Thursday, July 9, 2009

Serverless computing; unique approach to server consolidation.

First question, what is serverless computing?

Simply, the co-hosting of processing, storage and I/O onto a single device. The end user benefit being the elimination of dedicated application servers by co-opting excess compute power that reside in many storage servers to host compute-intensive workloads.

The company that has taken the lead with this common sense idea is start-up Pivot 3. It is not a concept that is universally applicable as pointed out by Lee Caswell, Founder and CMO “This technology is ideal for environments with large amounts of storage and relatively few applications, such as surveillance, medical imaging, video streaming and data de-duplication," Pivot 3 has focused on exploiting this unique server virtualization approach to the video surveillance market.

Interesting to note that the video storage surveillance market has been estimated by Frost and Sullivan to grow to $3B in 2013 and by their estimates savings as a result of serverless computing will be in the order of 7.3%.

So how does Pivot3 technology make this idea work? While tradition approaches to SAN hardware is based on proprietary hardware Pivot3 software enables commodity x86 storage servers and server virtualization software to concurrently run its storage virtualization software across multiple appliances with one additional server application per appliance. As with conventional server virtualization, server hardware is eliminated but unlike conventional virtualization, storage appliances are limited to host only one additional application with each application have access to the entire clustered storage array's bandwidth and capacity.

This unique server consolidation approach reduces not only hardware but power consumption, heat generation and rack space.

Being some one who is interested in green IT and admittedly it does not have universal application but this is one of the most pragmatic options I have yet uncovered and one that should get the attention of IT professionals.

Less is always best.

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