ComputerWorld writes: 6 reasons why Microsoft's container-based approach to data centers won't work

I've been waiting for the ComputerWorld article on Containers part 2, and here it is.  After attending Uptime Institute and talking to vendors and customers, I do think containers will work, but there are lots of people who are going to disagree as it changes the game.

May 9, 2008 (Computerworld) Microsoft Corp.'s plan to fill its mammoth Chicago data center with servers housed in 40-foot shipping containers has experts wondering whether the strategy will succeed. In Microsoft's plan, each container in the data center, still being built, will be filled with several thousand servers.

Computerworld queried several outside experts — including the president of a data center construction firm, a data center engineer-turned-CIO, an operations executive for a data center operator and a "green" data center consultant — to get their assessments of the strategy. While they were individually impressed with some parts of Microsoft's plan, they also expressed skepticism that the idea will work in the long term.

Here are some of their objections, along with the responses of Mike Manos, Microsoft's senior director of data center services. Manos talked with Computerworld in an interview after the Data Center World show at which Microsoft's plan was announced

I am in there a few times. And unfortunately, was misquoted, but hey that is the tradeoff of talking to the press.

That's why some observers, such as Ohara, say the market is actually in smaller units. A former supply chain engineer for both Hewlett-Packard and Apple, Ohara has been developing his own prototypes for a "server cube" that would weigh about 1,000 pounds and measure 1 meter in each dimension — hence the name of his blog, GreenM3.

"It's taking what's in a server rack but putting it into a cube to make it more efficient to roll out," he said. "That potentially could apply to many more people."

I am not actually developing a server cube. I was trying to explain the method of how you look at compute in cubic meter, explaining my GreenM3 story.

I am also in the article for

"Say 25% of the servers have failed inside a container after a year. You may say you don't need that compute capacity — fine," said Dave Ohara, a data center consultant and blogger. "But what's potentially expensive is that 25% of the power committed to that container is doing nothing. Ideally, you want to use that power for something else.

"Electrical power is my scarce resource, not processing power," Ohara concluded.

But, I think anyone who is smart will figure this out, and design around it.