Guides10 Server Predictions for '11 Page 2

10 Server Predictions for ’11 Page 2

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6. On-Board Hypervisor

What’s better than hypervisor-enhanced CPUs? Hardware hypervisors. Think of the possibilities of having your hypervisor integrated into the hardware backbone of your systems. Exciting, isn’t it? It is if you think of the companies capable of making it happen: VMware and Cisco.

7. Server-to-Server Communications

Servers that are “aware” of each other is another technology you’ll soon use as part of your daily regimen of computing hardware. At first, manufacturer-specific communications will emerge as standard. In other words, your Dell servers will all know about each other and carry on private conversations about load, utilization and failures. This communication infrastructure will provide essential information for those involved in Tier 4 data center support.

8. OS-Specific Enhancements

How would you like to order a server or group of servers that all have Linux-enhanced hardware in them? You’d have servers that deliver higher performance and require fewer tweaks and workarounds. With OS-specific enhancements, your systems will also withstand the OS upgrade tragedy that strikes your wallet every few years. The reason? The new operating system versions should experience less bloat if developers know that they can push off some of that bloat to on-chip components. If you don’t believe it’s possible, think back to your Motorola-based Mac.

9. Virtual Component Architecture

Like No. 6 (On-Board Hypervisor) above, you’ll soon have the opportunity to purchase components, such as memory and network interface cards (NICs), with optional virtual component architecture (VCA). VCA allows you to purchase virtualization-aware hardware. The advantage of VCA hardware is that you can allocate bandwidth selectively to your hardware components. VCA opens a whole new world of possibilities for bandwidth and usage partitioning for virtual machines.

10. Configurable Computing Bandwidth

What if you could pool all unused memory, CPU and network bandwidth from your systems for specific tasks or to use as available computing power? This isn’t a far-fetched idea for anyone who has ever installed the SETI application or a peer-to-peer ap on their computer that borrows bandwidth to solve a problem. Hardware that is not only aware of other similar network components but that can also automatically, or manually, donate or request bandwidth from the pool is a cloud computing dream come true.

Ken Hess is a freelance writer who writes on a variety of open source topics including Linux, databases, and virtualization. He is also the coauthor of Practical Virtualization Solutions, which was published in October 2009. You may reach him through his web site at

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