Modern software-defined compute, also known as virtualization, is the first step toward the Software-Defined Data Center. Introduced by VMware more than a decade ago, x86 server virtualization has become a standard technology used by a vast majority of data centers worldwide.
Servers deployed the conventional way operate at less than 15 percent of capacity. Virtualization rewrites the entire equation. CPU and memory are decoupled from physical hardware, creating pools of resources for use wherever needed. Each virtualized application and its operating system are encapsulated in a separate, isolated software container called a virtual machine (VM). Many VMs can be run simultaneously on each server, putting the majority of hardware capacity to productive use.
The results have transformed server efficiency by offering:
The result: IT achieves significantly more at dramatically lower cost through virtualization.
As the foundation for VMware’s complete Software-Defined Data Center platform, vSphere with Operations Management is the starting point for building your Software-Defined Data Center. With vSphere in place, you can seamlessly extend virtualization to storage and network services and add automated, policy-based provisioning and management.
What is network virtualization, and how does it differ from software-defined networking (SDN)?
In contrast to SDN, in which hardware remains the driving force, VMware network virtualization technology truly decouples network resources from underlying hardware. Virtualization principles are applied to physical network infrastructure, abstracting network services to create a flexible pool of transport capacity that can be allocated, utilized and repurposed on demand.
How Do Virtualized Networks Work?
In a close analogy to the virtual machine, a virtualized network is a software container that presents logical network components—logical switches, routers, firewalls, load balancers, VPNs and more—to connected workloads.
These virtualized networks are programmatically created, provisioned and managed, with the underlying physical network serving as a simple packet-forwarding backplane. Network and security services are allocated to each VM according to its needs, and stay attached to it as the VM moves among hosts in the dynamic virtualized environment.
VMware’s network virtualization platform, NSX, deploys on top of existing physical network hardware and supports the newest fabrics and geometries from all vendors. Existing applications and monitoring tools work smoothly with NSX without any modifications.
VMware’s Software-Defined Storage (SDS) strategy is to evolve storage architectures through the pervasive hypervisor, bringing to storage the simplicity, efficiency, and cost-savings that server virtualization brought to compute. Software-Defined Storage abstracts the underlying storage through a virtual data plane, making the VM, and thus the application, the fundamental unit of storage provisioning and management across heterogeneous storage systems. By creating a flexible separation between applications and available resources, the hypervisor can balance all IT resources—compute, memory, storage and networking—needed by an application.
VMware’s Software-Defined Storage solutions enhance today’s data center by delivering:
The fully virtualized data center is automated and managed by intelligent, policy-based data center management software, vastly simplifying governance and operations. A single, unified management platform lets you centrally monitor and administer all applications across physical geographies, heterogeneous infrastructure and hybrid clouds. You can deploy and manage workloads in physical, virtual and cloud environments with a unified management experience. IT becomes agile, elastic and responsive to a degree never before possible.
Infrastructure and applications services are requested via a self-service portal where authorized administrators, developers or business users can select services that comply with pre-defined business policies. Service delivery is highly automated. Logical infrastructure and application blueprints model services that can be deployed in any approved cloud environment. The right levels of resources are automatically allocated based on business requirements and service-level requirements. Workloads are dynamically and continually orchestrated and balanced as dictated by changing patterns of demand.
With a scale-out and resilient operations platform, administrators get control over performance, capacity and configuration management. Predictive analytics and smart alerts help identify and rectify potential issues before they impact service quality. Intuitive performance dashboards provide app-to-storage visibility across physical, virtual and cloud environments. Log management capabilities extend analytics to unstructured data, for better visibility and faster problem resolution. Over- and under-provisioned VMs are right-sized to balance service level requirements with resource utilization. Powerful capacity modeling identifies “what if” scenarios to anticipate and optimize future infrastructure spend.
CIOs and IT executives can demonstrate and compare the costs of complex initiatives and investments, including private and public clouds. Users can see the cost of service in the service catalog. Visibility and transparency of the types, cost and quality of IT services consumed by a business unit, enable show and charge back the quantity and types of IT services consumed. Industry benchmark data and reporting help compare IT expenses to peer companies and cloud service providers, for informed sourcing decisions that drive down costs.
Our approach to delivering a cloud management platform gives you a single solution that comprehensively addresses both day one and day two operations.
VMware software-defined architecture can be deployed in your data center as a private cloud or off-site using secure infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) operated by VMware or one of our certified partners. Most companies choose a hybrid combination of on-premises and IaaS platforms.
All three options are built on the same VMware Software-Defined Data Center technology, so you can easily migrate workloads among clouds and control and govern your hybrid environment from a single management interface.
Software-Defined Private Cloud: On-Premises in Your Data Center
VMware provides flexible paths for evolving to a software-defined private cloud that you deploy on your own physical infrastructure. Customers typically begin with VMware vSphere with Operations Management, and at their own pace, add software-defined networking and storage, and various elements of our comprehensive management layer. Alternatively, you can move up to a full-infrastructure solution, VMware vCloud Suite, directly from vSphere with Operations Management. Or extend your Software-Defined Data Center management to include other hypervisor platforms or public cloud services with the VMware vRealize Suite purpose built for hybrid cloud.
VMware vCloud Air: Your Fastest Route to a Seamless Hybrid Cloud
Built on VMware Software-Defined Data Center technology, vCloud Air is infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) operated by VMware. It lets you quickly, seamlessly and securely extend your data center into the cloud using the tools and processes you already have. You can run your hybrid environment with a common, unified model for management, orchestration, networking and security.
Cloud Services from VMware Partners
Certified VMware partners offer an array of globally consistent, flexible and custom-tailored cloud services. These too are built on VMware software-defined technology, for compatibility with your internal data center, guaranteed service levels, auditable security and assured compliance.
Learn how VMware Software-Defined Data Center positions enterprises to securely leverage a hybrid cloud and successfully navigate the mobile-cloud era.