Lawyer Bait

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Monday, December 7, 2009

I thought a niche was a small market...

Containerized data centers remain niche players according to IBM...

I got the heads up on this article from my Google Alerts and it was a head scratcher. IBM, who makes containers, was saying that containerized data centers are still a niche play. Steve Sams, VP of site and facilities for IBM, said containerized data centers are not for everyone and won't be for a long time.

"Most major companies conclude that data center containers are not for them, and I think they're right," he said. "I never think it's going to be a huge market."

Is IBM trying to sell these, or is this a ploy a la Sun Microsystems to sell more servers in a bigger box?

He goes on to say - "But Sams said that in general, he doesn't think containers are "the best way to build 320 square feet of data center."

"Ninety-nine percent of our customers are never going to install thousands of servers at a time," he said.

Someone in marketing at IBM may be to differ. I know I do.

Why would an organization NOT want to spend less money on delivering its IT resources? I can't name one company I have spoken to in the past 18 months that says 'We don't care what it costs, we'll do things the most expensive and inefficient way possible.'

The biggest issue I see with container adoption is that there are few places to plug and play. Microsoft and Google and Amazon are single tenant operations with custom built facilities to support their compute and storage infrastructure. Ninety nine percent of companies who buy IT gear don't have their budgets and their expertise to do this on their own.

Couple the budget issue with the fact that traditional data center operators do not have capital to build on spec, and when the container manufacturers are touting that customers can have 4000 square feet of data center deployable - including servers, OS, and racks - in 8 weeks, data center operators can't build out their infrstaructure fast enough to give container buyers a place to land them.

So a company must then navigate facilities issues, zoning and permitting, siting, redundancy, in short - it's a new data center project for their data center in a box.

I personally believe that when there is a vendor agnostic place to plug them in, it will increase data center container sales. Who in their right mind wouldn't want a PUE of les than 1.3, breathtaking capacity ordered, installed, tested, and delivered in 8 weeks, a quickly depreciable asset, and one that can be leased 100% with tech refreshes built in?

IBM must have quite a list if only 1% of their cutomers thinks that greener, more efficient, highly dense, and fiscally responsible solution is a way to go.

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