Today's data centers are embarking down a path in which "old world" business, technology, and facility metrics are being pushed aside in order to provide unparalleled service delivery capabilities, processes, and methodologies. The expectations derived from today’s high-density technology deployments are driving service delivery models to extremes with very high service delivery capabilities adopted as baseline requirements within today’s stringent business models. Part of the "revolution" that is driving today's data center modeling to unprecedented high performance and efficiency levels is the fact that computer processing advances with regard to high-performance and smaller footprints have truly countered each other.
When rack-mounted servers first appeared on the scene in the 1990s, they offered considerable advantages over the behemoth boxes they replaced. Their small, standardized footprint went a long way toward making data centers easier to manage. In the ensuing decades, form factor size and compute power have had an inverse relationship.
Their universal standardization earned them the nickname “pizza box” servers, and it was a key driver of the scale-out computing model popular in the early 2000s. Populating a rack of eight servers and either clustering them or implementing failover from one to the other was far easier than previously possible.