A relatively limited marketplace of maybe a thousand companies with fat wallets capable of shelling out tens of millions for such system.
IBM means to replace the white
boxes they use now or build themselves like Google does.
It says it’s got a few hundred
early adopters and potential customers in
WinterGreen Research puts the
market at $10 billion.
IBM calls the thing iDataPlex and
leverages its blade server widgetry to build what it calls a “completely new
It’s supposed to more than
doubles the number of systems that can run in a single rack – something like a
138% more servers on the same floor tiles at 20%-25% the cost – and promises 40%
less power consumption while increasing the amount of computing that can be
done by five times.
The system can run at room
temperature without air conditioning using a so-called liquid cooling wall on
Power costs, particularly in
developing economies, are killing massively scaled-out data center operators,
which IBM figures spend 10-30 times more on energy per square foot that the
average office building, but that expense isn’t going to stop the exponential
growth of such things.
IBM says iDataPlex, part of its Blue Cloud initiative, will be
Besides installing the
equipment in-house IBM intends to rent out the massive widgetry at its
It said start-ups such as
virtual-worlds company Forterra Systems are accessing an iDataPlex system in
the IBM High Performance On Demand Solutions (HiPODS) lab in
IBM is teaming with vendors
such as Intel, QLogic, Avocent, Blade Network Technology, Devon IT, Force 10
Networks, and SMC Networks to create an iDataPlex ecosystem.
Blade Network Technologies, for
example, built its new RackSwitch G8000 Ethernet switch, optimized for cost and
efficient cooling, specifically for iDataPlex.
Besides Red Hat and
SUSE,iDataPlex will also support the open source, scale-out cluster management
Ann Winblad, co-founder and a managing director of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, an investor in enterprise Web 2.0 and Cloud Computing start-ups like Widgetbox, Sliderocket, Wavemaker, Elastra and Move Networks, figures iDataPlex will remove some of the inhibitors holding Web 2.0 back such as the amount of space and energy required to serve content to more and more end users.