Kicking goals in the $billion server game

Kicking goals in the $billion server game

Despite the global credit crunch, spending in the Australian server market surpassed the $US1 billion mark during 2007 for the first time in local history. What were the trends driving this growth and will they continue in 2008/2009?

Mobile workers

Another dynamic facet of IT projected to have an impact on the servers' game is the steep growth in data as a result of the proliferation of mobile devices.

"There are billions of devices that are attached to all the networks in the world now," Handy observed.

"That is expected to double in the next year."

This trend is already conspicuous Down Under where there have been claims mobile phones now outnumber the total number of Aussies. For some it is also changing the way we appraise servers.

"Customers are trying to get into a new market place, which is around Internet and mobile devices," Sun Microsystems systems product marketing manager A/NZ, Sam Tan, claimed.

"It relates to servers in that in the past you used to size the server based on how big a PC market was because that's how many clients you could potentially get."

But with the growth in mobile devices Tan believes customers are starting to evaluate their servers based on how many mobile devices or PDAs that are likely to connect to the network.

"It's changing the demographic of what the customers consider their clientele; from big desktops sitting on a computer to mobile devices actually accessing their services off wireless connections doing the transit from work to home and during peak hour traffic," Tan said.

"The traditional servers are pretty good at serving up a YouTube video on a PC. But they are pretty lousy at serving up one million SMSs per second. We are looking at servers that are better at doing multi-credit small jobs rather than a small number of large jobs."

Without a doubt, through new multicore processing technology chipmakers have raised the standard of the game to further enable these trends while also lowering power and cooling requirements.

Multiple cores

"The server manufacturers are building faster, more powerful servers; quads, eight-processor machines," VMware partner director, David Blackman, explained.

"The Intel and AMD processors are providing more functionality and power and with virtualisation the customer is more able to take full advantage of those machines."

Vendors all viewed the tussle between Intel and AMD as serving up a better foundation on which to demonstrate their silky skills on the IT pitch.

"It is really helping customers reduce the dollar per transaction and get better performance," HP Pro Line product marketing manager, Deke Rayner-Harvey, said.

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