Although emerging markets like China tend to lag developed markets by 18 to 24 months in terms of technology deployment, Chinese organizations should start embracing new concepts like the software-defined data center (SDDC). The SDDC is an evolving architectural and operational philosophy, not a product you can buy with a demonstrable ROI. Chinese organizations can’t risk ignoring SDDC and falling behind global companies — so they need to pay attention to it, for a few reasons:
- China is following a different evolutionary path toward the age of the customer. Chinese manufacturing and distribution once lagged more developed regions, but recently information and communications technology has been accelerating faster in the country than elsewhere. Companies like Alibaba, Tencent, and Xiaomi have started to disrupt more conventional Chinese firms — forcing the latter to develop new business to boost revenue and transfer existing business operations to adapt to new market imperatives such as the mobile mind shift, big data, predictive analytics, and digital disruption. Chinese organizations aren’t just dipping their toes into the age of the customer; they’re jumping in with both feet. These firms’ tech management teams must provide new or optimized infrastructure as pools of virtual and physical resources to meet business units’ requirements for urgency and flexibility.
- Chinese organizations have good fundamental architecture. Forrester believes that many multinational and local firms in China are accelerating their deployment of converged infrastructure (CI). CI is the foundation for SDDCs; Chinese organizations can leverage it to reduce infrastructure complexity, increase flexibility, and edge closer to a more virtualized, automated, and resilient infrastructure. CI users have a ready environment to develop a SDDC; they only need worry about their staff’s skills and capabilities.
Vendors and cloud service providers are also accelerating the move toward maturity in the Chinese market:
- Intel has released a new SDDC processor in China. In September, Intel launched its E5v3 processor family in China. With this release, Intel is focusing on presenting the benefits of the new processor for SDDC and optimizing its capabilities. All of the new processor’s features come together on a platform that’s ready for the move to a SDDC. Sina Weibo noted that the new processor will have positive effects on its data center, such as reducing the number of physical servers, decreasing business latencies, and improving power management.
- Huawei worked with 21vianet to deploy the largest commercial software-defined network (SDN) in China. As the local partner of IBM Cloud Managed Services and Microsoft Azure, 21vianet deployed Huawei’s SDN product in eight major data centers in China and plans to scale up the development to a further 80 data centers. After deployment, SDN’s benefits include reducing the time to get a business online from 10 days to one day and shortening the delivery application cycle from six months to one month.
Chinese I&O pros need to know about the SDDC and assess its impact on their existing infrastructure. Again, SDDC is neither a technology nor a product, it’s a concept — one that you shouldn’t neglect when planning your future technology management.