The Microsoft Data Center Futures team built a prototype containing 100 dual-core Atom processors. They believe that data centers in the future will include many more low-power processors. This prototype is the first step in demonstrating their potential cost savings.
This little board is tiny, inexpensive, and powerful. This is definitely server-level stuff. Microsoft is running Server 2008 on these, along with other Microsoft applications. The devs have taken 50 of these boards, put them in a rack, and turned it into a server. The server is actually efficient and quiet, and can be plugged right into a regular power outlet!
This was done as an experiment, and it’s one that is working! There isn’t yet enough data to make a general statement, but none of the boards have failed yet. That is a good sign for the future, and shows the way things are going to go. Everyone wants parts to cost less, and everyone wants to save energy.
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