Of course a key question for any US based cloud supplier
Have you provisioned enough bandwidth for the NSA?
Verizon's ambitious new cloud services sit on an undisclosed number of 512-core SeaMicro appliances from AMD, casting doubt on the conventional belief that clouds can only be made of pizzabox servers provided by low-cost suppliers. AMD announced the collaboration on the SM15000 appliances on Monday, and the partnership …
This is really just another data point on the trend back to the mainframe days. The cloud is in so many ways a return to the old-school mainframe bureau; funky hardware is a completely reasonable part of the process.
While Facebook has made much of its disaggregated hardware, there's no particular reason why aggregated hardware is unsuitable for building a cloud. It's not as if you can just go and buy a Facebook specced server off the shelf, and even if you could, it's EXTREMELY unlikely that your requirements will match Facebook's (particularly if you're building a general-purpose IAAS cloud).
This is essentially supercomputer tech, where with a very high speed, low latency interconnect fabric and 64-bit address space, you can have these show up as a large pool of processors with large pool of memory instead of a bunch of seperate systems with a fast network. These traditionally could be run as one large system or several smaller ones as well. This would have definitely been too expensive for data center applications until recently, but here ya' go, apparently it's not any more and I think would work well for a cloud service provider usage.
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