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Fudge Sunday - What's a Server?

Fudge Sunday
This week we’ll be looking at recent and coming innovations compute, network, storage, and everything else that goes into what we call servers.

Reminder: Mark your calendars...
If you enjoyed my last issue, I’ll be providing a summary of sorts this week on Wednesday the 18th of August. I’ll be speaking about multi-cloud data services patterns within gaming and healthcare, convergence, and the world of AR / VR in our future.
Where? Here: IT Renovation Day
Recap from last week...
Fudge Sunday - Gaming, Healthcare, and Convergence
Speaking of all points in between… 
This week we’ll be looking at recent and coming innovations compute, network, storage, and everything else that goes into what we call servers.
Define server
Since this newsletter is trying to stay near the top fold for email reading (like Gmail) before you had “View full message” this will be a short section.
In a nutshell, a server is a contained collection of computing hardware (or software) that provides services to other computing hardware (or software which) could be meant to include other servers or clients (like a laptop which we could also argue can be made to perform the functions of a server). Also, a server can come in many shapes and sizes.
A server can be a big piece of hardware. A server can be small piece of hardware. A server can be software.
A server can look like a box. A server can be made by a Fox(conn).
Confused? Okay. Here’s a picture of a tiny cute little server:
I was bequeathed this Raspberry Pi for being a vExpert 2013. Smol server is smol.
I was bequeathed this Raspberry Pi for being a vExpert 2013. Smol server is smol.
Are you being served?
When someone thinks of servers, there is usually a short list of brands that come to mind. Why? Market share and strong logo oriented marketing is what keeps brands like Dell, HPE, etc. top of mind.
Worldwide Server Market Revenue
Granted, innovation can occur in multiple places. So, let’s start with a quick look at “Rest of Market” for some interesting stories there.
For this issue, we won’t be looking at barebone servers or open compute servers from Quanta, Wiwynn, or similar. Hungry for that? Click here.
Oxide Computer: Servers as they should be
So, what’s interesting about Oxide Computer? For starters, the three cofounders, Jessie Frazelle, Bryan Cantrill, and Steve Tuck, share a core mission to bring back integration themes within a server industry more commonly associated with commodification.
By way of comparison, arguably one of the most successful cofounders combinations over the past 3-4 decades is Mario Mazzola, Prem Jain, Luca Cafiero, and Soni Jiandani – or MPLS for short. Like MPLS, perhaps Oxide Computer is just the first act’s crescendo of several acts to follow for Cantrill, Tuck, and Frazelle as they capture the flag… or CTF for short.
Pensando Systems: A New Way of Thinking
So, what’s interesting about Pensando Systems? Arguably, having a team that’s ½ of the MPLS is still pretty good odds at making a dent in the universe but the embrace of P4.org is worth examining.
To understand the P4.org, step back a bit and think about the network capabilities of a server today. Now, take a look at the future of the network as a lens to see what the implications are for the server.
11 Keynote   Hennessy
11 Keynote Hennessy
Now, think about the implications of what IEEE roundtables from a few years ago where discussing in 2017.
Going Beyond Moore's Law: IEEE at SXSW 2017 | IEEETV
Shot and Chaser of the week: What's a server?
Shot: What will a "server" be one day?
Chaser: Systems design
One last plug for the road...
Faction Multi-Cloud Data Services for Dell EMC PowerScale Now Available on the Azure Marketplace
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Jay Cuthrell
Jay Cuthrell @JayCuthrell

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