Newtons 3rd law of motion is in essence “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”.
When x86 and rack systems couldn’t scale up to handle the demands of modern computing, they scaled out. Scale out systems are OK to a point, but soon the complexity and cost of scale out becomes a real hurdle and building plumbing isn’t what most businesses want to pay their employees to do.
The IBM reaction to this has been the recent announcement of two super-dense systems. These are server consolidation platforms on steroids. Earlier this month we announced the new POWER6 “Hydro-Cluster” supercomputer, the Power 575, which has upto 448 processor cores per rack. Today see’s the press announcement of the IBM iDataplex server, an x86-based super-dense server.
In case the benefits of a super-dense system are not obvious, the weekends mysterious video has re-appeared on YouTube. iDataplex is currently a custom build offering rather than a product, and can be built with a range of different cores and boards to suit the application from low power, low heat to high function high power.