Software-defined networking (SDN) has been a buzzword for some time, and now we're increasingly hearing about the virtues of the software-defined data centre (SDDC). However, the vast majority of businesses won't need to think about implementing an SDDC — that's what cloud providers are for.
When you hear "data centre", you typically think "big room with a white floor and lots of server cabinets". Shifting from that to thinking about an abstract set of software services takes some doing.
In a recent research note, Gartner analysts Dave Russell and Donna Scott point out that it's not a shift most organisations will need to make for a while:
Because the SDDC is in a very immature state, only visionary organizations with advanced I&O engineering and architecture skill sets, or companies with a very isolated use case will be implementing in the near term. Others that are interested in the outcomes of an SDDC will go to public cloud providers or on-premises managed private clouds to enable the benefits without having to implement it themselves.
That doesn't mean it's not a noteworthy trend: virtualisation has already altered the way typical data centres operate, and the shift to hybrid cloud accentuates that trend. But if your boss asks if you need to be considering implementing an SDDC, there's a good chance the answer is "not right now".