Data storage has been pretty much the same since the dawn of computing – putting all of your data on the most efficient piece of hardware you can buy is an approach that’s still working just fine. So why are we hearing so much buzz about switching over to Software Defined Data Centers?
The sales pitch is certainly appealing – a completely flexible approach to not just data but IT as a whole, businesses able to rapidly move resources around to the part of the business that needs it at any given time and none of it tied to a physical piece of hardware that takes up space and limits where it can be accessed from.
For the biggest of the big technology companies, it makes perfect sense – they can afford to build their own. Facebook and Google have the resources to experiment with a radical new approach like this, and they can tailor it in every single aspect to suit their needs. But does it make sense for everybody else? Will all the tech start-ups wagering their futures on SDDC come to regret it?
Critics of SDDC say that, in its present form at least, it’s difficult and expensive to set up and maintain on the technical side, and on the human side it requires a huge cultural shift in the way companies think about IT. For smaller companies, who aren’t particularly concerned about being able to rapidly move IT resources between disparate business units, it’s still hard to see how it could be worth it.
SDDC is still a very new technology, it’s impossible for anyone to be sure at this point if in five years time we’ll all be using it, or if it’ll forever be a niche approach used internally by the tech giants until the next cool new approach to data emerges.