The Data Centres of Tomorrow Will Use the Same Tech Our Phones Do

From peter Levine, lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business:

“The activity we see everyday on our phones is a mere pinhole view into all that’s happening behind the scenes, in the massive cloud infrastructure powering all those apps, photo-shares, messages, notifications, tweets, emails, and more. Add in the billions of devices coming online through the Internet of Things—which scales through number of new endpoints, not just number of users—and you begin to see why the old model of datacenters built around PCs is outdated. We need more power. And our old models for datacenters are simply not enough.

That’s where mobile isn’t just pressuring, but actually changing the shape of the datacenter—displacing incumbents and creating new opportunities for startups along the way.

Today, the mobile phone industry is where so much innovation has been concentrated—resulting in an entirely new class of components created just for this smaller form factor: flash memory, smaller CPUs, networking hardware, and so on. Which means lightweight processors (such as ARM) and low-cost, low-power mobile components are now becoming the foundation of the next-generation datacenter. In other words, the data centers powering our cell phones—from across the internet—will be remade using the same technologies that sit inside those phones.

All of this may seem counterintuitive at first. Because surely more computing power in the data center would mean bigger and bigger CPUs—not smaller and smaller parts—packing in ever more transistors? But that’s where power and cooling may have reached its limit. While Moore’s Law put immense computing power in our hands, it also multiplied the sheer scale of data, apps, and computing resources being used around the world. Things are heating up (literally) inside the datacenter; we can no longer rely on big hardware to power the mobile revolution.”

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