Software-defined infrastructure (SDI) are one of the most popular and ongoing trends within data centers and cloud environments leading to better infrastructure flexibility by developing the infrastructure based on scripts respectively source code.

SwissCognitive LogoHowever, SDIs are more and more becoming just a means to an end since automation, sophisticated algorithms and thus intelligent systems are leading to an artificial intelligence-defined infrastructure (AI-defined infrastructure, or ADI).

SDI is not dead but only a means to an end

A SDI abstracts the software from the hardware layer. Thus, the intelligence is not implemented into the hardware components anymore and has been moved into a software stack. Based on software and a high degree of automation a SDI is designed to build and control an infrastructure mostly without human interaction.

Typical SDI environments, e.g. cloud infrastructure, are built by developing scripts or source code. The software includes all the necessary commands to configure an entire infrastructure environment, including the applications and services running on top. A SDI-based infrastructure works independent from a certain hardware environment. Thus, a complete infrastructure can be exchanged by software – regardless of the underlying hardware components. One reason why SDIs are the fundamental foundation of today’s cloud infrastructure environments. However, a SDI is everything but intelligent! It is based on static source code including hard coded commands for taking certain actions automatically.

This is an AI-defined infrastructure (ADI)

A software-defined infrastructure is an important concept for building and running dynamic IT environments. However, a SDI is limited to the static source code as well as the skill set of the responsible developer respectively administrator who is writing the scripts/ code for the environment. Furthermore, a SDI is only dynamic to a certain level since it is not able to understand or learn the own environment it is operating.

ADI enhances a SDI with the necessary sophisticated algorithms, machine learning and artificial intelligence – fueling the SDI with intelligence. An ADI allows a SDI to build and run self-learning respectively self-healing infrastructure environments. Thus, without human interaction AI-defined IT infrastructure environments are capable of many things. […]