July 15, 2010
One would assume that data centers are a place where high tech gets introduced and the mass PC market is a followers market. However, there are plenty of examples where it is just the other way around. For years the processor market was driven by the battle between Intel® and AMD®. This battle was fought where the volume was and is — consumer PCs. Another good example is the keyboard interface. Servers still used PS/2 when it was already hard to get a non-USB keyboard for consumer PCs. Also, the good old VGA interface has only survived in the metal rack cabinets of data centers and data rooms.
Two more innovations from the mainstream consumer PC market are about to enter the DC world and worth to be mentioned:
The most recent change in the desktop mass market is the net book - simple, limited in function but cheap. Most people don’t care about the OS running, they use the device for very standardized transactions such as email or web surfing. If the device breaks it not worth repairing - the user just gets a new one.
In data centres this kind of race is still on. In Intel name space it's called Nehalem versus Atom. Who will dominate? Time - or history - will tell.