What is the data center? Some companies see it as a new home for data when local stacks are full and CFOs demand a more cost-effective storage alternative. Others look at the data center and see an opportunity for custom built environments designed to suit any need. Now, two major technology players — Fujitsu and Intel — are betting on creativity in the data center to bolster their market share.
The Japanese company recently rolled out a lineup of integrated solutions, a kind of all-inclusive hardware and middleware that Fujitsu believes is necessary for the 'business-centric data center'. Specific workloads are the backbone of this data center — servers are configured differently depending on use, and in one of eight reference architectures. For example, Fujitsu has created pre-validated, pre-integrated systems designed to handle big data, IT security or high performance computing. All contain the same basic components but have been customized to excel in specific areas.
For Fujitsu, maximizing data center efficacy centers around discrete hardware matched to ideal workloads.
Intel also has a vision of the designer data center, and it's one where every component comes with their logo. As noted by a recent Forbes article, Intel already has a solid lock on the server market with 95 percent market penetration for its Xeon line. But enterprises are starting to forgo server purchases for renting space in the cloud, meaning Intel has to change the rules if they want to stay in the game. The plan? Re-architect the data center by making it more powerful, more efficient and composed of layers upon layers of software abstraction, enabling the rise of automated, software-defined stacks.
In danger of being pushed out by cloud providers, the company is taking a gamble: trade on its reputation for technological excellence and hope businesses will buy into software-defined servers over renting cloud resources.
Fujitsu and Intel both offer a piece of the puzzle when it comes to designing the 'ideal' data center for your business. Need integrated hardware for specific workloads? Fujitsu's new line may be the answer. Looking for software-driven stacks that will (soon) rely on Haswell microarchitecture? Intel has you covered.
But that's just the tip of the iceberg for companies who recognize data centers as the quickest path to reach new geographies, markets, and customers. Hardware and software aren't enough: businesses also need control over cabinet density, preferred carriers, and network access — granular options only possible in data centers built from the ground up to meet the needs of business today and the demands of technology tomorrow.
The final verdict? Designer data centers are becoming more popular as tech manufacturers diversify their offerings to compete in a suddenly crowded market. But specialty servers and software-driven automation are just the building blocks: to raise a tower, the right foundation is critical.
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