Category Archives: Future Technologies

Next Generation Intel Ivy Bridge CPU Details Leaked

Digging around the web tonight, I stumbled upon an interesting Czech web site, ExtraHardware.cz, that appears to offer some details around Intel’s upcoming E5-2600 v2 processor.  I’m not sure of the timeline for when the E5-2600 v2 will be released, but I imagine we can expect them to be available sometime in the next few months.  Here is a quick summary of what was revealed.

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Intel’s Advancements Lead to the Future of the Data Center

A little over a year ago, I wrote an article titled, “Why Blade Servers Will be the Core of Future Data Centers” where I coined the name “Rackplane” which described the concept of future data centers designed with rack sized systems capable of having blade server like compute, memory, I/O, network and storage nodes all communicating at high speeds.  While my vision is pure speculation (and was imagined before my current employment with Dell), Intel and Facebook seem to be creating a vision of the future of data centers that is similar to mine.  Continue reading

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Why Blade Servers Will be the Core of Future Data Centers

In 1965, Gordon Moore predicted that engineers would be able to double the number of components on a microchip every two years.  Known as Moore’s law, his prediction has come true – processors are continuing to become faster each year while the components are becoming smaller and smaller.  In the footprint of the original ENIAC computer, we can today fit thousands of CPUs that offer a trillion more computes per seconds at a fraction of the cost.  This continued trend is allowing server manufactures to shrink the footprint of the typical x86 blade server allowing more I/O expansion, more CPUs and more memory.  Will this continued trend allow blade servers to gain market share, or could it possibly be the end of rack servers?  My vision of the next generation data center could answer that question.

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Nutanix Cluster: Disruptive to Blade Server Market?

 

With all that is made of the competition between blade server manufacturers and the growth of the blade server market in general, is there room for another type of condensed computing in the data center? Have we been going about things all wrong with regard to architecture design?

Nutanix thinks so.

Nutanix is a start-up company geared towards delivering a simplified virtualization infrastructure with a strong focus towards eliminating the need for a SAN. Their clustered solution brings storage and compute together which theoretically reduces expense, reduces complexity, and improves performance. On its own it doesn’t really seem that innovative but the secret sauce is how they make the cluster scale and tier/span data across all nodes without sacrificing performance. Each node has the usual compute resources plus a mix of local SSD and SATA hard disks. There are 4 nodes per 2u enclosure called a “block”. Add more blocks and you have a Nutanix cluster. The software stack scales and balances everything between the nodes and blocks. The technology originated from the architecture that companies like Google and Facebook employ in their data centers. Assuming that can be taken at face value, the scalability potential is phenomenal.

So what’s the big deal?

Well my thinking is that if you can eliminate the need for a SAN (for virtualization) then you can definitely eliminate the need for an enclosure of blade servers. No interconnects. No Enclosure. Simplified network architecture. No SAN. What’s not to love?

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The End of Blade Servers?

Personal Cassette Players.  Portable CD players.  Dial up Internet. Betamax.  The VCR.  Pagers.  These are all popular technologies that have gone away.  When they were hot, you would never have expected for them to one day be extinct.  Are blade servers set to follow in the footsteps of these other blade technologies? Continue reading

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IBM Blades on the Battlefield

You have probably heard of IBM’s ruggedized BladeCenter offering, the BladeCenter T and HT but did you know there was another IBM blade server offering that meets MIL-SPEC requirements that is not sold by IBM?  Continue reading

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