Micro Servers to Create a Paradigm Shift in Data Center Architecture
When it comes to data centers, the traditional image of large halls with lines and lines of racks and full of servers is now passé. New generation data centers are shifting to micro servers that take up just one-eighth of the space of a traditional x86 processor, have more density, are more efficient, and consume considerably less power.
New generation high-density micro servers have a small footprint and low power demand. They consume just anywhere between half to one-tenth of the power, takes up just one-eighth of the space, and costs just one-fourth of the cost, compared to an average x86 processor. The greater density and efficiency results in savings for energy, square footage costs, and administration costs. These micro servers, besides reducing square footage costs, also make scaling up and down easy.
It is easy to add physical micro servers by the thousands, to keep up with the increasing number of low demand workloads that require subsecond response times and reliability. It is far more efficient to stock the data center with hordes of these high-density micro servers, each no larger than the size of a Rubick's cube, rather than the towers of fixed racks. It is easy to remove and throw away these micro servers as well. In fact, websites would be able to leverage micro-servers as an effective alternative to virtualization, for front end workloads.
These micro servers don't just save on space, but are about four times denser than conventional x86 processors. The shared infrastructure, such as power supplies and cabling, enables high density, making it possible to put up to 12 nodes into a 3U (133mm) chassis.
The micro servers also contribute to simpler network architecture. Traditional data centers feature a labyrinth of network switches and routers, running on proprietary software and operating systems. The shift to micro servers provides an opportunity to implement Software Defined Networks (SDNs) based on a common open source software stack running on standardized system platform. This simplifies the network architecture considerably, further reducing network management costs.
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