If you've been faithfully following server virtualization trends over the last few years or if you've had your head in the clouds like me, you've probably already been indoctrinated into the idea behind the software-defined data center (SDDC). How pervasive has this concept become? Attend any cloud- or virtualization-related tradeshow this year, and you can bet that SDDC will be mentioned in the keynote presentation.
Software-defined data centers are considered to be the next stage of evolution for virtualization and cloud computing. It refers to a data center where all infrastructure elements -- compute, storage, network, and security -- are virtualized and delivered as a service. Control of that data center is fully automated and managed by intelligent, policy-driven software. But for SDDC to be successful, organizations not only have to automate as much of the data center as possible, they must also trust that process.
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How do we get there from here? The short and obvious answer is to start the journey. One possible way to begin is to use Operations Manager, a software product from a company called VMTurbo. The company describes version 4.5, the latest release of Operations Manager, as "software-driven control" for your virtual data center.
"Being able to define your data center in software is really the first step," says Shmuel Kliger, founder and president of VMTurbo. "Knowing how to leverage all of those software levers to make sure our data centers and clouds are operating efficiently, while assuring application service levels is where VMTurbo comes in."
VMTurbo, founded in 2009 by systems management veterans from Smarts (now EMC Ionix), takes an interesting approach to managing and controlling the virtualized data center. It essentially leverages economic principles to control the environment in a desired state where workload demand is best satisfied by the underlying infrastructure supply.
Kliger continued, "VMTurbo acts as the 'invisible hand of the market' that continually triggers the necessary actions to drive the data center into a healthy equilibrium and continuously keeps it in that state. Customers typically see increases in infrastructure utilization of 30 percent or more, while preventing many problems from happening in the first place."
The company's latest approach seems to be working, as it recently reported 2013 revenues of more than $14 million, more than doubling year over year from 2012.
With this latest release, VMTurbo has extended its market-based approach to the underlying compute fabric, with support for the Cisco UCS platform, and it's gone deeper into the storage layer with support added for NetApp Clustered Data ONTAP. With detailed knowledge of the Cisco UCS fabric, including Fabric Interconnects, associated IO modules, blades and hosted workloads, VMTurbo now guides decisions on the right amount of compute blades and network ports to efficiently meet application demand.