A Look Back at the 2015 CONTINUUM Conference – Discovering the Full Potential of a Software-Defined Data Centre

Our most recent annual CONTINUUM conference took place in April. This year’s theme was “Knowing How to Protect Your Applications and Critical Business Data.”


We discussed how company practices have evolved in the areas of business continuity and disaster recovery with respect to changes that have been brought about by solutions such as the software-defined data centre (SDDC). The conference aimed to explain how the integrated approach of software-defined data centre management will profoundly change how things are currently done in IT.

Overview of the conference

The IT industry is changing faster than ever. New ways of computing in the cloud has put increased pressure on competitiveness, agility, efficiency, and control of operations for all business IT departments. The cloud experience (as consumers) creates new expectations among users. Business groups are always on the lookout for faster, simpler solutions, and are increasingly taking initiatives without involving the IT team, especially in terms of public cloud services. Maintaining security, business continuity and disaster recovery measures in an increasingly hybrid context raises several issues that affect both IT governance and the role that IT management must take within the organization in this context of change.

With regard to infrastructures and internal IT operations, teams are working to strengthen their control over quality of services, and optimize the efficiency of their practices in a context of tightened budgets. Business needs and a 24/7/365 context puts enormous pressure on the availability of services. Maintenance and implementation of simple system updates have become complex with the need to meet zero downtime objectives. At the same time, teams better understand the phenomenon of converging servers, networks, and storage spheres to guide their future architecture and technology choices. The phenomenon has been even more accelerated through the deployment of virtualization technologies and software-defined management, which are literally transforming the current ways of doing things.

The PCD Solutions team has tried to steer this gradual transformation toward the software-defined data centre model by using the analogy of the early days of server virtualization. In the early years, many people were doubtful about the use of hypervisors. The concepts they introduced transformed a number of practices at the time, and as a result, people were often quick to oppose them. Today, nearly 85%–90% of corporate data centres use virtualization technologies such as VMware vSphere, MS Hyper-V, KVM, and the like. Most of these companies could not function without them now. People gradually became familiar with the technology and understood the significant benefits it could bring them. The PCD team believes that the SDDC will also undergo the same type of scrutiny and industry transformation until it is accepted.

To better explain the software-defined data center phenomenon, speakers took turns explaining how the software-defined management approach and the innovations and new features it offers will facilitate data centre operations.

Some of the innovations introduced

  • Software-defined systems management – The evolution of system virtualization through next-generation hypervisors, such as VMware vSphere 6
  • Software-defined storage management – The introduction of storage policy-based management concepts. Recently introduced by VMware VSAN (Virtual SAN) and vVOL used in conjunction with existing SAN storage systems
  • Software-defined network management – The introduction of virtualization concepts in the world of networks with VMware NSX which revolutionizes the management of network and security services
  • Centralized control of infrastructures and IT services – Through a single management console for all IT infrastructures and services via tools like vRealize Operations
  • Current IT automation possibilities – To create a service management portal for your administrators, developers and users and to be able measure use of services (e.g., IT showback or chargeback)

In short, the overall picture provides a clear view of the course IT environments should take over the next two to three years thanks to virtualization. The concepts behind the implementation of “private clouds” now rely on solutions and products that are tangible and, above all, that integrate with each other to fully realize the benefits of the SDDC approach, in particular:

Main benefits of the Software-Defined Data Centre approach:

  • Increased agility and efficiency of the IT team in implementing new services
  • Greater flexibility in adapting to the company’s changing needs
  • Better control over the availability, performance, security and quality of services
  • Better control of costs per service (CapEx and OpEx) and better tools to make users aware of their consumption

With important decisions on the horizon for many companies contemplating their future directions (internal/public/hybrid cloud), technology choices and prioritization of investments, the approach presented by PCD is both formative and reassuring. PCD has set up an advisory service program to help businesses situate themselves within the various phases of the SDDC model. This program helps you set precise objectives adapted to your organization, identify prerequisites, and define the next steps with your team (which PCD refers to as the ACTION PLAN™.)

To conclude, we want to give companies that were unable to attend our conference in April an opportunity to take advantage of the following three options:

  • PCD Solutions is organizing a special screening of its 2015 CONTINUUM Conference on Friday, May 29 in Montreal between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Places are limited as this screening will be held at our offices. If you are interested, please contact us as quickly as possible. (
  • PCD Solutions will be giving a 45 minute workshop, summarizing the key highlights of its lecture at the VMware vForum to be held on May 20 at the Palais des congrès in Montreal. For more information or to register, click here.
  • You can also contact your account manager to arrange a private meeting/showing for your company at your office, or use the opportunity to visit our TechnoLab’s new facilities in Montreal.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at: