software-defined everything (SDE)

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Building SD-WAN architecture into your world
Contributor(s): Austin Allen

Software-defined everything (SDE) is an umbrella term that describes how virtualization and abstracting workloads from the underlying hardware can be used to make information technology (IT) infrastructures more flexible and agile.

The software-defined data center (SDDC) is one in which all elements of the data center infrastructure -- including networking, storage, CPU and security -- are delivered as a service. An administrator can deploy, provision, configure and manage the infrastructure through software and automate as much work as possible. Many technologies fall the SDE umbrella, including:

  • Software-defined networking (SDN) - abstracts network architecture to make network devices programmable, allowing the administrator to quickly respond to changing business requirements.
  • Software-defined storage (SDS) - decouples tasks from physical storage hardware, allowing the administrator to pool and manage storage resources through policies and administered configurations.
  • Software-defined data center (SDDC) - an analytics-driven approach to balancing the resources that application programs require in virtual and cloud computing environments.  Also called composable infrastructure. 
This was last updated in January 2016

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