Not that I planned it this way, but yesterday I wrote two articles for the IT Business Edge network, each with a neat little Green IT component.
The first is about Nicira, a startup that emerged from stealth this week despite offering a product that’s been commercially available since July 2011. But let’s not get hung up on technicalities and instead focus on the neat stuff: its virtual networking tech.
The company’s subscription-based software effectively de-couples virtual machines from the underlying physical network. That not only means truly elastic IT — workloads that contract, expand and shuffle across a network — but less networking infrastructure to buy and manage.
And with less hardware to buy — and keep powered, don’t forget — the savings can quickly add up…
As for cost savings, Nicira estimates that large data center customers (1 million VMs on 40,000 servers) can save between $15 million to $30 million on server and network hardware expenditures by avoiding over-provisioning and reducing the number of ports typically required to keep its platform operational.
EMC follows in the footsteps of flash startups
In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a big fan of flash memory. Though pricey, it consumes a lot less energy than traditional hard drive-based storage and offers screaming fast performance to boot.
A common method of employing flash memory in data centers is to outfit computer servers with SSDs. A startup called Fusion-io takes things one step further by packing flash chips onto a PCIe card and slotting it into a server’s the motherboard to act as a caching system for frequently accessed data.
EMC seems so enamored by the idea that its “Project Lightning” product, now officially called VFCache, employs the same basic design. Hey, why re-invent the wheel? But EMC’s not done looking to flash startups for inspiration.
Rumor has it that “Project Thunder” is similarly inspired by Violin Memory.