John Vincenzo, VP of Marketing at Embrane, reached out to me after reading Vyatta vPlane adds software defined networking here on Virtually Speaking. He told me that Embrane's position is that organizations should be thinking beyond software defined networking to software defined data centers.
During our conversation of what a "software defined data center" is, the following points emerged:
- Data centers are very complex and it is no longer really possible for people to really understand what is happening as it is happening. Too many things are going on and they are happening way to fast for mere humans to keep up.
- Computing resources, including processing, storage, networking, power equipment and the like need to monitor themselves
- A well run data center would have tools to gather up all of that operational data, evaluate it to detect issues and then orchestrate resources to assure that workloads meet service level objectives and deal with failures automatically.
Embrane, of course, thinks that its products can directly address those needs and should be installed in every data center. My view is a bit less partisan.
Many suppliers are pointing out the same issues and believe that their products are the best to address those requirements. Suppliers such as BMC, CA, HP, IBM and quite a number of others are offering products that they say are just the thing to create the "software defined data center" as Embrane calls it.
The reality of the situation is that all of them are right and none of them offer tools that can directly address everything that is working in a modern data center. This means that organizations are likely to need a combination of tools from several suppliers. Will they work together and make life easier for the facilities and IT management team is the key question.