Server Buying Guide: Server Strategy Checklist

Your guide to choosing the best printing hardware and services for your small or medium business

High performance computing clusters: Windows

HPC clusters use multiple computers owned by one organisation to accomplish intensive computer tasks including using Windows Server products, such as Windows HPC Server 2008 R2, as the operating system. Gartner says cluster computing is the most cost-effective, mainstream approach for requirements in which there is software to scale in parallel processing across multiple machines, or where the code can be written in-house, based on a suitable algorithm. Gartner analyst, Carl Claunch, said clusters are more fluidly scalable than fixed supercomputers, improving an organisation’s ability to react to changing needs. He said those that need more extreme capacity might need to move to grid computing to harness additional computing power.

Linux on RISC

Linux on reduced instruction set computer (RISC) refers to the adoption and broad acceptance of Linux on such RISC architectures as IBM’s Power and Oracle’s SPARC. Gartner says this server strategy works best when performance gains are available on RISC, but are not available from x86.

This technology can be important for consolidation on large servers with large memory configurations and in mixed operating system environments is required, or when Linux applications are available, but not for Unix. Gartner analyst, George Weiss, said RISC on Linux can provide additional benefits that x86 servers do not. “When supported by a software stack such as Websphere, Linux on RISC can be considered a viable niche,” he said.

Data centre container solutions

A data centre container is a shipping container set up to accommodate IT equipment. The basic equipment that most of these containers are designed to support includes servers, storage and networking gear. Although scalability and speed of deployment (fewer than 12 weeks) are the main advantages, a container solution requires appropriate site selection to ensure adequate physical security.

Gartner analyst, David Cappuccio, said container solutions can provide an alternative to the capital needed for a bricks and mortar data centre. He said a typical container can cost approximately $2 million to $4.5 million, fully configured. Because they are designed to the user’s technical specifications, Cappuccio said data centre containers can provide significant levels of computing power that can be delivered in eight to 12 weeks, instead of the 18 to 24 months it would take to build a comparable data centre.

Next:Configuration and Management Guide

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