A software-defined data center (SDDC) functions like a traditional data center, except parts of the infrastructure get delivered virtually as a service and separate from physical hardware.
Taking this approach allows greater flexibility by letting people devote compute resources to particular workloads as needed. IT teams have more flexibility over server utilization, storage capacity, and networking choices.
See below for five case studies on how organizations in different industries are using SDDC technology:
See more: The Best Data Center Companies
Işbank is a banking brand in the Turkish market, and it has a pioneering history. The company has millions of digital customers, including many who are active users of the company’s mobile app.
Decision-makers realized that the company’s data center operations were becoming increasingly complex. They sought to simplify them with automation and software-defined options. Moreover, the bank’s data centers increasingly used microservices software architectures, and leaders wanted to invest in technical features to support that change.
They chose Huawei’s Agile Controller SDN to support that need. One of the immediate benefits was the faster deployment of the data center’s resources. IT team members could determine the requirements needed for data center assets in advance, improving their visibility during decision-making.
The solution also allowed for faster troubleshooting of identified problems, since IT professionals had better networking visibility.
Murat Dereli, Işbank IT unit manager and head of network infrastructure and security, says why the company went with Huawei to make its data center ready for the future.
“Huawei’s approach has always been very positive, professional, and solution-oriented,” says Dereli.
“In an industry where the regulations and requirements keep changing constantly, we needed an agile and tailored-service support, and we could get it from Huawei.”
Industry: Financial services
SDDC product: Huawei Agile Controller SDN
Outcomes: Işbank achieved better network management through improved visibility and faster problem resolution.
2. Netherlands Cancer Institute
The Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) has stayed dedicated to its goal of defeating cancer for more than 100 years.
Leaders recently realized remaining committed to that mission meant upgrading their IT infrastructure.
Roel Sijstermans, the head of IT at NKI, says there are complications in meeting compute needs in a facility that handles both patient care and research.
“Researchers needed a safe yet flexible environment that allowed them to install new applications and analyze extremely large datasets,” Sijstermans says. “They also needed the freedom to securely share their data with researchers across the globe.
“In contrast, clinicians needed a standardized platform that they could access anytime, anywhere, which kept patient data safe and secure.”
Sijstermans also says that NKI created an IT road map previously to shape their digital transformation.
“To provide the best user experience, it needed to be fast, simple, secure, and flexible,” Sijstermans says. “So our plan included a high-speed network, a software-defined data center, and upgraded firewalling. To ensure it never went down, it needed 100% redundancy.”
The cloud’s service-based model gives access to individualized and optimized services. A software-defined data center can offer similar outcomes.
NKI’s decision-makers chose several VMware and NVIDIA products to bring their vision to life. They received several results, such as the software-defined data center significantly accelerates innovation timeframes.
“NKI has very short lines between our research laboratories and clinics, so we can innovate quickly,” Sijstermans sayd. “In the past, our researchers would send images to our bioimaging facility for analysis, and it would take a week to get results. With our new infrastructure, images are sent in the evening, and by the next morning, the analyzers are done.”
The setup also allowed automating the repurposing of data center compute resources, which lowered the total cost of ownership (TCO).
SDDC products: VMware Workspace ONE, VMware Horizon 7, NVIDIA Quadro Virtual
Data Center Workstation (Quadro vDWS), NVIDIA GRIDVirtual PC (GRID vPC, HPE DL380 Gen10 server, and NVIDIA T4 GPU
Outcomes: NKI improved around-the-clock use of servers, created a future-proofed system, better infrastructural resilience, and faster processes.
3. Nýherji Iceland
Nýherji Iceland is one of the largest IT service providers in Iceland. The core of its business involves offering IT-as-a-service solutions. That often means giving customers a power-efficient IT infrastructure, either on-site or at the Nýherji data center.
The company can build software-defined data centers to meet client needs too. However, its network did not allow the fast provisioning the company required. That’s why part of the business plans involved software-defined networking.
“We can create a software-defined data center where we can bring up a new machine in minutes rather than days or weeks,” says Guðmundur Arnar Sigmundsson, manager of network solutions, Nýherji Iceland.
“We needed to build a network that could match that level of speed, control, and flexibility.”
The company chose numerous technology products from Juniper Networks to meet its goals.
“The virtualized architecture of our Juniper switching platforms running over a standard Linux KVM hypervisor means the network operating system operates independent of the hardware, making it more robust and scalable,” Sigmundsson says. “We think of ourselves as a reference for our own customers, and now we can show the market how to build open, high-performance, and software-defined networks.”
The company also has upcoming plans for a software-defined data center.
“Juniper’s open network architecture, integrated with VMware’s NSX, will enable a software-defined network that we can orchestrate in conjunction with the software-defined data center,” says Larus Hjartarson, a VMware-certified designer, Nýherji.
“SDN will allow us to bring a new generation of VMware-based cloud services to the market in Iceland, reduce our operational costs with network automation, and pass on that business value to our customers.”
Industry: Information technology
SDDC products: Juniper Networks’ MetaFabric architecture with an MX104 3D Universal Edge Router, QFX5100 line of switches and MX240 3D Universal Edge Router, and VMware NSX
Outcomes: Nýherji Iceland reduced operational workload, accelerated provisioning of compute resources, and lowered operating costs.
BCX has helped South Africa create a more up-to-date and democratic society by bringing connectivity everywhere, from polling stations to hospitals.
Company leaders faced a challenge when realizing it was time to enhance the company’s eight data centers.
“Many organizations are looking to put their workloads in the cloud, but they need help with management, access, and security,” says Mervyn Goliath, managing executive for data networks. BCX.
“We’re delivering end-to-end software-defined networking (SDN) as the foundation for next-generation technologies, and we’re doing it at an unprecedented scale in the EMEA region.”
BCX deployed several Cisco products to get their aging data center infrastructure up to speed.
“Cisco ACI and Cisco HyperFlex give us visibility, policy consistency, and assurance that can be extended across SD-Access, SD-WAN, and public cloud domains,” Goliath says. “We’re using them to drive new business value and deliver new capabilities for our customers.”
He also says how the company’s top tech experts can now work without staying tied to infrastructure. Instead, they benefit from policy-based, software-defined automation opportunities.
“We’ve been able to transition our expert-level technologists into new value-added roles,” Goliath says. “Instead of managing hardware, they’re working on digital transformation projects and increasing the level of technical knowledge and engagement we bring to our customers.”
Industry: Information and communications technology
SDDC products: Cisco HyperFlex Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI), Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure, and Cisco Secure Workload
Outcomes: BCX achieved a 300%-500% acceleration in customer workload performance, a 60%-70% increase in IT operations efficiency, and a modernized data center footprint.
5. JE Dunn
JE Dunn is one of the largest general building contractors in the U.S.
IT team members were looking for disaster recovery solutions for the data center, and they believed having a SDDC would help them meet current and future goals.
“Our IT team provides trusted, innovative technologies that enable our executive management, project teams, and clients to advance transformational business solutions,” says Jason Hull, senior systems manager, JE Dunn.
JE Dunn maintains a 99% virtualized environment, and it was becoming challenging to keep it protected. That obstacle pushed leaders to evaluate the possibilities. They eventually chose products from Rubrik.
“As we began to evaluate new vendors, we wanted a solution that was disrupting the backup and recovery industry. Rubrik was our unanimous choice,” Hull says. “It was evident in choosing Rubrik that we’d be gaining more than just backup and recovery. We’d also be enabling orchestration and automation, in addition to providing a high level of resiliency in the event of data loss or a disaster.”
Dunn also says they achieved significant time savings.
“With our previous solution, it could take hours to recover,” Dunn said. “With Rubrik, we’re able to satisfy most requests in less than 10 minutes. Outside departments are recognizing the solution as an important tool for recovering lost work.”
SDDC products: Rubrik Cloud Data Management and VMware vSphere
Outcomes: JE Dunn saw a 75% reduction in the data center footprint, a 90% improvement in time management, and 62% total cost of ownership savings.
See more: The Edge Data Center Market