Once upon a time, data centers were huge, fully staffed with IT personnel, and required quite a bit of attention to keep them running. People had to manually deploy physical servers, maintain good temperature and humidity levels, and monitor the servers. Those days may soon be over and make way for the era of the software-defined data center.
A software-defined data center (SDDC) is described by Webopedia as a “data center where all infrastructure is virtualized and delivered as a service”. Most of that monitoring and maintenance that once required a real life person is now automated and controlled by software.
Virtualization has played a major role in the development of software-defined data centers. Deploying servers can now be as simple as clicking a button on a screen rather than the physical labor of deploying machines. The monitoring tools that have inevitably developed out of virtualization also make it easier to allocate resources to servers according to their precise needs.
Other developments like power distribution units (PDUs) have made it easier to maintain power levels according to server load, and temperature/humidity monitors help maintain the right environment for servers to operate at peak performance and ecological efficiency. All of these technologies are also controlled by software.
Some analysts predict that by 2017, software defined data centers will be the norm across most industries. There may come a time when data centers only require a few personnel who occasionally dust off the machines and do little else.