A term coined by IBM for its "software-defined everything" vision. The company's Software-Defined Environments (SDE) group is the latest evolution of what first began as the Application, Integration and Middleware group inside the IBM Software group.
According to this eWeek article, IBM says "a Software-Defined Environment (SDE) optimizes the entire computing infrastructure – compute, storage and network resources – so that it can adapt to the type of work required. In today's environment, resources are assigned manually to workloads; that happens automatically in a SDE."
By dynamically assigning workloads to IT resources based on a variety of factors, including the characteristics of specific applications, the best-available resources, and service-level policies, a software-defined environment can deliver continuous, dynamic optimization and reconfiguration to address infrastructure issues.
Related Terms: Software-Defined Everything, Software-Defined Networking (SDN), Software-Defined Storage (SDS) and Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC)