The web-computing era is defined by scale-out architectures and new applications built to fully leverage them. We believe the shift to scale-out is highly disruptive to legacy vendors and will underpin the entire move to Infrastructure 2.0.
Static infrastructure is dead. The ability to manage change is a central requirement for consumers of IT who expect to iterate their applications weekly, daily, or hourly. Elasticity, end-to-end performance optimization, and adaptive infrastructure are all opportunities born of Infrastructure 1.0 shortcomings.
Data centers consume 3% of the world’s power, are responsible for 2% of all greenhouse gas emissions, and consume 160+ billion gallons of water each year. By 2020 consumption will increase to 140 billion kW/h of electricity, the equivalent of 50 large power plants. With exponential growth in IT demand, providers and consumers of data center infrastructure have been facing increasing pressure to become more efficient for both cost and environmental reasons. Data center operators have learned that the goal of decreasing their carbon footprint is aligned with increasing profitability. The data center industry today focuses on innovation at the facility level (e.g., hot aisle/cold aisle design, more efficient HVAC systems, etc.), where they have control and knowledge. However, the source of the problem is within the servers. They are like doctors whose only treatment for a sick patient with a high fever is a bathtub filled with ice.
No other solution is as energy efficient or as elegant. Adding greater HVAC infrastructure increases CAPEX and OPEX. Running systems hotter increases risk while decreasing the useful lives of servers. Liquid cooling and oil submersion require substantial new technologies, investment and operating processes, all while adding infrastructure and risk. Power usage efficiency and computational density are significant challenges facing the data center industry, and other currently available solutions—either from IT or facility management—are not going to meet the demands of this rapidly growing industry.