Disruptive Technology from the Desktop to the Data Center
Two startups changing the game
By: Terell Jones
Jan. 27, 2012 06:45 AM
According to Wikipedia, a disruptive technology or disruptive innovation is an innovation that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually goes on to disrupt an existing market and value network (over a few years or decades), displacing an earlier technology. The term is used in business and technology literature to describe innovations that improve a product or service in ways that the market does not expect, typically first by designing for a different set of consumers in the new market and later by lowering prices in the existing market. Virtualization and software design have been the main drivers in the development of disruptive innovations in hardware.
From the Desktop...
Imagine having to architect a VDI solution with the traditional and complex server and SAN based architecture. That project will need at least four separate specializations in network, server, virtualization, and storage. In addition, you would need copious amounts of time to implement. Then here comes V3 Systems with an all-in-one simple appliance you can plug and play into an existing environment, or create a new one from scratch. You can have 400 people up and running in a matter of a couple hours verses a couple weeks. V3 boasts that its solution is 2x to 8x faster than existing desktops. What about VMware, Citrix, Redhat, and Microsoft? It doesn't really matter, because V3 Systems rocks them all.
The CEO, Peter Bookman and his team of merry snowboarders up in Salt Lake City, UT got a good thing going. They work hard and they play hard. http://www.v3sys.com
...To the Data Center
Volume servers consume more than 1% of the total electricity used in the United States-More than $3 Billion dollars each year. Over the last six years, the power consumed by volume servers more than doubled. For companies in the data center, power consumption is the largest Operating Expense for often accounting for more than 30% of Op EX. In fact, research has shown that over a volume server's lifetime the cost of power exceeds its purchase price.
SeaMicro has identified the primary drivers underlying the power inefficiencies in volume servers and has systematically rectified these shortcomings. The result is a small form factor server that uses one-quarter of the power and requires only one-quarter of the space used for traditional servers. SeaMicro servers are plug and play-they require no changes to software operating systems, applications, or management infrastructure.
Over the past 10 years, the data center has undergone a sea change in size and scope, including dramatic changes in the demand for compute, the type of compute required, and the economics of operation. Scale out replaced scale up, and the Cloud became the home of many business services and a source of on-demand compute. Despite these changes, the server has remained architecturally unchanged. Server manufacturers made no accommodation for the new and different workloads and traffic patterns despite the highly specialized workloads that rose to dominance in the data center. This mismatch between specialized workloads and generalist servers is an underlying cause of the power consumption issue in the data center.
SeaMicro is a small company led by CEO, Andrew Feldman, that may still take the typical start-up foozeball break, but it's at the leading edge of a trend that's bringing innovation back to the high-volume server market. To me that is very exciting, since I haven't seen a foozeball table in the office in a decade. http://www.seamicro.com
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