Industry Trends

By eweek  |  Posted 2006-10-17 Email Print this article Print

It sounds like—certainly on a much larger scale—something similar to what HP is doing with its Lights Out Project, the idea being to put the hardware together with the power and cooling and networking technology into a self-contained unit. Do you see this as a trend in the industry itself, outside of simply what Sun is doing? I think there is a huge pent-up demand for somebody to figure this out. I think that step where weve done a pretty radical, out-of-the-box [move], if you will, is [asking], "So, what did you need the data center for in the first place?"
All these other designs [for cooling] are basically, yeah, were going to give a new wrap, or were going to bring chilled water into this rack, or gas exchange, or well design a set of racks that do that. Its always in the context of, install it in your machine room. This is, there is no machine room. Theres a container port.
Unless you talk about how a hundred of these things fit together and what your infrastructure is to support that and how built them and designed them and commissioned them in places different from where you deploy them. Even lights out, as HP talks about in the data center, people still have to bring it there and put it together. Here, again, because of the magic about this, you can ship these containers anywhere really cheaply around the world, you can put them together where ever you want them put together, and then ship them. You have them on the spot hooked up and running, and thats a very different cycle around not only speed of deployment, but also where you need the skills. Are you able to do things like copy it exactly? A lot of these folks have patterns of pieces of their data center service or whatever, and theyd like to get that pattern exactly deployed in India, and they dont want anybody messing with it.
How do you see what youre doing in with this project impacting what you offer for a more traditional data center environment? I think for the time being, were gong to be focused on innovation and driving this design point really hard. We have things for, ok, I have a data center and I want more traditional access to it. Were doing a lot of work in that area, too. Thats not what Project Blackbox is about. But we do have a lot of what Andy Bechtolsheim is putting a lot of energy into. Those markets dont go away, those are important markets and any big customer of ours is a portfolio in any case. "Heres my core IT stuff, and, no, it doesnt make any sense for me to put my Siebel implementation into this thing." On the other hand, if I go over to, theyll go, "Yeah, sure." Going back to that core enterprise, well that core enterprise might be a company in the package transportation business, and what they really need is high-performance computing because it solves the traveling salesman or cargo loading problem. Boy, thats going to consume a lot of power and computing power, and how would they go about deploying that? And now heres an opportunity to do that in a much more efficient style. These things will coexist. Next Page: Problem-solving.


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