Data Center Update 2012

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. Michael is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement, and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

Data center technology innovations are one of the most significant advancements in IT thus far in the 21st century. From virtualization to portability, the data center has been transformed into a computing powerhouse. In 2011, companies like Cisco, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Sun and Dell launched their entries into the world of modular data centers. What once took a warehouse’s worth of space to house a data center now can be housed within the form-factor of a 20x40 foot cargo container. For example, consider this mind-blowing computing power of one of Sun’s offerings:

  • 250 Sun Fire T1000 servers with CoolThreads technology, with 2,000 cores and 8,000 simultaneous threads
  • 250 x64-based servers with 1,000 cores
  • 1.5 petabytes of disk storage or 2 petabytes of energy-efficient tape storage
  • 7 terabytes of memory
  • Supports 10,000 simultaneous users
  • Sufficient power and cooling to support 200 kilowatts of rack-mounted equipment

However, there are still challenges ahead in the quest to perfect the data center. Here are just a few:

  • Scalable Capacity: More cloud applications, more users and big data demands will drive capacity requirements beyond the stratosphere. By 2015, it is estimated that global internet traffic will exceed a zettabyte. Just how much is a zettabyte? How about 1 billion terabytes (see scale courtesy of

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