The Software-Defined Datacenter (SDDC), Part 2: Windows Server Software Defined Solutions

Our last blog, “The Software-Defined Datacenter (SDDC) Part 1: An Overview” provided a high-level overview of the software-defined datacenter. We looked at each of its distinct elements and provided a brief overview of the strategic value of each tenet. Now, we shift our focus to the strategic business concerns that are driving a shift to the SDDC. We will conclude by covering a new set of solutions and technologies that are designed to simplify the implementation and management of a modernized software-defined IT environment.

Digital Business Transformation

Moving to a SDDC includes a shift in paradigm, including the growing strategic value of IT to enable and support business-critical initiatives and mandates. The exponential growth of data continues to drive digital business transformation, and in the current digital business economy, this creates several critical needs and concerns. Stretching across businesses of all sizes, and throughout all verticals, some of the new business challenges include:  

  • Handling growing data volumes and rising storage costs
  • Need for advanced data analytics
  • Increased need for resilient data protection and security
  • Prevalence of the mobile workplace and BYOD (bring your own device)
  • Increased need for interconnectivity and cloud enabled applications

The task of satisfying and supporting such a diverse set of needs is all too common with today’s modern businesses. As the data explosion pushes more businesses to “go digital”—IT departments face an evolution of their own, as well.

Digital IT Transformation

Time-to-market, time-to-insight, and time-to-action all have one thing common—agility. In the context of digital business transformation and innovation, these ‘catchphrases’ stress the importance of quickly entering today’s market with new products, services, and unique offers. But as the pace of digital business increases in speed, agility, and scale, so do the business needs. Increasing data security needs, economic control, and the orchestration of IT resources continue to reign as top priorities for IT leaders, placing the datacenter at the forefront of helping drive innovation.  To meet these business needs, the Software Defined Datacenter offers a path to resolving many of the challenges faced in transitioning from traditional IT to a more modernized, digital IT environment.

Windows Server Software Defined Solutions

Traditionally, the integration of software defined technologies has been time consuming and complex, along with challenge of budgetary constraints. To enable and support a transition to  SDDC, HPE and Microsoft have come together to deliver Windows Server Software Defined (WSSD) Solutions. Pre-tested and Microsoft-validated, WSSD solutions are robust, Windows Server-based SDDC designs that combine the power of Windows Server® 2016 Datacenter edition with industry-industry leading HPE hardware technologies. Each WSSD solution consist of 4 device classes:

  • Systems (Servers)
  • NICs
  • Storage Adapters (SAS/SATA HBAs)
  • Mass Storage Devices (NVMe/SSD/HDD)


Each class of devices must first undergo individual testing and validation, followed by rigorous integrated system tests. A private cloud simulator runs over an entire year worth of stress tests and error conditions, a testing methodology designed to ensure quick, successful development under a range of operating conditions. This fully integrated testing is a unique value-add for WSSD solutions—increasing time-to-value, lowering cost, and taking the guesswork out of solutions tuning.  HPE WSSD solutions come in two varieties, hyperconverged and converged software-defined storage solutions. The solution architecture is as follows:

Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) Premium: This configuration integrates the computing,  networking, storage, virtualization, and hardware resources in a compute environment designed for simplicity and scalability. Resources for VM compute and storage reside on the same node and can be scaled and managed together.

Converged Software-Defined Storage (SDS): This configuration enables highly available, highly scalable
SDS at a fraction of the cost of traditional SAN or NAS arrays. Resources for VM storage can be scaled and managed separately from the VM compute nodes.

With Windows Server as its foundation, HPE WSSD solutions are designed to quickly deliver simplified management of pooled resources that can be scaled at cloud speed, including cost-efficient storage, in a more secure IT environment, enable business-critical services to both employees and customers – all while maintaining economic control.  Turn your business insights into action today with HPE WSSD innovation.

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Willa manages the HPE | Microsoft Coffee Coaching program. Follow along to learn more about the latest HPE OEM Microsoft product releases and how the HPE Microsoft partnership can benefit partners and customers.