Feeds

Sun warns of voracious, collapsing data centers

McDonalds may sell them

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Sun Microsystems loves to think ten years ahead of the market. Such technology philosophizing is natural for a research and development heavy. As of late, however, Sun has started to claim that its grand vision of computing's future will start to take hold not in the next decade but rather next year.

During 2008, Sun expects to see the full-on arrival of what it calls RedShift applications. These are the types of software jobs that require more gains in processing power than Moore's Law can provide.

At the moment, the high performance computing (HPC) set come to mind as the most obvious RedShifters. These folks turn to massive clusters and all manner of accelerators to obtain huge speedups in application performance. In most cases, the HPC customers must place an emphasis on writing parallelized software that can spread across many systems well and/or tweak their software for the specialized accelerators to realize the performance gains they desire.

The software work done by the customers and vendors gets around the end of the GHz boosting era. Coders can no longer count on Intel, AMD and others to crank up the clocks on their chips but must instead find a way to take advantage of the extra cores being added to each new generation of processors.

Another class of RedShifters comes from the software-as-a-service set. You can think of companies such as Amazon, eBay and Google/YouTube in this group.

More than Moore

Looking at Google, for example, and you find a company that ignores Moore's Law as we've come to know it. Google uses rather slow chips to power its core services. The ad broker, however, makes up for underwhelming individual horsepower per server by linking thousands of servers together and writing code that can tap into these cores well.

According to Sun CTO Greg Papadopoulos, 2008 will mark the first time that RedShift type companies start to consume the majority of available compute cycles.

This is a very forward thinking position to take. It means that more attention and money will go toward building new, massive scale services rather than contracting BlueShift services such as, say, payroll.

To support the RedShift era, companies will start building data centers that defy belief, according to Sun.

We're talking about 50,000 sq. ft, 5,000kW centers now and 500,000 sq. ft, 50,000kW centers over the next ten years.

But, again, Sun is talking about the now rather than the next ten years and predicts that at least one organization - perhaps a government lab - will begin work on a 500,000 sq. ft data center in 2008.

In addition, Sun VP Subodh Bapat warned that 2008 will bring a data center failure of unprecedented scale, causing not only tremendous pains for users but also possible "national security issues." So, there's that to look forward to, as our data centers reach enormous proportions.

The rather comical bit about Sun's predictions is that the company spends so much time thinking about these things but fails to demonstrate any business around the ideas to the public.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
Like condoms, data now comes in big and HUGE sizes
Linux Foundation lights a fire under storage devs with new conference
Community chest: Storage firms need to pay open-source debts
Samba implementation? Time to get some devs on the job
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?