Showdowns to Watch in 08
Opinion: Matchups include big box vs. the hive, power costs vs. server room.There are lots of predictable matchups for 2008: Republicans versus Democrats, Linux versus Windows and every NFL team versus the New England Patriots. Some less visible, but equally interesting, matchups are also brewing for the new year. Here are five of my favorites. The big box versus the hive. I was reminded of this matchup following a meeting with Steven Sams, IBM's vice president of site and facilities services. IBM can present a compelling argument for replacing all those underused, overheated servers with a couple of mainframes. In one internal example, IBM went from using 3,900 standard servers to 33 mainframes. On the other side of the equation are companies such as Google, Amazon.com and other big "computing cloud" providers building out hives of thousands upon thousands of low-cost servers. Companies looking to replace aging data centers are looking at a clear choice in the hive versus the big box. Power costs versus the server room. While this might seem like a variation of the big box versus the hive, grappling with the costs of powering and cooling your server room structure will become a key financial decision in 2008. Power costs will continue to increase, and the environmental movement is demanding that companies become more accountable for their energy usage.
Care and feeding of the company database versus plugging into the database cloud. A corporate database needs a lot of hand-holding, administration and investment dollars. However, the entrance of companies such as Amazon.com into the hosted database market suggests a new possibility for small and midsize businesses. What if you could concentrate on ensuring that the apps running on your database are up-to-date and meet your company's strategic business objectives instead of keeping the old database cranking along?