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A New Type of Colocation Facility


A New Type of Colocation Facility

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Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item A New Type of Colocation Facility

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Jim P.
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It looks like M$ is finally catching up to Google on Data Centers. :-D



----------------
Jim P.

A little bit of this and a little byte of that can cause bloatware.
wolfkillj
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This sounds like a scaled-up version of the blade server concept. Old model - when you need extra computing power in the accounting system servers for end-of-month processes (the scenario commonly used to explain and sell the blade concept), pull some blades from a system with less load and add some to the accounting system. New model - when you need extra computing power in the data center, truck in a couple of containers of server racks and wire them in.

I also wonder whether there could be some DR/business continuity applications. A warm site could be just a big room with the storage infrastructure, the minimum number of servers needed to manage the data replication, and the necessary power and connectivity infrastructure, plus a contract with a vendor to deliver x containers containing y servers provisioned with z configuration within n hours to bring the warm site online to handle the production load.

Interesting stuff.

Jason Wolfkill
Blog: SQLSouth
Twitter: @SQLSouth
RickObsitnik
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Hey Steve

I like your mobile idea as IT becomes more mobile. I see uses especially with the military and intel agencies along with global corps setting up shops quickly while waiting on permanent solutions. Awesome idea! ;-)
Miles Neale
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When I think of the millions and millions of dollars spent on those cold data centers with special this and that compared to trucking in a container just plug it in, configure, and run I am amazed. I never really thought it would be like buying a washing machine or chest freezer.

Wonderful information, have you seen any update to the article? Since it was published a few years back Microsoft might have a "true life story" out there by now.

Thanks!

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Steve Jones
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Miles Neale (1/31/2013)
When I think of the millions and millions of dollars spent on those cold data centers with special this and that compared to trucking in a container just plug it in, configure, and run I am amazed. I never really thought it would be like buying a washing machine or chest freezer.

Wonderful information, have you seen any update to the article? Since it was published a few years back Microsoft might have a "true life story" out there by now.

Thanks!


It is crazy. I heard that MS is doing the parking lot thing, with a fence and dropping containers off. Haven't found public confirmation, but I suspect we'll see it.

I could see some of my larger employers (1000+ people) doing this to grow instead of adding to cold rooms. Need space for 2-3, since you might not mess with one until xx% of servers die and then replace the whole thing.

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wolfkillj (1/31/2013)
This sounds like a scaled-up version of the blade server concept. Old model - when you need extra computing power in the accounting system servers for end-of-month processes (the scenario commonly used to explain and sell the blade concept), pull some blades from a system with less load and add some to the accounting system. New model - when you need extra computing power in the data center, truck in a couple of containers of server racks and wire them in.

I also wonder whether there could be some DR/business continuity applications. A warm site could be just a big room with the storage infrastructure, the minimum number of servers needed to manage the data replication, and the necessary power and connectivity infrastructure, plus a contract with a vendor to deliver x containers containing y servers provisioned with z configuration within n hours to bring the warm site online to handle the production load.

Interesting stuff.


We used to have an IBM P690 like this, basically a large computer that could be partitioned with a native hypervisor. In 2000 time frame, we had 32 CPUS and like 96GB of RAM. We had this partitioned with AIX into 3-4 VMs that people used. We could shut down some of the text environments for EOM or EOY processing and hot add CPUs and RAM to the production machine.

These days I'd think we should have more cloud oriented software we can add/remove machines from.

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jasona.work
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I could see the use for these being a company which needs more processing power (one MSDN blog post from two years ago talked about anywhere from 400 to 2600 servers in a standard shipping container) but doesn't have the space in their existing server room.

Also handy for temporary "pop-up" sites, maybe your building burned to the ground and you didn't have a backup site, so you're renting space and put one of these in.
wolfkillj
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jasona.work (1/31/2013)
I could see the use for these being a company which needs more processing power (one MSDN blog post from two years ago talked about anywhere from 400 to 2600 servers in a standard shipping container) but doesn't have the space in their existing server room.

Also handy for temporary "pop-up" sites, maybe your building burned to the ground and you didn't have a backup site, so you're renting space and put one of these in.


Back during the Christmas shopping season, my city sponsored a "pop-up" retail center in some vacant space in what used to be a vibrant retail and entertainment district. It was basically a bazaar of temporary establishments of popular retail stores from other areas of town ranging in size from kiosks to several hundred square feet of floor space. The city provided power and telephone/internet connectivity to the participating merchants. I think the whole thing was paid for by a combination of grants and in-kind donations, so the merchants only had to foot the costs of setting up, stocking, and staffing their booths. Reportedly, it was a big success among merchants and shoppers alike.

I can think of several scenarios where a "pop-up" data center could be useful, especially for businesses that for various reasons can't rely on cloud-based hosting services - a business needs to expand more quickly than it can build out the data center capacity, or a business wants to renovate its existing data center facilities but doesn't want the hassle of finding and fitting out a temporary data center somewhere else, or a business lands a new customer that will generate a lot of volume but hasn't committed to a long-term contract that would support a permanent expansion of the data center, for some examples.

Jason Wolfkill
Blog: SQLSouth
Twitter: @SQLSouth
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