Feeds

Sun warns of voracious, collapsing data centers

McDonalds may sell them

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

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
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Object storage bods Exablox: RAID is dead, baby. RAID is dead
Bring your own disks to its object appliances
Nimble's latest mutants GORGE themselves on unlucky forerunners
Crossing Sandy Bridges without stopping for breath
A beheading in EMC's ViPR lair? Software's big cheese to advise CEO
Changes amid rivalry in the storage snake pit
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.