* Posts by dolph

1 post • joined 29 Oct 2009

Dell chief stuffs data center into suitcase

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Limits and real limits

This doesn't appear to me to be "all he could manage", but just what he happened to be able to throw together without having to do anything out-of-the-ordinary. (The most hacking that I saw here was his taking a Dremel to the briefcase to cut out the mount holes.)

I hope that he wasn't actively showing this unimpressive bit of kit off. I think he just got asked by Gavin Clarke to show him the contents. I could be wrong. (Maybe Gavin can tell us one way or the other?)

It's just 2 physical servers (not desktop PCs), each running a bunch of VM's. So the total number of virtual servers is probably enough to run a number of enterprise applications, and could therefore qualify as a tiny datacenter.

What's odd to me is that Dell's own server design team has created dual and quad servers on a single board (in designs even denser than the SuperMicro unit). They've sold them to OEM customers who are buying them in bulk for cloud datacentre buildouts (MSFT, etc). I don't know why this Pike fellow didn't use a couple or a few of those more unusual designs. Then he could have genuinely claimed something out of the ordinary. (Perhaps he doesn't know about those designs? Or perhaps that group doesn't give his group the time of day? Gavin, can you find out more?)

Dell's network switches aren't desktop switches. They're all rack-mount types. There's no way he could squeeze one in there like he could that little Netgear. (That being said, with just two physical ports connected, he could have just as well used a cross-over cable and forgot about the switch.)

I also think the one glaring omission is the KVM plus a built-in monitor, keyboard, mouse (MKM) unit. Pike, why don't you fix that the next time you're in the garage and upgrading your 'datacenter'?


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