Looking back at 2010:
- I made the prediction for 2010 that it would be a break-out year for desktop virtualization. I take that back…. 2011 will be that break-out year!
- Data Center Knowledge - 2010: Data Center Innovation Drives Change
- SearchDataCenter.com - Top 10 Data Center Stories of 2010
- Pingdom - The major incidents on the Internet in 2010
- Google's 2010 Zeitgeist
- World Energy Outlook 2010
Stocks and Mergers and Acquisitions
I think data center stocks have performed fairly well over the year and the M&A activity in the technology industry has certainly been brisk. In 2008 I started tracking my own data center stock index, using a weighted capitalization calculation. In October 2008 the initial value I tracked was $19.12, and on December 27, 2010 it was $35.55. I 'think' we will continue to see some M&A activity in the first half of 2011 as some additional target companies may get swallowed up. GigaOm has a nice summary story on acquisitions and how $10 billion was spent on data storage and warehousing companies between HP, EMC, IBM, and Dell. A Bloomberg article listed the following as 'takeover bait': F5, Brocade, Riverbed, Arista, VMware, bmc software, Citrix, Tibco, Teradata, and others that have already been acquired since they wrote the article. :)
With supercomputers in 2010 it was all about GPU's and energy demands to pave the road for exascale supercomputers. A top highlight of my year was traveling to the NCSA National Petascale Compute Facility to check out the data center that will house Blue Waters. The specs for Blue Waters were recently published and at an estimated 10 Petaflops I am sure we'll see it in the top 5 of the top500.org list.
Cloud computing was obviously a run-away hit for 2010. Perhaps we are even coming to a point where it isn't pure hype with a sole purpose of aggravating Larry Ellison and other non-marketing people. The public/private cloud divide will help push overall cloud technologies along, as individuals and enterprises find their perfect fit. I still think security, legal issues and governance have a ways to go in the cloud - check out these videos: Gartner's Cloud Law and Order and Tom Roloff, Senior VP at EMC Consulting on private vs. public clouds.
I found another decent definition of cloud computing, that I believe is attributable to McKinsey: clouds are hardware-based services, offering compute, network and storage capacity where: 1) hardware management is highly abstracted from the buyer; 2) buyers incur infrastructure costs as variable open; and 3) infrastructure capacity is highly elastic (up or down).
Looking forward to 2011
- IBM's five predictions for the next five years: for instance - "heat from data centers may help power cities"
- 11 predictions for 2011 from Chris O'Brien at Mercury News
- 7 Ramblings for 2011 in Telecom and Internet Infrastructure - Telecom Ramblings
- Five smartphone hardware trends in 2011. Big impact here on the back-end data centers supporting all of these smartphones.
- CleanTech Media - 11 predictions for 2011
I think the "A" companies have it for 2011. Apple and Amazon. Apple's 505,000 square foot North Carolina data center had a big spotlight in 2010 and I think 2011 we will finally see the streaming iTunes service come to life that everyone has been talking about. Continued success of the iPhone and iPad will drive data center requirements as well -- just today it was reported that Apple put an order in for 20-21 million iPhones in the first quarter of 2011. The really interesting company behind the scenes for producing the iPhone, among many other devices, is Foxconn. Bloomberg had a nice article a few months back on this company.
I can never seem to find too much information on Amazon data centers, but they certainly have the intellectual capital behind them between Werner Vogels and James Hamilton. Amazon acquired Quidsi this year, the company behind the wildly successful site diapers.com. With that acquisition they gained a 1,250,000 square foot warehouse in Gouldsboro, PA. Now there is a place to put data center containers and build-out a warehouse-scale data center. :) In 2010 AWS introduced Cluster Compute Services for EC2, where for $1.60 an hour anyone could 'rent a supercomputer' -- VERY cool stuff. Amazon Web Services had a number of innovations in 2010 and I think we'll see them continue to dominate in 2011.
Finally - as LEED is a big part of data center design, did anyone else make their holiday ginger bread houses LEED-compliant?