"Recent market research shows considerable growth in store for the software-defined data center market. As more clients demand a wider range of services, including cloud solutions, industry organizations are responding by boosting facility capabilities with provider software systems. Several vendors have also made new software-defined technologies available for use in data centers, including Riverbed, HP and VMware.
Overall market outlook
In late January, TechNavio released its annual analyst predictions for the global software-defined data center market. The report forecasted the sector to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 97.48 percent until 2018.
According to analysts, the global market has been seeing rising levels of both structured and unstructured data, creating growing customer demands for data center services. In addition, increasing client requirements for cloud computing solutions is also a key factor contributing to growth in the sector.
Although the report stated that users are currently in the early adoption phase of software-defined data center technology, a number of service providers have released solutions which could boost deployment of these types of systems.
Riverbed's breakthrough granite technology
In 2013, Riverbed Technology announced the availability of their new software-defined data center system utilizing Granite technology. The solution aims to extend the advantages of data center facilities to the global branch offices of customers. Industry analysts have noted that more than 50 percent of all business data is currently housed in branch locations.
""Despite efforts to consolidate and move to software-defined architectures, the business need to provide fast access to data and applications has forced organizations to keep servers and storage at the branch,"" Riverbed stated.
However, the new Granite software-defined data center solution looks to shift this practice by enabling the secure consolidation of resources at data centers. This will allow IT personnel to focus on other mission-critical aspects, including instant restore in the event of a disaster and branch office provisioning.
""Until now, the benefits of a software-defined architecture were limited to the data center,"" noted John Martin, Riverbed Storage Deliver senior vice president and general manager. ""Customer use cases highlight how these benefits can extend globally throughout the worldwide enterprise.""
The breakthrough Granite solutions provides business administrators with the resources to successfully consolidate on-premise IT systems by migrating storage delivery and controlling it through a data center.
VMware's wave of new products
Late last year, VMware, Inc. also released a new product line designed to accelerate IT adoption of software-defined data center architectures. By utilizing such an arrangement, business users can take advantage of new virtualization capabilities in network, security, storage, management and automation.
The solutions included VMware NSX, a platform leveraged for network virtualization and VMware Virtual SAN for storage and virtual equipment. The company also announced the availability of VMware vCloud Suite 5.5, a cloud infrastructure and management program, and VMware vSphere with Operations Management 5.5 to optimize virtual platform capacity.
Raghu Raghuram, VMware cloud infrastructure and management executive vice president, said these offerings can serve to empower IT teams and help businesses increase their agility, responsiveness and profitability.
""We continue to evolve the software-defined data center architecture to address IT's critical needs - enabling them to build infrastructure that is radically simpler and more efficient while delivering the agility and flexibility to support the velocity of their business,"" Raghuram said.
HP's cloud-based software defined network fabric
HP also released new software-defined technology for data center utilization including a network fabric solution called HP FlexNetwork architecture. The system provides the means for data center operators to boost client agility by increasing scalability and reducing network provisioning time from months to minutes. The technology is also 75 percent less complex than traditional network fabrics being used in today's facilities.
Bethany Mayer, HP Networking senior vice president and general manager, said that during the past two decades, data center networks have struggled to support growing business demands for big data, cloud computing and virtualization.
""HP is positioned to deliver the industry's most complete software-defined data center network fabric with innovations that enable our customers to create a network foundation that will meet their needs today and well into the future.""
Utilizing HP's new product line that includes HP FlexFabric Virtual Switch 5900v software and HP Virtualized Services Router, users can more simply complete network design and operations tasks throughout the data center.
As customers increasingly seek data center technology that allows them to quickly respond to changing business environments and demands, the software-defined market will continue to grow to support these industry requirements."