Software-Defined Infrastructure: The Innovative Approach Making Businesses Future-ready

In the post corona economy, companies have realized cloud as the modern facilitator of best services in terms of cost, security, agility and scalability for their digital transformation.

Businesses now depend significantly on the cloud and have successfully turned towards outsourcing their infrastructure to the right cloud provider for an on-demand service.

Every business aspires to be the fastest in this growing market to support the needs of an ever-increasing workforce and hence endeavors to procure a seamless and hassle-free IT infrastructure.

One such solution is – Software Defined Infrastructure, or commonly referred to as SDI, which helps you relieve your business from the weight of infrastructure management and enables you to cope with the growing competition and increasing agility.

According to Market Research Future, CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) for the global SDI market is projected to be 22% for the time period and it’s expected to be worth USD 95 billion in 2023.

But how does this intelligent infrastructure simplify, automate, and virtualize the critical business needs round the clock? Let’s take a deep dive into what exactly SDI is and learn how it simplifies the complexities of manual tasks through automation to help empower your business.

Reinvent Your Business: Understanding SDI


SDI is a technology that refers to logically pooled computation, memory, storage, and networking resources that are managed by software with little human intervention.

SDI enabled data centers are smarter, self-aware, self-healing, self-optimizing, self-scaling and automated, which makes new services deployment times go from weeks to minutes.

According to a poll performed by 451 Research, more than 60% of businesses regard cloud computing to be a major infrastructure need, with data security, service agility, and lower operational costs being key benefits.

With businesses favoring cloud for their infrastructure, SDI will play an essential role in transforming the entire workflow. To understand how SDI helps businesses transform their traditional way of working, consider a data center that is processing a real-time, compute-intensive analytics job.

This workload can be automatically shifted to operate on servers closest to the data using SDI, while less intensive or time-sensitive work can be temporarily transferred elsewhere.

To a business, this implies that insights are supplied more quickly without the need to purchase additional computer power.

SDI is a journey that began more than a decade ago with compute virtualization, which sparked a revolution in enterprise computing and yielded enormous efficiency and performance gains.

The money invested in a modern data center infrastructure is a critical business essential and when we align SDI with cloud, it becomes cost-effective and helps data center owners drop the capital expenses while climbing up the operational efficiency ladder.

How Does SDI Make The System Orchestrated and Self-Servicing?

Internal stakeholders as well as external customers require the enterprise data center infrastructure to evolve, modernize and take on more cloud-like attributes to support service agility.

As illustrated in the image below, SDI enables services to be continuously orchestrated and automatically configured and managed by computer systems and applications. The underlying physical servers abstract the Compute, storage and network elements into the resource pool.

Orchestration software integrates the resource pools into programmable management environments and this entire process is called Service Orchestration.

APIs act as a software intermediary and enable users to interact with the backend services. On the self-service portal, the customer can easily access and dynamically provision all the deployed services.

self service portal
Fig no.1- Abstract view of Service orchestration demonstrating how service portal is interacting with the cloud services.

How is SDI Re-architecting the Modern Data Centers?

SDI functioning starts with the continual working of the orchestrator (automated configuration and management system) which is watching resources, using the data and analysis of the running server or machine deployed physically.

As soon as the demand fluctuates, the orchestrator smartly analyzes its needs and decides dynamically what resources will be best supported.

As soon as the system starts learning from past decisions, it turns the data center into a smart-analyzing brain using machine learning and cloud.

After getting to know the abstract working of SDI, it’s time to learn the basics of how the technology works. Below is a pictorial representation of SDI components.

layered architecture of sdi

Fig no.2- Layers of SDI architecture interacting with one another making the system work.

The SDI has the following four layers:

  • Physical Infrastructure: It is the basic level, where all the hardware resources like servers, hypervisors, firmware, networking, and storage devices are kept. With the help of cloud, these components can be scaled according to fluctuating IT demands, thus drastically reducing the equipment cost.
  • Virtualization Layer: The virtualization layer lies above the physical layer of the SDI architecture, where fixed-function appliances on the servers are replaced with virtual machines by abstracting the function from the hardware it resides on. These servers are used to scale up the storage solutions that automatically augment the performance and cost.
  • Software-Defined Capabilities: Software-Defined Compute, Software-Defined Storage, and Software-Defined Networking are the software defined capabilities that are virtualized and abstracted from the physical hardware. Here, an intelligent control and monitoring system manages all the services and is responsible for configuring and managing these virtual resources.
  • Management Services: SDI consists of a user interface at this level to define performance, availability of resources, optimization, elasticity, and scalability. The management services layer will handle all infrastructure tasks required to guarantee that targeted SLA (Service Level Agreement) and performance criteria are upheld.

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Choose SDI

There are several benefits of adopting SDI while considering it for migrating your infrastructure to cloud and for leveraging parameters like SLA performance, availability, scalability, and elasticity at the infrastructure management level. Let us look at some of them below.

  • Decouple hardware from software- IT infrastructure, which includes computing, networks, and storage, is supplied as a set of virtualized services, removing the costs of special-purpose hardware procurement and maintenance, which reduces capital expenditures and increases the utilization of resources because of open-standards-based hardware and software.
  • Easy setup- Provisioning, setup, and de-provisioning of computing and storage are all handled with just a few clicks, simply making your experience better which can also help in enhancing the portability of IT workloads.
  • Better on ROI- SDI helps you save costs in two ways — one is by relying on open standards and protocols developed by the industry rather than proprietary hardware and software; second is by employing cloud and virtualization technologies to maximize usage of your current IT assets.
  • Enable automation- SDI makes compute, networking, and storage resources more efficient by automating the manual resource provisioning process. Automating requirement management and provisioning will reduce the wide variety of professionals wanted, simplify monitoring and manageability, and improve self-service abilities to enhance service and meet Service-Level Agreements (SLAs).
  • Increase your agility and flexibility- SDI allows us to allocate infrastructure resources based on the needs of your business. By virtualizing the IT infrastructure, network, storage, and servers, companies can work much more flexibly, and with the right SDI approach, we can build a more agile infrastructure.

Level up your business — Adopt SDI with Public or Private Cloud with Ace

Today’s tremendous expansion of digital data has put unprecedented demands on traditional storage architectures and enterprise networks, resulting in performance and service agility constraints.

To address these issues, businesses must progress along the cloud maturity curve, eventually moving to higher levels of automation and orchestration for self-service provisioning and real-time service level agreements (SLAs).

SDI makes the public cloud more effective because it is built on an architectural platform where software controls the infrastructure, reducing maintenance efforts and data retrieval processes while also lowering IT costs significantly.

Also, it can place workloads into public or private cloud effectively without disturbing the data integrity, which makes it more efficient.

Some of the renowned examples of companies leveraging SDI include:

  • PayPal directs nearly all its web traffic through an OpenStack private cloud
  • Walmart Stores has constructed a massive private cloud using the OpenStack platform for its e-commerce operations, with several petabytes of storage.

Since SDI enhances agility and flexibility, digital-transformation-focused organizations are introducing SDI automation to handle dynamic workloads and fluctuating business demands. Additionally, adopting SDI can cut down on irrational spending and ensure satisfactory Return on Investment (RoI).

But, will the cloud be used to run full workloads?

Certainly. As per Medium, 27% respondents projected that 95% of workloads would be run in the cloud in the next 5 years, while 20% predicted that most workloads would be hosted in the cloud over the next 10 years.

cloud workload

Fig no.4 – graphical representation of cloud workload over years

Image courtesy: Medium

True software-defined and scalable storage systems help you seamlessly handle hundreds of petabytes and even exabytes of data. Ace Cloud Hosting’s global Software-Defined Data Center (SDCC) comes to the rescue here by providing you a consistent approach to application portability across public cloud.

If you strive for agility with efficient and precise delivery, keeping in mind the best price, consider Ace Public Cloud. Create an account with us and try Ace Cloud Hosting services today.

To know and understand more about our services, call us at +1-855-223-488 (United States) or +91-981-110-4802 (India).

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About Nolan Foster

With 20+ years of expertise in building cloud-native services and security solutions, Nolan Foster spearheads Public Cloud and Managed Security Services at Ace Cloud Hosting. He is well versed in the dynamic trends of cloud computing and cybersecurity.
Foster offers expert consultations for empowering cloud infrastructure with customized solutions and comprehensive managed security.

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