Final Barrier

Significant progress has been made in compute, storage and applications virtualisation. However, virtualisation has yet to make its mark in the networking and security arenas.

The network, still inflexible, complex and proprietary, is typically the final remaining barrier to the realisation of the SDDC’s full potential. Challenges remain in terms of network complexity, slow and error-prone manual configuration processes, spiralling, CAPEX-heavy costs and limited resistance to cyber attacks.

These challenges in networking and security are unavoidable, and, because virtual machines rely every bit as much as physical devices on the networks and security devices they are connected to, restrict the potential advantages of compute, storage and applications virtualisation.

A Better Model

It’s no surprise that many IT organisations and CIOs are looking for a better model. The answer, as it was with compute, storage and applications, is virtualisation – a Software-Defined Network (SDN) abstracting the intelligence of network services, traditionally residing in the hardware, and moving it into software, with the hardware providing a simple IP packet-forwarding service.

This eliminates the obstacles and challenges posed by traditional networks, accelerates and simplifies transport capacity and supports the adoption of a transformative model with the agility demanded by today’s business needs.

Stability, Management, and Governance

The underlying network hardware, no longer subject to manual reconfiguration, becomes more stable and reliable, and IT can finally achieve the operational model of the virtual machine for the entire datacentre. They can now create, snapshot, store, move, delete and restore entire application environments just as they do virtual machines.

With hybrid cloud solutions growing in popularity, organisations are looking to SDN and network virtualisation to help them govern and manage where data sits, and how it is consumed.

NSX – a Quicker Path to the SDDC

The VMware NSX® network virtualisation platform, an overlay technology running on existing network infrastructure, offers a quicker path to the implementation of SDN and the agility, efficiency and security of the SDDC.

A hypervisor-based distributed networking and security services platform, it faithfully reproduces network and security services in software. Through its distributed architecture, it facilitates scaling out and adding additional performance to network and security services.

Security and Disaster Recovery

It enables the implementation of a high-performance, distributed firewall around each virtual machine, managed centrally. It supports the creation of virtual networks over any physical network, and the extension of L2 networks over L3, for disaster recovery and application continuity.

Just as a server hypervisor enables the creation of software virtual machines, so NSX enables the creation of software virtual networks, or even entire datacentres, which can be created, saved, deleted and restored. It delivers flexibility, agility and security at levels previously completely impossible.

NSX Innovations

Innovative enterprises are already exploiting NSX in ways which are impossible with traditional network infrastructures. They are architecting security as an integral part of datacentre infrastructure though micro-segmentation – enabling security controls at each virtual machine’s network card.

They are employing automation to accelerate IT delivery, allowing entire application environments to be delivered in seconds, instead of weeks. They are supporting application continuity and disaster recovery by enabling applications and data to reside and be accessible anywhere, allowing the replication of complete network and security infrastructures at recovery sites.

Others are looking at using NSX to build virtual desktop infrastructures, and VMware themselves have launched their Virtual Cloud Network, Virtual Cloud Network, a ubiquitous software layer from datacentre to cloud to edge infrastructure, built on NSX. It provides a secure, consistent foundation that drives your business forward.

Find Out More

In any datacentre modernisation project, securing a clear picture of where you are and what you need to do to get to where you need to be is your essential first step. Find out where you stand with our  Datacentre Maturity Assessment  – and get three key recommendations for your next steps.