I’ve been struggling with names (or rather, the act of naming) recently. As I get more and more involved into the aspect of Data Centers and Programmability, trying to become more familiar in a world that remains considerably alien to me, I begin to struggle with some of the rather buzzword-laden (but ultimately vague) nomenclature:
- Software-Defined Networks
- Software-Defined Storage
- Software-Defined Data Center
Yet, when you break down what each of these things mean, you start to realize that they become rather limited in what can actually be deployed. “Everything in software,” “Hardware means nothing,” “You need both hardware and software,” etc. Doesn’t this sideshow actually distract us from what we’re really trying to do?
I thought we were simply trying to make deployments easier and more flexible. We keep hearing about “lock-in,” but what it really means is that we don’t want to be locked into our own decisions. In other words, we want to change our minds, adapt as necessary, and not have to build a whole new Data Center just because our technological crystal ball during the financial crises of 2008 and 2009 forced us to make choices that we now make us feel trapped.
What’s wrong with just a “User-Defined Data Center?” I mean, I’ve always been a huge proponent of using the right tools for the job, but why swap out one limitation (hardware-based) for another (software-based)? If I’m a Data Center user, don’t I just want it to work the way I want it to? After all, that’s what all this hype is supposed to be, anyway. It’s my equipment, my applications, I want to define it.
It seems to me that all this stuff about “software-defined” still wants to withhold the actual decision-making power from the user and keep it in the hands of those who create the software, rather than any real liberation from “lock-in,” which much of the marketing hype wants you to believe.
Just a quick take about nomenclature, nothing more. We now return you…