I was on the VMTN podcast this week with Frank Denneman and Rawlinson Rivera, hosted by John Troyer. One of the discussions we had was around the Software Defined Datacenter and the vCloud Suite. Often people make a direct connection between a Software Defined Datacenter and the vCloud Suite and I can understand why. I have heard some people comment that because some components are not fully integrated yet; the vCloud Suite does not allow you to build a full Software Defined Datacenter.
On the call I mentioned that a Software Defined Datacenter is not just about the vCloud Suite. Using the vCloud Suite does not magically provide you with a Software Defined Datacenter. I guess the same could be said for a cloud, using the vCloud Suite does not magically provide you with a cloud.
What a lot of people tend to forgot is that a cloud or an SDDC is not about the infrastructure or the individual components. (Lets from now on use SDDC instead of the full name or the word cloud) An SDDC is about how you are providing services to your customers. In this case, customers could be external / internal customers of course. An SDDC is about software defined services, about flexibility and agility. What does that mean? There are two points of view, the consumer of the platform and the platform administrator. Lets explain from both views what is means, or at least what I think it means…
- The consumer of the platform
The consumer should be able to select a specific service level for their workload, or select a specific service for their workload. When they they select a service or service level the platform should sort things out for them fully automated, whether it is DR / Backup / Resources / Storage Tiering / Security… it should be automatically applied to the workload when either of those software defined service characteristics are selected and applied.
- The platform administrator
The platform administrator should be able to define services and policies which can be consumed. These services or policies could be as simple as “enabling vSphere Replication” on a virtual machine, or as complex as deploying a 3 tier vApp including a full application stack and security services using vCloud Automation Center in combination with Application Director and vCloud Networking and Security.
In some cases that means you will need to deploy the full vCloud Suite and potentially more, in other cases it might mean you will deploy less but use 3rd party solutions to provide a fully automated solution stack and experience to your consumers . In the end it is about having the ability to define and offer services in a specific way and enabling your customers to consume these in a specific way.
Although the SDDC could be architected and build using the vCloud Suite, using the vCloud Suite does not automagically provide you with an SDDC. An SDDC is about your operating model and service offering, not about the components you are using.
Feel free to chip in,
Bilal Hashmi says
I agree! Though vCloud will certainly help most customers get started on the route to a SDDC, it certainly doesn’t mean they have reached the end. I think this is somewhat similar to the time when vSphere 4 came out and was marketed for being “cloud computing” ready. I remember a few people back then assumed they were running a cloud because they were now in vSphere 4. …. Ahhhh Cloud.. will you ever take a shape and stay that way!!.. Great times to be in IT for sure… continuous evolution and improvement so rapidly…
Marco Broeken says
Found the recording here: http://recordings.talkshoe.com/TC-19367/TS-715088.mp3
In my opinion “Cloud” is short for “Cloud service”. The word service is the key here. What we are trying to do with Cloud Services is, in my view, building a sales model where we sell a service instead of selling a combination of professional consulting/hw/sw that would be acquired by a customer and deployed at his site. Virtualization made this possible thanks to a great deal of automation possibilities (built-in the solution or developed as necessary), vCloud Suite made it simpler. If you can define in software what once used to be sold “physically” as described above then you can deliver a Cloud Service.
In short, if you made the above possible, you have a Cloud. But we are trying to have a Cloud Service to sell, that’s where the focus should be; having a Cloud is just happening in the process.
Sunny Dua says
Well said Duncan 🙂
Software Defined Data-center is an enabler for Cloud Computing… Cloud computing is never a combination of products, software or hardware, hence no vendor today can sell you the cloud. Cloud is a concept or a way to compute and one has to adopt the concepts and practices rather than buying products.
Now coming to Software Defined Data-Center, IMHO, VMware has done a tremendous job to provide you tools which are smart enough to drive you towards the concept of cloud. It is a Jumpstart which no one else provides you today. With the vCloud Suite, VMware ensured that this Jumpstart is a smooth ride by bringing in more automation, control and manageability into your cloud.
I wrote about the vCloud Suite and its impact on the Software Defined Datacenter & Cloud a couple of months of back. For those who are interested can read here – VMware vCloud Suite makes Software Defined Data-centers a Reality!! – http://vxpresss.blogspot.in/2012/10/vmware-vcloud-suite-makes-software.html
Martin Banda says
Totally agree and in my experience when to correctly position a product or communicate the vision correctly that is when you get correct sustainable buy in.
Greg Herzog says
Excellent post Duncan as always, although I think you might want to adjust your title. It says that the vCloud Suite equals the SDDC and then the article basically makes the case that it’s not necessarily so.
Duncan Epping says
That was the whole point of using that title 🙂
Greg Herzog says
Gotcha 🙂 Sometimes I’m much too literal.
Brian Suhr says
Very well said. This is a topic that comes up with almost each customer project and getting sales to message this properly.