The PowerMac G5 was the first system developed by Apple that came with a liquid cooling mechanism for the models with higher-clocked dual PowerPC chips. In most systems, this cooling system worked well. To this day, my system has not shown any problems; however, some systems had an issue where coolant leaked, causing corrosion and shorting out mainboard components.… Read more
Although much of Microsoft's focus at its partner conference will be on the cloud, many of its product announcements have to do with on-premise software such as Windows and Windows Server.
On Monday, the first full day of its annual Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft is scheduled to announce, among other things, the beta of Service Pack 1 for both Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. The update for Windows 7 is quite minor and consists mostly of previous bug fixes and other tweaks. On the server side, though, the service pack will add some new features around virtualization. … Read more
Microsoft is announcing on Monday that it plans to let businesses and partners run Windows Azure in their own data centers by purchasing a new server appliance.
The software company had previously hinted that customers might someday be able to host their own instances of the cloud-based operating system, but had yet to commit to that option.
The Windows Azure Platform Appliance will be made up of hundreds of servers, along with networking gear and other components in a container-size package. HP, Dell, and Fujitsu will be among the first to sell the appliances, although Redmond is offering few details, … Read more
Twitter acknowledged Tuesday that "from a site stability and service outage perspective, it's been Twitter's worst month since last October." It's a big embarrassment for a company that, over the past year or two, has managed to clean up its reputation for technical instability and that this spring one-upped critics by unveiling a business model that looks like it might actually work.
"Last Friday, we detailed on our engineering blog that this is going to be a rocky few weeks. We're working through tweaks to our system in order to provide greater stability … Read more
Start-up SeaMicro has launched a green server based on Intel's power-sipping Atom processor. The company is backed by about $25 million in venture capital and a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.
SeaMicro's SM10000 packs 512 Intel Atom processors, storage, interconnect technology, and server management into a relatively compact 17.5-inch-high server. The size is referred to as 10 RU, or rack unit (1 RU equals 1.75 inches). This design saves lots of energy, reducing power consumption by 75 percent, according to SeaMicro.
In a radical departure from standard server architectures, the start-up selected Intel's Atom, a processor most commonly used in Netbooks--tiny laptops. The chip was designed by Intel to be its most power-efficient chip.
Atom, however, was not designed with servers in mind, though SeaMicro believes it has found a niche. "In the Internet data center, the challenge is to handle millions of relatively small, independent tasks like those needed for searching, social networking, viewing web pages, and checking email," SeaMicro said in a statement.
SeaMicro claims there is a mismatch between Internet server design and current central processing units or CPUs. "Volume servers failed to adapt to this fundamental change and remain optimized for (for more traditional server tasks). This mismatch between volume servers and the now dominant Internet workload is the primary cause of the rapid increase in server power consumption and is responsible for the multi-billion dollar power problem in the data center," SeaMicro said.
Three primary technology innovations define the system, according to SeaMicro:Smaller circuit board: A patented technique in CPU I/O (input/output) virtualization, which reduces non-CPU power draw by eliminating 90 percent of the components from the motherboard. This CPU I/O virtualization allows SeaMicro to shrink a server motherboard from the size of a pizza box to the size of a credit card. Power-efficient interconnect: A supercomputer-style interconnect fabric that can link 512 mini-motherboards into a single system, reducing power draw and space. This fabric provides 1.28 terabits per-second throughput,… Read more
VMware will standardize its virtual appliance-based products on Novell's Suse Linux Enterprise Server, a move intended to help ward off a growing threat from Microsoft.
Under the partnership, announced this week, customers buying certain vSphere licenses will be eligible to receive a subscription to Suse Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) patches and updates for SLES instances deployed in vSphere virtual machines. The companies are also working to make it easier to port SLES-based virtual machines across clouds.
VMware offers virtual appliances--self-contained virtual machines preconfigured with an OS and the application--as a way of making them easier to deploy and maintain. … Read more
Although he's presided over the expansion of Microsoft's server business, Bob Muglia is ready to help companies move away from that same server software.
Well, he is at least as long as those businesses are moving to the Microsoft cloud-based services that are replicating the software that, at one point, ran only in a company's own data center.
In an interview, the president of Microsoft's server and tools business talked about the shifts to the cloud, Google's role in the enterprise and the future of Microsoft's server products, including the next version of Windows Server, which he said will be a major update.
Here's an edited transcript of our conversation.
You mentioned that Microsoft is pretty much doing everything for the cloud first. Does that mean that over time on-premises customers are actually going to be getting technology that's somewhat older, for better and for worse? Muglia: Well, I think the way to look at it is that we're able to use the cloud to do a lot more of our early validation than we've ever been able to do before. You know, you see us with labs, you know, Live Labs and things like that, being able to take ideas and put them up in the cloud. More and more what you'll see is the beginning of our beta processes will be run for new things up in the cloud, because our ability to get feedback from customers is so much more rapid if customers don't have to deploy the infrastructure themselves. So, there's a set of things that we can do, which will help to reduce our cycle time, and bringing new features to market.
I mean, in general our products run on two- to three-year cycles, and it very often takes customers at least that long to deploy them. I actually think the cloud will expedite customers' ability to get our software and our innovations, even if they run it themselves, because it will shorten our cycle for delivery, and also I think customers as they see these things available in the cloud will have a better understanding of the advantages they can get if they deploy it themselves. So, I actually don't think it slows down things at all for our customers that choose on-premises. … Read more
Although Microsoft won't say when it will arrive, the next version of Windows Server won't be another minor release.
In an interview on Monday, server and tools unit president Bob Muglia said Microsoft is sticking to a schedule set out several years ago in which the server and tools unit puts out alternating minor and major releases every two years or so. The most recent update, the server version of Windows 7, was a minor update--Windows Server 2008 R2--completed last year.
"There's no question you're due for a major release of Windows Server," Muglia … Read more