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The pain and promise of x86 servers

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Reader Study Advances in x86 server technology have been relentless. Year-on-year improvements in price-performance and advances in power efficiency have driven down the costs of commodity-based infrastructure. At the other end of the spectrum, you can now pretty much build your own virtual supercomputer or mainframe with modern x86 clusters and scale-out architectures.

It's unsurprising, then, that over 60 per cent of Reg readers in a recent study categorised their data centre environment as "mostly x86 servers with one or two other systems". Almost all, in fact, indicated at least some x86 boxes in the mix.

But if you are the proud custodian of a modern and perfectly architected x86 estate then you are in the minority. It is more likely that at least part of your infrastructure is based on equipment that's been 'accumulated' over the years. We therefore suspect that ageing, hot, power-hungry, under-utilised and difficult to manage servers are still pretty common.

But tell us, are you struggling with a mishmash of uncoordinated x86 kit, or have you been through the whole consolidation, virtualisation and technology refresh thing? Wherever you are on that journey, we would like to hear about the pain, or tips you might have to avoid it.

So, if x86 servers figure prominently in your professional life and career, get cracking on our latest reader survey right here. ®

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