Tuesday, 12 August 2014
How the Smartphone Is Revolutionising the Data Centre
There is a revolution brewing at the heart of the tech world. It's not a revolution of political ideas or educational dogma, but one in which technology will transform the data centre of the future into something we never could have anticipated just a decade ago. What's more, the revolution is being led by the smartphone.
Every person that owns a smartphone holds in his or her hand a supercomputer capable of a nearly endless set of functions without the need for cooling fans, mechanical drives and much of the hardware you find in a typical desktop computer. Truth be told, the smartphone is an extremely efficient piece of equipment that does a lot with very little.
The data centre of the future will be operating on equipment and components very similar to what you hold in your hand. CPUs will be powerful AND energy-efficient; flash drives will replace optical drives and software will be run in the cloud. It has to be this way – if for no other reason than the fact that we have reached critical mass whereby power and cooling can barely keep up with computing power.
There are three primary areas ripe for major change:
In the old days, proprietary hardware manufacturers determined the course of global computing. Data centre architecture, like everything else, had to be designed and constructed according to proprietary standards. Any hardware manufacturer wanting to flex its muscles could do so by simply refusing to support vendors.
Smartphone hardware, on the other hand, was developed outside the proprietary bubble. It was developed to adapt to consumer need rather than corporate demand. Someone came up with a few ideas for apps and hardware makers figured out how to meet those needs. The result is commodity-based software that responds as development moves forward. Future data centres will be built using this commodity-based hardware that is not tied to a single proprietor.
Developers of proprietary software are also on the verge of losing their control. The open source community is now a force that must be reckoned with, being largely responsible for the software that runs the world's Internet servers and the majority of our smart phones. There will be a day, if it has not yet arrived, when the open source community is working directly with hardware manufacturers in a mutually beneficial relationship that is anything but exclusionary.
Lastly, the data centre of the future will be making extensive use of software as a service (SaaS) in the cloud. IT services will no longer need to be implemented at the customer level; they will exist and operate in the cloud. The benefits of such a model include lower cost, the ability to test drive applications before purchase and the availability of instant updates.
Thanks to the humble smartphone, we may be finally coming to the end of global networking controlled by proprietary interests. The revolution destined to make it possible is one that is long overdue.
Source: Wired magazine – http://www.wired.com/2014/08/datacenter-of-the-future/?es_p=100115