The Software Defined Infrastructure Market
IT infrastructure sure has come a long way over the past few years. While the days of businesses collecting hardware and software in a single data center may not be gone, companies have more options at their disposal today, with a mix of web-based applications, SaaS, IoT, automation technologies, and on-premise devices. To meet the needs of modern-day ecosystems, managed service providers must shift their focus to software-defined infrastructure (SDI).
According to the IDC, that market is strong and growing, with worldwide software-defined infrastructure sales reaching $12.17 billion during the 2020 calendar year. The robustness, flexibility, and scalability of SDI play a key role in digital transformation, and these technologies are now a go-to option for MSPs shifting to a new architecture paradigm in the post-pandemic era.
Moving to an IT-as-a-Service model presents a major competitive advantage for digitally ambitious security-minded MSPs with the expertise and capabilities to implement a network infrastructure primarily based on software solutions, especially cybersecurity solutions.
But, what exactly is a software-defined infrastructure? SDI refers to a combination of infrastructure elements, including computer, memory, storage, and networking, managed by software without much (if any) human intervention. These systems simplify or eliminate manual tasks, increase data security, and improve compliance.
Implement high-performance IT infrastructure
Several dimensions can affect technology “footprints” and capabilities. One of these is geographic scalability, which refers to a system’s ability to handle larger numbers of users without experiencing performance issues. Another dimension is load scalability, which refers to its capacity to support heavier or lighter workloads.
The final option is functional scalability, which allows MSPs to add new features and functions to a system without triggering any performance problems. Preventing bottlenecks is a crucial factor.
While high-performance applications require modern technology, it is not enough to implement the right infrastructure. The proper team processes must be in place. Without the right tools, scalability is impossible. For example, an MSP should be able to build out and enhance a client’s key infrastructure without any major hassles or losing focus on critical issues.
SDI simplifies and automates
Infrastructure provisioning traditionally required a lot of manual labor and processes, from installing new hardware and configuring network settings to setting up servers. The transition to virtualization, containers, cloud computing, and other emerging technologies has complicated those processes. Today’s IT infrastructures contain many different components, and the need to spin up, scale, and decommission them quickly has never been greater.
This new model helps IT service providers respond to the rapid pace of change.
In addition to enabling automated provisioning and change management, this new model helps IT service providers respond to the rapid pace of change. MSPs can automate infrastructure tasks through code to increase efficiency and eliminate or reduce the number of manual processes. Implementing infrastructure as code also offers benefits in cost savings and system support. Traditional infrastructures relied on manual intervention to set up servers, configure networks, and install operating systems.
Leveraging automation and SDI allows an IT infrastructure to be treated as a virtual application and handled like any other. MSPs can configure these systems to simplify support requirements and ease the administration processes. Automation tools take care of low-level tasks, such as installing and configuring software, and can eliminate manual steps across all aspects of the software life cycle.
Implementing a high-performance and scalable software-defined IT infrastructure is a cost-effective way to simplify the data center and free up valuable IT resources. Additional benefits include reducing the administrative and maintenance burden. By leveraging existing data assets and storage, MSPs can help clients reduce IT costs and increase efficiency.
SDI improves data security and compliance
The importance of data security and compliance is a high priority for IT service professionals today. Consumers increasingly use mobile devices to access corporate networks. As people and businesses share more information over the internet, IT needs to adapt to these new ways of working while maintaining corporate data security, compliance, and intellectual property. Software-defined infrastructure provides the best solution to achieve these goals.
It improves flexibility and agility, simplifies configuration, and reduces the risk of human error.
An SDI architecture facilitates network virtualization and offers several benefits for organizations. It improves flexibility and agility, simplifies configuration, and reduces the risk of human error. Moreover, SDI can improve data security and compliance. Unlike traditional networking infrastructure, it provides granular control over network traffic using open protocols and allows applications to exploit centralized network state information to customize network behavior.
Software-defined IT infrastructure allows MSPs to manage data across hybrid cloud environments and helps clients increase data security and compliance through streamlined processes. The benefits of these systems include increased operational efficiency, reduced CapEx, and greater agility in delivering services to customers.
Digitally savvy managed service providers are already leveraging software-defined infrastructure and are ahead of the game in creating these new IT ecosystems. To ensure their clients take advantage of the many opportunities with SDI, MSPs must sell the benefits of the technology and then help with its design, deployment, and management.
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About the author
Amy Luby is the Founder of Modern MSP. A proven entrepreneur and pioneer in the IT services industry, Amy founded and built one of the first Managed Services Providers in America. Next, she expanded that business into one of the first Master MSPs, defining both business models in the process. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.