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Better Security Driving Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) Adoption?

Better security is one of the top reasons organizations move to a software-defined data center (SDDC), according to a new McAfee and VMware report.

Security was the second most common motivator, with 53 percent of survey respondents saying it was a primary consideration — just shy of the 57 percent who said the top motivator was better performance.

Other common drivers included reducing capital expenditures, reducing complexity and improving control.

The study, conducted by Osterman Research for McAfee and VMware, found that the vast majority of servers are already running virtualized today. About half of organizations that haven’t made the move are planning to transform their data centers into SDDCs, and most will do so within the next two years.

SDDC Security

SDDC centralizes control and management of virtualized data center components and makes them more visible to IT operations, which is a key component of consistent and strong security, according to the report.

“In an SDDC world, consistently enforced policies act on logical, abstracted characteristics of the workload and its data, not on frangible, physical characteristics that will inevitably become out of date,” the report said.

Another key security advantage of SDDCs is that the virtual machine platform can oversee all the behaviors of the workloads they manage – not just within a virtual machine, but between them, researchers said. Being closer to workloads allows security software to better protect against denial-of-service attacks, malicious attempts to break out of the virtual machine, geographic access control violations, and other problems.

However, the report also cautions that moving to an SDDC doesn’t suddenly change the nature of security threats, or the human expertise required to assess those threats and their risks.

Additional SDDC Benefits

The report outlined several other key SDDC benefits, including:

  • Better productivity – Improving speed of IT staff because SDDC is easier to configure, reconfigure and keep secure
  • Improved reliability – Automating operations to reduce repetitive tedium and error and minimize unplanned downtime
  • Better hardware utilization – Allowing organizations to make more efficient use of their capital expenditures and unifying networking functions that traditionally are segregated into boxes
  • Interoperable cloud – Helping companies realize the inherent benefits of hybrid clouds without being locked into vendors or technology

Admittedly, the report could be a bit self-serving since both McAfee and VMware are seeking to drive SDDC adoption. Still, enterprises seem to be embracing the technology. The Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) market will reach $83.21 billion by 2021, up from $25.61 billion in 2016, according to a Markets and Markets forecast. That’s a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.57% during the forecast period, the research said.

Additional insights from Joe Panettieri.

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