Demand for efficiency, flexibility, and scalability continues to increase, and the data center must keep pace with movement to our digital business strategies.\u00a0 Previously, Diane Bryant, Intel\u2019s senior vice president and general manager of Intel\u2019s Data Center Group, recently stated, \u201cWe are in the midst of a bold industry transformation as IT evolves from supporting the business to being the business. This transformation and the move to cloud computing calls into question many of the fundamental principles of data center architecture.\u201d\nThose \u201cfundamental principles of data center architecture\u201d are on a collision course with the direction that virtualization has lead us.\u00a0 This virtualization in conjunction with automation and orchestration is leading us to the Software Defined Infrastructure (SDI). The demand of SDI is driving new hardware developments, which will open a whole new world of possibilities for running a state-of-the-art data center.\u00a0 This eventually will leave our legacy infrastructure behind.\u00a0 While we\u2019re not quite there yet, as different stages need to mature, the process has the power to transform the data center.\nLogical Infrastructure\nSDI rebuilds the data center into a landing zone for new business capabilities. Instead of comprising multiple highly specialized components, it\u2019s a cohesive and comprehensive system that meets all the demands placed on it by highly scalable, completely diversified workloads, from the traditional workloads to cloud-aware applications.\nThis movement to cloud-aware applications will demand the need for SDI; by virtualizing and automating the hardware that powers software platforms, infrastructure will be more powerful, cost-effective, and efficient. This migration away from manual upkeep of individual resources will also allow systems, storage, and network administrators to shift their focus to more important tasks instead of acting as\u00a0\u201cmiddleware\u201d\u00a0to connect these platforms.\nOrganizations will be able to scale their infrastructure in support of the new business services and products, and bring them to market much more quickly with the power of SDI.\nHardware Still Matters\nAs the data center moves toward an SDI-driven future, CIOs should be cautious in thinking that hardware does not count anymore. Hardware that works in conjunction with the software to ensure that the security and reliability of the workloads are fully managed and provide telemetry and extensibility that allow specific capabilities to be optimized and controlled within the hardware will be critical.\nThe Future of the Data Center Lies with SDI\nData centers must be agile, flexible, and efficient in this era of transformative IT. SDI allows us to achieve greater efficiency and agility by allocating resources according to our\u00a0organizational needs, applications requirements, and infrastructure capabilities.\nAs Bryant concluded, \u201cAnyone in our industry trying to cling to the legacy world will be left behind. We see the move to cloud services and software defined infrastructure as a tremendous opportunity and we are seizing this opportunity.\u201d\nTo continue the conversation, please follow me on Twitter at\u00a0@EdLGoldman\u00a0or use\u00a0#ITCenter.