Valovic on Virtualization

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Data Center in a Box?

Market researcher IDC has an event they’ve held for three years running called the IDC IT Forum & Expo. This year’s event was held at the Westin Waterfront in Boston. I was an IDC analyst prior to joining Virtualization Review, so while attending a few sessions, I had a chance to chat with many former colleagues of mine in the Enterprise Computing Group headed up by Vernon Turner. (Fun fact about Vernon, by the way: he likes to bungee jump in his spare time and has a penchant for showing live footage of his experiences during team meetings.)

Research VP Michelle Bailey gave an interesting presentation of data center trends including virtualization. IDC’s current projection for the number of servers both physical and virtual that will be deployed by 2010 is 60 million (that’s worldwide.) There was also the inevitable discussion of the “management gap”  between core technologies and systems management and automation tools. Bailey says it’s now a big enough problem to cause some of the companies that IDC tracks to pull back from moving to virtualization at least for the time being.

A few other data points that caught my attention: some companies are beginning to use alternative energy as direct power sources for their data centers including solar and wind turbines. And although the expensive and time-consuming (3.5 years on average) task of building a data center was described as “a last resort for many companies”, IDC survey data shows that roughly a third of companies doing so are “going green” in terms of their planning and development. Finally, there’s a new trend towards containerized data centers which can be drop shipped to a site, a kind of data-center-in-a box. Both Sun and – interestingly – Google are working on these types of solutions.

Posted by Tom Valovic on 06/05/2008 at 12:49 PM


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