Old Time (?) Rack 'n' Roll

Aug. 2, 2016

Key rack products from WESCO, Dell, Cisco and other vendors are featured in this engagingly produced (if slightly evergreen) video documenting the installation of physical server infrastructure from cloud data analytics specialist WolframAlpha, the flagship enterprise of Wolfram Research:

"Take a peek at our system administration team hard at work on one of the many pre-launch projects."

Considering the vintage of the video, the thread comments from Youtube's peanut gallery of server technicians are pithy, and telling:

Chris Turner - 5 years ago
Rack and stacking sucks so much. I would push for the vendors to prebuild all the racks instead of doing it from scratch. In the time it took for y'all to get those racks up we get about 5x that amount up in the same time.

ravman007 - 5 years ago
Funny thing is, you could virtualize all those servers into one box now. Time to throw all the junk away. Took so long to set it all up, only to find out it was all useless. 500 servers = one virtual box.

gellis713 - 4 years ago
@ravman007 You can't virtualize all of those machines. Please tell me of one physical server that can do the computation of all of those machines.

ravman007 - 4 years ago
@gellis713 - Hmm, we seem to be running high performance processes on virtual servers without any issues at all. Number crunching terrabytes of data all day long. But what do we know?

gellis713 - 4 years ago
@ravman007 Key word, "servers." Plural. You aren't going to turn 500 servers that all do high performance calculations into one virtual server running on one physical machine.

regularguy316 - 4 years ago
@gellis713 - I think ravman007 is correct. We recently off-lined some 650 servers onto one virtual box. 64 CPUs and 256GB ram. And a second one in NJ acting as disaster recovery. I think it's you that needs to educate himself on how virtual server technology works. Our servers number crunch terabytes of data 24/7.

ben roberts - 4 years ago
Think the wiring could have been a bit neater...

Cabling blog takeaway: Virtualization technology is by now nothing new -- and arguably may have already reached its peak.

But what do you think? Is the software-defined data center now mainstream?

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