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Vol. 2 No. 3 May 2003

The shape of the new data center

The data center of the future will certainly have more powerful computers, networks and storage than today's data centers. However, if that's all the future holds, it will just be a larger, faster, cheaper version of the present, and that won't be much of a step forward. Change to one pillar can bring the whole architecture down, because the pillars are not independent of each other. This model (above) is actually layered, as the diagram of the storage infrastructure (below) demonstrates. The goal at each level is to use agnostic components. A better approach is to conceive of the architecture as the sum of agnostic components. Changes to each will change the overall shape, but not destroy the functionality. We're at a point where we need to move past a feeds-and-speeds approach or even just a checklist of standards compliance and develop, evaluate and deploy products that enable a balanced architectural approach. This will allow us to respond to changes in the business and the continuing evolution of technology much more ...

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