Originally Posted by robnix
We're discussing slowly migrating off the EMC/Isilon gear that we currently use for our critical data, and moving to the much cheaper custom built hardware with some sort of distributed FS architecture. Personally I think that the days of big expensive hardware dominating the storage landscape are dwindling, that people will move towards purpose built whitebox hardware or with the smaller storage companies that offer more efficient and elegant solutions. We have some interesting plans for some 7U 8 node ESX packages all built around whitebox hardware. Personally, I'm looking forward to building and testing my first flash array next year. 16 SSD's used for temp storage with a 128 core test compute lab should be fun.
Yes, fiber channel shipment has peaked. For the traditional structured data storage, HP still paid a huge price last year for 3PAR Those boxes are only using 1 or 2 GE externally but very fast internally. IBM, Hitachi Data System, Oracle (Sun Micro) are in this group. They typically use some variety of hardware accelerated VM. Copper backplanes are giving way to infiniband and point-to-point optical interconnect. Dell opened an operation here recently probably to boost sever R&D.
White box architecture is only for the very large, non-structured data oriented data centers so far. But that is where the real growth will be. They use copper and optical 10G, 40G ethernet in place of backplanes to connect all the PC servers. Copper 10G for within rack (north-south) and optical 10G/40G for rack to cluster switch (east-west) connections. Google tries to place all the applications a particular user uses in the same server, to give the "blink of an eye" (500mSec) response.
These cheap SATA RAID cards are not used in warehouse scale computers" because they are still too expensive. But they are used in general corporate, commercial servers.
From here to San Francisco is virtually a glass highway for internet. Data centers are dotted along the way. Even www.usps.com
was hosted here for a few years. The city of Santa Clara tried to attract data centers with city power grid. So most of the larger ones are dual powered.