Today marked the announcement of another entry into the foray of “new” systems designed for cloud computing. I make light of “new” as this is a space Dell has been serving for over a year now. And along the way we’ve found that the unique needs of hyperscale customers demand a hands-on (and often very discreet) co-development approach. Power and space savings vs. general purpose servers in the magnitude of those quoted in the press today are really just the ticket to entry into these environments. I’m glad IBM shares Dell’s appreciation for that.
One element of today’s announcement I’d like to call into question is what is being presented to customers as “entirely new” – things like door panel cooling, half-depth servers and proprietary racks. Who are these “innovations” really benefitting when they’re not built on industry standards in the end? Is it the customer or the system provider’s bottom line? Cooling is an incredibly complex topic – that heat has to be rejected somewhere and there are no silver bullets. The best solutions are often rooted in the basics – hot/cold air containment, higher return temps etc… and we have found that a lot can be done even in hyperscale cloud computing environments without adding a lot of unnecessary complexity.
From a marketecture standpoint I have to give a tip of the hat to the Blue Cloud initiative although I don’t sense tangible benefits for any customers yet. Leadership is delivering. The top 5 search engines (in the U.S. market) are Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL and ASK. It’s widely known that Google builds their systems in-house. Of the remaining top five, three have worked with Dell in the past year to co-develop their servers with our Data Center Solutions team. Not a bad start considering the dawn of customized, build-to-order cloud computing servers just came today….