So are they preparing us for...
...a letdown as far as hardware announcements At this EMC World? I still haven't heard anything worth getting excited over this year.
Storage titan EMC doesn't really believe in hardware any more – the value is in the software. The company has been on a shift for the past decade to wean itself off of a dependency on proprietary gear, and has instead been pouring resources into developing clever software, EMC head honcho Joe Tucci told The Register at EMC …
With the size of their data centres, power efficiency is critical. The use of tailored hardware with lower power drain makes a BIG difference in the power bill and the amount of equipment that can be in a single data centre when the centres are as large as Google's. Also Google's equipment is designed to be capable of operating at higher than normal server room temperatures to reduce the cooling equipment power drain.
(By the use of these measures Google manages a power overhead of about 12% versus the industry average of 100%.)
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I think there are different definitions of "special hardware" being used. Google's idea of "special hardware" for the higher than normal data center temperatures is to use standard Xeon chips on a pretty standard two socket board, forget the casing and slide 50 boards into a rack. They use a few different methods of cooling, but the servers are commodity x86 servers. The fail quite a bit, but Google and the like have them in massive Hadoop and otherwise parallel file system clusters to withstand those hits. It is a pretty high use approach from an energy perspective as compared to say a bunch of IBM mainframes running Linux.
"...It is a pretty high use approach from an energy perspective as compared to say a bunch of IBM mainframes running Linux...."
Yes, but you would never get the performance out of IBM Mainframes. Their cpus are much much slower than a decent x86 cpu. A high end 8-socket x86 server has similar or even more computing power than the biggest IBM Mainframe with 24 cpus.
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