Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Agile Computing

@CloudExpo: Article

Transforming Internet Datacenters

Using fully optimized data access appliances

With the explosive growth of Web-based businesses and applications, datacenter workloads have increased exponentially. IT managers are finding it difficult to meet the accelerating demands for performance, capacity, scalability and reliability, while at the same time meeting budgets, maintaining service-level agreements and driving green initiatives.

New component and middleware technologies - including multi-core processors, low-latency interconnect, flash memory, and highly optimized data access and caching technologies - hold serious promise for accomplishing these goals. But without optimal integration and implementation, these technologies have failed to deliver the benefits that datacenter managers and the business demand. Because Web 2.0 and cloud computing enterprises must focus on their core business, higher-level building blocks are needed that can exploit these advanced technologies to fundamentally solve these costly challenges.

Datacenter Trends and Challenges
With the explosive growth of Web 2.0, software-as-a-service (SaaS), cloud computing and other emerging Web-based applications, datacenter workloads have increased exponentially. The business opportunities that are created from the deployment of these new applications are substantial, but the demands they place on the datacenter are daunting. Challenges include:

  • Unprecedented data growth. Recent studies indicate that the amount of data managed by today's datacenters will quadruple every 18 months. To complicate matters, online users are getting much more sophisticated, and response time expectations are at an all time high. But with the large increases in data volume, user interaction times are actually increasing for many datacenters.
  • Severe capacity constraints. Datacenter managers are struggling to manage huge increases in rack, power and network utilization. They are constrained by limited datacenter power and space and are seeking cost-effective ways to expand capacity without increasing the datacenter footprint.
  • Increasing data complexity. Organizations have too much data to process in a time-sensitive and consistent manner. Information management requires extensive data partitioning and application-level mapping, caching, replication/recovery and load balancing. Existing data management tools are complex and existing commodity, non-application-specific hardware is difficult to use and manage.
  • Lack of scalability. Current datacenter environments lack the ability to scale effectively to manage peak demand. Even in multi-core server environments, many datacenters have already scaled to the point they are memory and disk bound.
  • Underutilized resources. Estimates of current datacenter equipment utilization rates run between five and 30 percent. Kilowatt-hours are very expensive and inefficient. Underutilized hardware translates into wasted capex and opex, as well as increased power consumption.
  • Severe budget constraints. Budgets are tighter than ever. Only solutions that are able to provide quick return on investment (ROI) are now being approved. Traditional approaches to datacenter expansion are no longer viable.
  • Corporate mandates to go green. According to the 2007 EPA Report to Congress on Server and Datacenter Energy Efficiency, the energy consumption of servers and datacenters has doubled in the past five years and is expected to almost double again in the next five years to more than 100 billion kWh, costing about $7.4 billion annually. Datacenter managers are working hard to save energy, reduce datacenter space requirements and protect the environment.

Limitations of Today's Technology
The ability to effectively scale the database and caching tiers is critical for the success of any growing Web-enabled business. Unfortunately, ordinary server and middleware infrastructure is loosely integrated and minimally optimized. Existing datacenter solutions aren't adequately addressing the performance, capacity, scaling, reliability and power challenges of supporting new Web applications effectively.

Several new technologies have the potential to solve these challenges:

  • Multi-core processors offer the promise of improved application performance and increased energy efficiency, but harnessing that potential effectively requires very high parallelism and synchronizing the processors, with a resultant higher degree of complexity.
  • Enterprise-class flash memory has several advantages over traditional hard disk drives (HDDs), including 100 times faster access time, increased reliability due to no moving parts, and significantly reduced power. Space and power savings, for the same server workload, translate into a tangible reduction in total cost of ownership (TCO).
  • Low-latency interconnect technologies provide the ability to send a message in a millionth of a second - more than an order of magnitude improvement over existing solutions.
  • Optimized data access and caching applications can speed access to data. But these applications need to be deeply integrated with the operating environment and hardware to fully utilize the benefits of multi-core processor, flash memory and low-latency interconnect technologies.

The unfortunate reality is that each customer's IT team must become its own integration house, developing software in an attempt to optimize these advanced technologies - a highly complex and error-prone process that can take years to implement. This approach not only diverts valuable IT resources from the enterprise's core business, it results in unmanageable application and administrative complexity, low-resource utilization and high TCO.

Challenges of Utilizing New Technologies
The new generation of commodity multi-core processors, flash memory and low-latency interconnects offer tremendous potential in Web 2.0 and cloud computing datacenters, but in reality, due to the extensive work to implement, the benefits are limited. The effort required to utilize these new technologies to solve today's severe performance, power, space and TCO challenges is significant. IT teams need to develop highly parallel middleware applications, a high-performance operating system, and develop and optimize numerous, specialized configurations.

Adapting or inventing new deployment architectures to take advantage of the new technologies is a major undertaking, with large development and support costs that are not the core value of the businesses. Fortunately new, higher-level building blocks are now being introduced that address these challenges.

New technology integrates advances in flash memory, multi-core processors, low-latency interconnect, and optimized data access and caching technologies into fully integrated, optimized, multi-node appliances for faster data access. In the first half of 2009, several vendors introduced all-new, fully integrated appliances that leverage some or all of these technology advances.

By using these fully optimized data access appliances, enterprises can leverage higher-level building blocks that eliminate the need for complex integration projects. These appliances enable IT to meet corporate goals of increasing capacity, scalability and reliability, while at the same time slashing costs and dramatically curtailing energy consumption across the datacenter. The net result is not just more efficient datacenter operations, but the creation of new revenue-producing business opportunities based on rapid access to terabyte-scale data.

More Stories By John Busch

Dr. John Busch is CEO, president and co-founder of Schooner Information Technology, a provider of data access appliances for information-intensive Web 2.0 and cloud computing datacenters. Dr. Busch has more than 25 years of industry experience as a computer system research director at Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard, vice president of engineering and business partnerships at Diba (acquired by Sun), and as co-founder/vice president of engineering of Clarity Software.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
DXWorldEXPO LLC, the producer of the world's most influential technology conferences and trade shows has announced the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO "Early Bird Registration" is now open. Register for Full Conference "Gold Pass" ▸ Here (Expo Hall ▸ Here)
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science" is responsible for guiding the technology strategy within Hitachi Vantara for IoT and Analytics. Bill brings a balanced business-technology approach that focuses on business outcomes to drive data, analytics and technology decisions that underpin an organization's digital transformation strategy.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and sh...
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.