Software-Defined Infrastructure

What Does Software-Defined Infrastructure Mean?

Software-defined infrastructure (SDI) is defined as a system where software controls computing hardware without significant human intervention. In a software-defined infrastructure system, some level of automation enables systems to be provisioned and work to some extent without human guidance.


Techopedia Explains Software-Defined Infrastructure

Although software-defined infrastructure has become an industry buzzword, many IT experts have been able to poke holes in it, arguing that the definition of software-defined infrastructure is exceedingly vague. For example, one subset of software-defined infrastructure is software-defined storage, and in evaluating how storage has changed in the last 40 years or so, one see that almost any modern storage system has some element of software-defined infrastructure involved.

Someone who is critiquing the idea of software-defined infrastructure as groundbreaking technology would argue that ever since people did away with punch cards and other physical hardware controls, software-defined infrastructure has been technically universal. The same case could be made for other flavors of software-defined infrastructure – the result is that understanding the extent of software-defined infrastructure involves assessing exactly how much automation is put into any system and how well software can control hardware and what it can do without human help in terms of specific functionality.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.