Green IT: Nicira intros network virtualization tech, EMC follows flash startups

Nicira logo

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.

by Pedro Hernandez on February 7, 2012 · 0 comments

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