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February 2013/ Volume 2, Issue 2

Despite IT wishes, scale out architecture growing in data centers

Lately I’ve noticed that IT trends within an organization and IT trends within a data center are like classical mechanics and quantum mechanics, respectively. If it’s been a while since your last physics course, classical mechanics govern the motion of large objects. However, once the object gets small enough—like to the size of an atom—all the rules change. Those new rules are quantum mechanics. Data centers are like that, too. Outside a data center, IT departments preach consolidation and centralization. They push data and processing back into the data center with virtualization and cloud computing. They even push the desktops into the data center with virtual desktop infrastructure. But within a data center, the trend is the opposite. Applications and systems that scale up with a “Just throw hardware at it” approach are yielding to those that scale out. The result is a swarm of smaller machines working together versus a monolith, or local disk arrays orchestrated by software to provide the services of a more traditional ...

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