If you’re an IT professional these days, you likely have the software-defined data center (SDDC) on your mind. And it’s not just because you’ve heard about it so much from the media or IT conferences you may have recently attended. I’m guessing instead, it’s because you understand the benefits the SDDC can offer and want them for your organization. Or perhaps it’s because you currently employ virtualization in your data center and see moving to the SDDC as the natural next step. If you are like many like-minded IT professionals; however, there are a number of pain points that may be holding you back.
You may be in a struggle over determining which priority should take precedent. Do you move to the cloud first, adopt virtualization in your network or storage infrastructure; assuming you haven’t already done so, or move directly into the SDDC? There are pros and cons for each approach and really, how you chose to proceed will depend in large part on what your strategic business objectives are, how quickly you want to achieve them and the resources you currently have in-house.
You might also be suffering from a lack of clear direction, wondering how you proceed and with what solutions. This is where a SDDC readiness assessment, a topic I wrote about last week in Do you Need a SDDC Readiness Assessment, might come in handy. The third-party consultant conducting the assessment will determine if you are actually ready to move forward with the transition and how best to do that. They also give you guidance on how to ensure you have the right skill sets in place and to get the most out of your SDDC once it’s been implemented.
Another problem might be budgetary constraints. That issue can be problematic on multiple fronts. The first is ensuring you have the money budgeted to properly address the challenges created by the transition to the SDDC; primarily through training of in-house staff and new tools that might be needed. You might also need additional headcount.
Fortunately, most companies that provide the components of the SDDC or SDDC solutions are highly skilled at what they do and generally will offer some sort of training. If you identify in advance that your staff requires more training than what is traditionally offered, you might try approaching the vendor and negotiating that training as part of your purchase deal.
As far as your budget constraints go, if you don’t have the budget to support additional headcount or tools then you don’t have the budget—plain and simple. But that doesn’t mean you can’t lobby your company for additional funding. Showing management the short-term and long-terms strategic goals that can be achieved by moving to the SDDC is a good way to start, as is presenting it with an estimate of the cost savings it can incur over time due to the increased agility and efficiency enabled by the SDDC.
If all else fails, you might try implementing SDDC techniques on a small scale, say on just one small project. Once you begin to see the real value of that project, you can use that information to try and dissuade management to give you a bigger budget.
The other area where budgetary constraints can be problematic when it comes to transitioning to the SDDC is with regard to security. IT security is a high priority for most organizations these days, even more so for the SDDC, which is used in conjunction with some cloud variant; whether a hybrid, public or private cloud. You need to ensure you have the right staff and technology in place to fully secure your SDDC, but how do you do that if you’re fairly confidant your IT budget won’t be increasing much, if at all?
Here again, the answer lies with learning to better leverage the expertise of your in-house staff and obtaining additional training, when needed, from the company that provides your security solution. You might also consider a number of different deployment timelines to space out the impact on your budget. And of course, utilizing SDDC solutions with trusted and proven security measures built-in can be a tremendous cost saver with little impact on your overall budget.
While there are certainly other pain points you may be facing these days as you move toward a SDDC transition, the good news is that there are solutions and options you can consider to help minimize the pain. If you’ve dealt with any of these pain points or have any other potential solutions to add, drop me a line at [email protected]. In the meantime, check back here for future blog posts on a range of IT-related issues.
This blog is sponsored by Microsoft.
Cheryl J. Ajluni is a freelance writer and editor based in California. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of Wireless Systems Design and served as the EDA/Advanced Technology editor for Electronic Design for over 10 years. She is also a published book author and patented engineer. Her work regularly appears in print and online publications. Contact her at [email protected] with your comments or story ideas.