Rise of the Micro Architecture
Amid the trend toward virtualization and consolidation, it's hard to explain the rise of micro-archiecture.
True enough, but then how to explain the sudden rise of mini- and micro-architectures in enterprise settings?
HP is the latest vendor to join this movement, with the release of the Just Right IT line for small business settings -- typically offices of 10 people or less. The line features a new ProLiant MicroServer, along with several mini-tower PCs and a new single-console HP Insight management system. The server is half the size of conventional ProLiants and shaves about 150 watts off of power consumption. It also runs a lot quieter -- a must considering most will be housed somewhere in the office as opposed to a separate server room.
Part of the movement to smaller devices is driven by new micro-architectures coming out on the latest silicon. Intel is touting its Xeon 3400 line for a new generation of microservers, with plans for systems drawing as little as 30 watts. AMD is on a similar track with plans to repurpose its Bobcat line, originally intended for netbook and notebook applications, for higher-end servers. Companies like ARM are also said to be evaluating their low-power mobile and embedded RISC designs for microservers, possibly targeting the growing legion of cloud providers.
The gamble here, though, is that small business will continue to prefer on-site data resources as opposed to low-cost, low-maintenance cloud solutions flooding the market. On the one hand, there's no reason to think a small business owner would trust online data resources any more than a large enterprise IT manager. Then again, there is something to be said for rapidly scalable, state-of-the-art resources with virtually no capital costs.
Either way, small organizations will benefit from both new services and new technologies more suited to their unique needs.