Why Read This
From their origins as "PCs with the display cut off," x86 servers have undergone a steady evolution in capabilities and performance, driven by a combination of semiconductor technology and system architecture. Change over the past several years has been significant, with the introduction of not only faster but increasingly virtualized servers with improved power efficiency. Despite this recent acceleration in capabilities, the next several years promise an equally compelling set of innovations. Focus your efforts on four form factor innovations — blades, racks, ultra-dense, and revitalized scale-up solutions — and three new transformational features — converged fabrics, virtualized I&O, and full physical server virtualization. Expect Dell, HP, and IBM to be joined by upstart server vendor Cisco and a newly revitalized Oracle/Sun to offer these innovations and capitalize on new generations of Intel and AMD chips debuting in 2011. All this promises to deliver servers in 2012 that will be four times as powerful as today's servers but at the same size, the same power envelope, and with better management models.