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April 2013, Volume 2, Number 4

Defining software-defined everything

Forget virtualization, forget cloud. These days, it's software-defined everything coming down the pike. Leading the charge is software-defined networking (SDN), a technology pioneered by Google and Facebook to abstract network architecture and make network devices programmable. Its goal is to make networks more dynamic. Beyond that, software-defined networks mean many things to many people. For some, SDN is synonymous with the OpenFlow protocol, while others take their cues from VMware Nicira or Big Switch, and countless other vendors. The confusion about SDN hasn't prevented anyone from adopting and co-opting the software-defined moniker for their own purposes. Let's look at a few examples that have landed in our inboxes. Software-defined data center (SDDC): A marketing term popularized by VMware that describes its vision of the future, where data center services such as compute, network, storage, security and availability are pooled, aggregated and managed by intelligent policy-driven software, providing self-service, ...

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