SDx or SDe – Software Defined anything or Software defined.
Everything points to one direction the modern era.
The power of software driving today’s businesses across new age technologies like Cloud, IoT, Analytics, and Mobility is unparalleled and unmatched. Hardware appliances though form the essential backbone of IT infrastructure, companies at large are, have been or would become ‘software defined’ to a large extent as per various industry analysts.
“We do not track the market size for SDx of India. However we capture SDx data in a different manner. Globally, the software part is 500 million dollars and it is 1.1 billion dollars for hardware. (this is for SDI related software and hardware that empowers SDI),”says Pankaj Prasad, principal research analyst, Gartner.
“SDx is not a very specific thing and, hence, it is pretty hard to denote its market size and growth, as it would be similar to predicting the same for cloud services in India,” agrees Akhilesh Tuteja, Partner and Head, IT Advisory Services, KPMG in India.
However as per Gaurav Sharma, Research Manager-Enterprise & IPDS, IDC India SDN (Software Defined Networking) is expected for a great growth. “SDN market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 89.4% for a period of 2013-18 basis an IDC study in 2014, to $8 Bn globally at the end of this period. This is comprised of physical network infrastructure, virtualization/control software, SDN applications (including network and security services) and professional services,” indicates Sharma.
What about the outlook about SDx by CIOs in India? “2016 is seen to be the year of SDE as the software-defined revolution spreads beyond the boundaries of the datacenter,” says Archie Jackson, General Manager IT, NHS Shared Business Services. Although, three major challenges to effectively monitoring enterprise and communication service provider SDx infrastructures: Dynamic, Real-Time Change; Rapid, On-Demand Elastic Growth and Integration of Service Context, he says.
“The six technologies key in 2016 includes The Internet of Everything / M2M, Mobility, Hybrid Cloud, SDX, Data & Analytics, Digital currency and 3-D Printing. SDX is very much important to become effective in the new data driven world, organizations are moving to software define, virtualized environment,” says Arindam Singha Roy, CIO, SPML Infra.
New technologies like SDx will help improve the operational efficiency of the current infrastructure in a big way, states Sharad Jambukar, Head – Information Technology, L&T General Insurance Company which is traversing SDx path with deployment of software defined computing and storage. “We are deploying. L&T General Insurance Company is working on SDx– computing, storage and application level automation. We have deployed software-driven virtual computing platform, natively converging compute and storage for a bouquet of business applications,” says Jambukar.
SPML Infra traversing this path of SDx for its IT infrastructure. We are in a process to adopt the SDN first and slowly will move up to SDDC within one and half year, says Arindam Singha Roy, CIO, SPML Infra. The benefit of shifting are enormous including dramatic cost saving, increased compute, storage and networking efficiencies and optimized delivery of applications and services.
The benefits for L&T General Insurance Company have been improved operational efficiency, faster deployment made possible can be realized with SDx. We have been working towards deploying software defined application deployment for core application thereby minimizing up to 15% of efforts for application support, says Jambukar.
NHS is still exploring technologies to shape its IT Strategy for 2016. As for adoption curve for SDx we are at the evaluation stage as of now, says Jackson.
What will happen first SDS (Software defined Storage) or SDN (Software defined networking) and why? “SDN will happen first. SDN and network function virtualization are seen as disruptive technology that are revolving the ICT industry,” says Arindam at SPML Infra. However transitioning to the SDDC (Software defined datacenter) environment will required flexible architectures, opening up hardware capabilities through virtualizations and open interfaces and enhancing infrastructural automation, he adds.
With Government of India aggressive on digital India, the connectivity will be key focus for mobile operators with LTE service to take next step in the backhaul networks to provide intelligent bandwidth that leverages all available technologies including wireless, copper and Fiber, says Arindam. Increased network intelligence is also needed to enable operator to deliver new services, will enter SDN and NFV, he adds.
With few forecast numbers on the potential for SDx, what is the ground reality? “Unless and until a change is implemented and accepted these new technologies like SDx are always a hype. As the trend spreads, it gets real. SDx from my perspective, is a real enabler of the evolving technology,” says Jackson at NHS Shared Business Services.
“Not everyone is expected to convert their entire infra to SDx as it is unlikely to take shape and size in the expected zone by most stakeholders. However, some companies are adopting bits and pieces of SDx, such as SDS which is relatively easy to deploy. The growth of SDx is not anticipated to be superlative in India like other technologies because it is not simple to deploy,” sums Tuteja, Partner at KPMG in India.