Vijay Anand | The Startup Guy.

Rising In the Shadows of the Gaming Gods.

Posted on: May 11, 2008

It was a world before the Amazon EC3 was available. Google needed servers and all they could lay their hands on were cheap and commodity hardware. In the true spirit of engineering, what came about was the solution of clustering all of them together to provide the same level of performance and efficiency that expensive servers were providing. It solved them a major issue, and gave them a leap ahead in a time when Amazon hadnt thought about providing web services yet. [Jump to See Image of Google’s First Server]

Fast forward to the present.

We have a world where gaming machines are more powerful that desktops and servers are. The marketing strategies of these two behemoths (Microsoft and Sony) are such that they are selling the machines at a loss and making up for the losses in the sale of games.

After the computing gods there be, launched the cell architecture processors in the game machines, they have also released them as computing platforms. IBM has them in the blade format, which costs close to $18,000.

IBM BladeCenter QS20 $18,995 (Dual Processor)

IBM BladeCentre QS21 $9,995.00 (Single)

Terrasoft, the company behind Yellow dog Linux, and Rapidmind have released a version of linux that can run on top of the PS3. That was last year.

I am sure there are some projects going on in this space. I did see a site sometime back which was dedicated to the work that was going on by clustering 70 nodes of Playstation 2 devices. But I havent heard, nor am familiar with any of the startups exploiting this opportunity.

There are two mammoth corporations who are subsiding hardware for a different strategy. You could essentially buy the same hardware at one 18th/9th the price, get free software which could convert it into a computing platform, and expand on that power. There will be some issues if you are using any extension cards like IP Telephony devices or so to run any of the services, but for companies which are purely focused on the web services part, having a cluster of such powerful machines might very well prove to be a long term strategy to keep costs down, and yet not compromise on the performance of your systems.

Plus think about it, when you are having a slowdown, you could very well pull out one of the machines and have a death match with your co-founder đŸ™‚


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