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SDN Journal Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, TJ Randall

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Cirba Issues Statement: Control is at the Center of the Software-Defined Data Center

Cirba Inc., the leading provider of software-defined infrastructure control solutions, issued the following statement regarding the importance of intelligent control and management of the software-defined data center (SDDC):

Cirba is at the forefront of helping Global 2000 companies maximize their return on data center infrastructure investments by adding a level of automated control to infrastructure management, no matter their underlying environment. These organizations are now making every aspect of their data center infrastructure more software-defined – through clever abstractions creating flexibility, agility, and enabling common hardware to be used to create special-purpose configurations. The ultimate goal for many is the ‘software-defined data center,’ (SDDC) and although the definition of precisely what this is can vary, it is basically the nirvana of IT operation.

However, the SDDC is not achieved by simply bolting together virtualization, software-defined networking, and other cutting-edge and software-defined technologies. It is an operational state that is achieved by eliminating current silos of compute, storage, network and software and adopting a new way of managing and controlling all the moving parts within the infrastructure.

Known as Software-Defined Infrastructure Control (SDIC), this level of sophistication is key to aligning the capabilities of the infrastructure (supply) with the requirements of the applications (demand), which in many ways is the true goal of SDDC. Cirba is pioneering the SDIC movement, and to do this, there are several aspects of infrastructure management that need to advance in order to enable this level of control:

  1. Demand Management – Much of the insight into the needs of applications (CPU and memory allocation requirements, software and compliance requirements, performance levels, storage tiers, workload profiles, etc.) exists in organizations today, but has been traditionally used to procure new hardware. SDIC allows this insight to be leveraged to match those applications to existing infrastructure or to programmatically define what the infrastructure should be, enabling IT to plan ahead and make better use of current infrastructure environments.
  2. Capacity Control – Capacity management tooling is woefully inadequate in a world where the infrastructure is programmable and application demand changes on a daily basis. The old ‘offline’ model of infrastructure resource optimization must be replaced by an ‘online’ version that is constantly assessing supply vs. demand and making adjustments. SDIC makes it possible to achieve intelligent, automated control over the new decisions that need to be made every day in modern data centers (where workloads can go, how much resource they should be assigned, and what the infrastructure must look like to deliver this).
  3. Policy – At the heart of it all is the operational policy that governs how supply and demand are matched, aligned, and controlled. But if you look around most organizations today, all you will find is simplistic thresholds spread across operational tools, and individual staff who know all the details and subtleties of how the environments operate but have no way to codify them. To control a software-defined environment, or even to make a traditional environment more software-defined, these policies must be captured and used programmatically to plan and operate the environments.
  4. Automation – Automating needs to go beyond just the VM provisioning process, but there is a lack of intelligence guiding most automation today. Critical is automating the routing decision of where new VMs should be hosted, locking in the capacity, placing VMs, allocating resources, the ongoing optimization of infrastructure and forecasting future requirements. This requires accurate, detailed models of existing and inbound demands, fine-grained control over supply, and policies that bring them together. The move toward software-defined is invariably coupled to the move to higher level of automation, and SDIC can help make this possible.

With the trend toward software-defined infrastructure comes a new level of complexity that can only be controlled through sophisticated analytics and purpose-built control software. The ability to make unified, automated decisions that span compute, storage, network and software resources, that are based on the true demands and requirements of the applications, and that are accurate enough to drive automation without fear, is the foundation of the next generation of control of IT infrastructure. SDIC bridges the gap that has opened up in the data center management ecosystem and in many ways is the heart of the SDDC.

About Cirba Inc.

Cirba has re-imagined infrastructure control for the software-defined era.

We’re enabling the world’s most successful organizations to scientifically balance infrastructure supply and application demand—creating a demand-driven approach to infrastructure management that maximizes efficiency and cost-savings while reducing risk.

For more information, visit www.cirba.com or follow us on Twitter @Cirba.

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