Arthur Cole: The Argument For and Against Low-power Servers
Whenever the conversation in IT circles drifts toward low-power servers and the new class of chips that run them, I'm reminded of an early scene in "Joe Versus the Volcano."
Joe (Tom Hanks) walks into his dead-end job where Mr. Waturi (the brilliant Dan Hedaya) is having an endless telephone argument with another middle manager: "I know he can get the job, but can he do the job? (Pause) I know he can get the job ..." In the end, we never find out if "he" actually gets the job, let alone succeeds or fails, but the point is that low-power servers present the same dilemma to IT management.
No doubt, the technology is sound. With today's multicore designs, servers can pack more low-power cores into a single chassis, both increasing performance and lowering consumption compared to current designs. So, yes, they can get the job. The question for many is whether these low-power designs truly provide the most bang for the buck -- performance/watt in industry parlance. Can they do the job?
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