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Why Open Source Is The Future of Software-Defined-Infrastructure

Open Source is bound to be the most preferred platform for organizations to achieve greater scale and zero-downtime in the Software-defined world

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Gone are those days when proprietary hardware boxes ruled the roost within data centers. We are propelling towards a very differently-architectured data center where software plays the key role. The era of 'Software-Defined-Everything' is upon us!

It thus comes as no surprise that enterprises are opting for Open Standards and technologies as their preferred choice for software platforms and operating systems. A recent research paper from IDC states that 85 percent of the surveyed enterprises globally consider Open Source to be the realistic or preferred solution for migrating to Software-Defined-Infrastructure. IDC also recommends to avoid vendor lock-in by deploying Open Source solutions.

Interestingly, this shift isn't a recent trend. Data centers have long been leaning towards Open Source technologies. Industry reports suggest that the Unix party is coming to an end in the data center space, with the adoption of Linux growing at a healthy 15 to 20 percent year-over-year. We have witnessed that the Unix adoption is sliding considerably among Indian enterprises as well.

The increased use of Virtualization technologies and Cloud has only accelerated this shift. A significant number of large enterprises and SMBs in India already have Open Source technologies embedded in their mission critical platforms.

The Need for Open Architecture
The key driver for Software-Defined-Data Center (SDDC) has always been the need for enterprises to achieve better efficiency, scalability and reliability on the existing systems, without making further investments. Hence it's evident that today's hardware-centric infrastructure just can't keep up with the growing demand. The need of the hour is a flexible and scalable infrastructure that addresses the pain points of both the IT department and the line-of-business.

In terms of cost efficiency, Open Source has always won hands down by leveraging existing investments in physical and virtual systems. It offers a choice of vendors for best of breed solutions, as it can scale across multiple platforms.

In fact, enterprises are realizing that Open Source is the only way forward in achieving on-demand resource allocation based on changing requirements. It powers IT shops to be more agile in building, deploying and maintaining applications. In the coming days, Open Source adoption is going to be essential for achieving true 'zero-downtime' in Software-Defined-Infrastructure.

Most importantly, the engineering strength of the Open Source community is much bigger than that of a single organization that offers proprietary technology.

Open Source for Software-Defined-Storage
The amount of unstructured data that floods an organization's data center is just too huge to ignore. And for businesses that continue to rely on traditional proprietary storage, this indeed is a nightmare. Even a marginal increase in capacity incurs huge costs for them. Worst still, it's has become impossible to predict what your data size will be a few months later, making it impossible for organizations to gauge their storage budgets.

Software-Defined-Storage has long been hailed as the panacea for such enterprise storage woes. It's not a new concept, but the ability to separate the storage software from the hardware is a game-changing innovation.

New storage architectures like Ceph-based storage solution can scale infinitely without a need to refresh the entire platform or disrupt the existing functioning environment. This means that the organization will have reduced dependency upon proprietary storage hardware platforms and even a lower-cost storage architecture can be made scalable. With the data deluge and shrinking storage budgets, the future of storage is certainly going to be Open Source.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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open source software hardware cloud computing

Rajarshi Bhattacharyya

The author is Country Head at SUSE, India

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