With my last 3 years of experience, I had seen numbers of companies require significant expansion in the data center to support the business growth, just because of the additional 200 to 2000 servers or storage shelves they need to put in to the data center. With the technology today, it does help us to reduce the space we need to slot in the servers, and storage thanks to the success of virtualization and higher capacity disk drives in the market. To run a full solution of data center with less number of server racks for SME and enterprise, will no longer be a dream due to some facts below,

  1. Higher consolidation ratio in virtualization with the latest CPU, memory and servers performance
  2. Higher capacity disk drive which significant reduce the number of storage expansion require
  3. Virtual I/O which allow the higher utilization of the available bandwidth in data center
  4. UCS to provide consolidation and higher capacity of bandwidth to support network and storage utilization in the data center

I may had not included all the facts here, but these should be good enough to point out the changing happening to the current market. I had been impressed with the IBM 3950 M2 previously but now, the Unisys alliances with VMware is another choice which provide similar features for the large environment which contains large number of machines running. The unisys Enterprise Server ES7000 could be the ideal machine in this case. 16 physical cpu sockets which contain 6 core each from Intel Xeon 7400 series of processor, and maximum of 1TB of memory with 8GB memory module in a single server. If we do a calculation, you should able to have 96 cores of CPUs in a single server. This will allow more virtual machine to be consolidated into it.

You can view here for more information about the hardware details.

So, with all the technology available, we should able to have our data center running with less number of server racks for servers, storage and networks. This had significant reduce the space require to run a data center, and allow the users to expand the life cycle of the data center in a longer term. If I have to choose to invest 1 Million on DC expansion VS 1 Million of Virtualization, servers and storage, I will definitely choose the 2nd option which provide additional capacity and reduce the space require by a data center. In a longer term, the real estate cost, power & cooling always cost us a big sum of dollars to keep the data center running.

In the near future, there will be 8 cores and 12 cores CPU in the future market. When it come to the time for us to refresh the current ESX servers which run on quad cores or 6 cores base server, the new servers capacity may be double the current servers that we using, and for sure it will allow more machine to be consolidated.