Software defined … [insert technical term here] is the latest marketing phrase headlining every newsletter and event invite in your inbox. For example in recent keynotes VMware have coined the term software defined data centre, and I have to confess I am working on a software defined network demo for an event this week. However defining things with software is all very well but what does it give you and that you didn’t have before:
Optionally you might also want to ensure that the software doing the defining has these other characteristics:
System Centre is how Microsoft defines its data centres and then sells this solution on so you can do the same for your server infrastructure. Starting from the bottom you can define the fabric in terms of CPU, Networks, and storage. You then define how this gets assigned to your business units or customers and they in turn define services that use these resources with the limits of what is allocated to them.
Services typically consist of a number of individual machines either to preserve the service in the event of a particular machine being of line and because the services has a number of tiers. Actually in this second case each layer of the service will often have multiple virtual machines to maintain availability.
Most of the software definition for the fabric (storage CPU Network etc.) and services in System Center takes place inside Virtual Machine Manager (VMM). However these definitions are exposed to the rest of System Center so that:
I mention all this because if you did spend some of the traditional summer break tidying up your data centre, then you’ll want these kind of definitions of fabric, services and process to keep it tidy. To find out how to do this you’ll want to understand the principles by watching Build a Private Cloud with Windows Server & System Center Jump Start on the Microsoft Virtual Academy and then have a look at the technology by downloading a trial of System Center 2012 sp1