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Partner Perspectives

Do Software-Defined Data Centers Pose Security Concerns?

SDDC adoption is likely to trigger widespread data security governance programs, with 20 percent of organizations considering them necessary to prevent data breaches.

With business moving toward “cloud first” implementations for obvious operational, performance, and scalability improvements, the concept of software-defined data centers (SDDC) has been slowly gaining traction among IT decision makers.

Hardware and software abstraction are at the heart of this new concept, basically presenting a new way of looking at data centers as massive pools of physical and virtual resources controlled and managed by a software layer sitting on top of everything. However, the journey for businesses to actually implement SDDCs seems to raise some security concerns, at least according to a recent survey from HyTrust.

With SDDC practically virtualizing servers, networks and storage, security is the main issue holding back companies from fully diving into full-fledged software defined data centers. Some 60 percent of survey respondents including IT system administrators and engineers said that security is the number one concern in virtualizing all applications, compared to 36 percent of C-Level executives.

While most of the respondents agree that SDDC trends such as increased adoption (65 percent) and faster deployment (62 percent) will significantly boost adoption, 54 percent also expect more data breaches with software defined data centers.

On the bright side, transition to these fully virtualized infrastructures is gradual, and no one expects it to happen overnight. Software-defined data centers (SDDC), software-defined infrastructures (SDI), software-defined networks (SDN), and software-defined storage are all long terms strategic goals for organizations. However, Gartner predicts 60 percent of organizations will use a top-down approach in implementation, starting with SDDC and SDI, rather than bottom-up with SDN and SDS.

This massive SDDC adoption is also likely to trigger wide data security governance programs, with 20 percent of organizations considering them necessary to prevent data breaches, according to Gartner’s predictions for 2018.  As Paula Bernier, executive editor, TMC, noted in a recent article, Gartner predicts that by 2020 the programmatic capabilities of an SDDC will be considered a requirement for 75 percent of global 2000 enterprises that seek to implement a DevOps approach and a hybrid cloud model.”

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