IT Operations Management (ITOM)

The vision of Software-Defined Data Centers and your vReality

The vision of Software-Defined Data Centers and your vReality


On Wednesday, VMware announced their new VMware NSX product family that builds on the Nicira Network Virtualization Platform they acquired last fall. They are a great company that continues to introduce significant innovation to our market. Their new products and the vision of the software-defined datacenter (SDDC) is great—but it is not the only valid view. HP, Cisco and other players in the market also continue to drive innovation and launch new products in the SDDC market.


HP introduced the first implementation of what could be described as a software-defined data center, when we shipped the Utility Data Center (UDC) in 2001. It consisted of HP systems with licensed software from Terraspring, and it supported virtual network, virtual storage and virtual servers. Granted UDC was ahead of its time; and it wasn’t a commercial success. Nevertheless, we’ve been on the journey to SDDC for over 12 years, because we understand the benefits that this new computing paradigm will offer to users.


Managing Your vReality


We also understand that SDDC is a concept and a vision. Each day you go to work and have to deal with your reality—even if it is virtualized.  You have to deal with real problems in your virtualized reality. This is not the virtual reality of a game or simulation. The reality of managing virtualized infrastructure is complex and dynamic by nature. We refer to it as “vReality”.


Your vReality is further complicated by many real issues and existing technologies.  You face the challenges of:

  • Legacy applications that are not easily virtualized
  • Users who want their services running on “their” physical resources
  • Prior investments in systems and infrastructure
  • Current tools and processes for managing your data center… the list goes on.


This blog is designed to facilitate a discussion about these challenges. It will provide practical and factual information about software-defined data centers. If you think we are “spinning” the information we present, let us know. This is a blog, not a magazine. The purpose is to allow for a constructive dialogue.


There’s a Reason They Call Them Hype Cycles


As new technologies emerge, they generate enthusiasm and expectations about all the problems they will address. Industry analyst firm, Gartner Group, coined the term “Hype Cycle” to explain the transition from inflated expectations to disillusionment, enlightenment and finally productivity. They publish reports tracking the evolution of a wide range of technologies through the stages of a hype cycle.


The goal of this blog is to help you and your organization avoid the waste of time and resources that leads to disillusionment. We want to avoid the hype and provide some enlightenment on the path to SDDC, as you manage the issues related to your vReality. Our goal is to help you to be more productive and effective in your use of these technologies. Each of our bloggers has more than 20 years of enterprise IT experience. They offer a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives that include real and virtualized servers, storage, networks, along with management software, operations management and services.


Your experience is also important. This blog is a community forum, so we want to hear from you. Please add to the conversation based on what you have encountered or have learned, as you have managed your vReality. If you disagree with a position or claim, please explain why. We want to understand your position, so we can gain from your experience and perspective. Just please keep the tone civil.


The software-defined data center really does have the potential to transform the entire IT paradigm and the infrastructure and application landscape. It will be very exciting to watch it unfold, but it won’t happen overnight. We’d like to go with you on this journey and try to minimize the hype along the way.


Note: Links in this blog lead to external blogs. HP is not responsible for the content.



  • infrastructure management
About the Author


Ken is responsible for worldwide marketing of HP’s virtualization and systems management products. His experience includes over 20 years in marketing, product management and business development. In addition to IT management software, Ken's background includes enterprise storage and systems with Hitachi Data Systems and Fujtsu.


Great post.  Two area we are tracking are how to use software-led infrastructure or SDDC to enable a mobile desktop worker - mobile AND the impact to Openstack.  


At the end of the day it's about high availability in the datacenter.  



Trusted Contributor.

Thanks for your comment John.


Our initial team of bloggers has consisted of representatives from HP systems, storage, networks, services and management software. We'd be very interested in having a blogger to discuss mobile and the impact to OpenStack. Please join the discussion; we welcome your input.