I’ve written and spoken quite a bit on the “software-defined” future, what it means and how it will come about. Although it seems like a marketing buzzword to some, I feel it is a fairly accurate description of the future of the enterprise and service provider data center. That’s why I’m working to organize the next Software-Defined Data Center Symposium, and am happy to announce that it will be held in Santa Clara, CA on April 22, 2014.
Software-Defined Beyond Networking
So far, networking companies have a head-start on “software-defining” what they’re doing. This was evident back in 2011, when Tech Field Day and Packet Pushers jointly presented OpenFlow Symposium 2011. This live event included prominent product companies (Big Switch, Brocade, Cisco, Juniper Networks, and NEC) along with key implementers (Google and Yahoo) talking about the OpenFlow protocol and its impact on the networking market.
OpenFlow was huge in the service provider space. At that Symposium, we heard how and why Google and Yahoo shifted to OpenFlow to manage their dynamic and gigantic networks, as well as how key product vendors were working to improve the protocol and their support of it.
We followed up in 2012 with a Solid-State Storage Symposium and Next-Generation Storage Symposium, but it was the 2013 SDDC Symposium, produced with Packet Pushers and SDN Central, that really focused on the software-defined data center. A major highlight of SDDC13 was Alan Boeheme of Coca-Cola talking about “The Value of Software-Defined Everything”. Also on our panels were representatives from Boeing, Fidelity, and Facebook, along with networking companies, Brocade, Embrane, NEC, Nuage Networks, and Plexxi. We got a great response to the presentations from OpenDaylight and Nutanix, too!
Clearly, the software-defined world was changing. No longer was it a focus on one protocol (OpenFlow) or one industry (service provider networking). Now we were hearing from mainstream enterprise companies and they were talking about storage and servers! Clearly, “software-defined” is bigger than networking.
Towards a Software-Defined Data Center
For our 2014 SDDC Symposium, we intentionally focused on companies outside the traditional networking space as a way to move the discussion beyond OpenFlow and related protocols. This is why we started with companies like SolidFire, Coho Data, Nexenta, and Gridstore who are focused on building integrated scale-out solutions that do more than store data – they also serve to transform the datacenter! We’re also asking Brocade to join us since they sit at the crossroads of storage and data networking.
And of course OpenDaylight is getting massive attention currently, so we’re pleased to have them send representatives of that open source project to speak to the attendees. The OpenDaylight presentation at SDDC 2013 was really a highlight, so we’re looking for an update there. Stay tuned for more sponsor and presenter news!
SDDC Symposium 2014 is co-located with SNIA’s new Data Storage Innovation Conference, and we’re offering a special combined pass for the two events: Join us at SDDC14 and you can get $50 off your DSI tickets for Wednesday & Thursday, a total of $100 off!
We’re also be joining the DSI attendees and sponsors for lunch and an after-Symposium reception!
Software-Defined Data Center Symposium 2014 will really be a great event. If you’re in the area, I urge you to join us live on April 22 in Santa Clara. Otherwise, watch for live streaming video at TechFieldDay.com!