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Spoke too soon – AOL wants Data Centers to be smaller too

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Yesterday, I posted, “Computers are getting smaller, but data centers are getting bigger.” Perhaps, I spoke too soon given AOL’s recent blog that has garnered much attention in the cloud space.

  • “AOL building refrigerator sized data centers” – GigaOM
  • “AOL Introduces ‘Community-in-a-Box’ Micro Data Center” – PC Magazine
  • “Drones, Caves, and Toilets: When Data Centers Go Rogue” – Wired
  • “AOL shrinks its lights-out data center” – ZDNet

Just when you think the data center is immune to the “thin is in” mantra, AOL attempts to change the game. Personally, I think this concept is awesome.  Mobile data Center containers are nothing new. There are numerous companies offering these sort of solutions from the likes of HP and Dell to companies like Elliptical Mobile Solutions and IO.  I posted a cool video on IO here. But, the trend appears to be moving from shipping container sized data centers to smaller, even more mobile data centers the size of a refrigerator.

Think about the capabilities of moving cloud compute capabilities even closer to the edge. Having your compute and storage resources closer to your business without being inside your business could be a game changer. Of course, you would want to ensure some level of disaster recovery or data center mirroring to ensure an act of nature does not take out your building and your data center…that would defeat one of the principle values of moving your compute and storage off premise.  But, the game changing element of smaller data centers is obvious: mobility.  Just like tablets and smartphones, the opportunity to utilize data center resources anywhere, anytime, and for any purpose is appealing.

And it may just open up even more new business opportunities like ‘Community-in-a-box’ as suggested in the GigaOM post. The opportunities could be endless.

Got any ideas?

Related Posts:

Computers are getting smaller, but data centers are getting bigger

Eyebrow raising quotes from GigaOM Structure

Could data centers be any “cooler”?

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