Chapter 6. Exploring the Technical Foundation for Scaling Computer Systems

In This Chapter

  • Comparing traditional data centers to clouds

  • Achieving economies of scale

  • Saving money via the bottom line

In Chapter 5, we contrast the non-technology operational costs of the traditional data center with those of the cloud data center (electricity, cooling, space, and so on). In this chapter, we contrast technology costs between the traditional data center and the cloud data center.

We divided into four areas the places where IT spends money:

  • Hardware, including servers, storage, and so on

  • A power supply for those systems and how to keep them from overheating

  • Networking and communications equipment so the systems can interoperate

  • Electricity to support the overall data center


Some elements are more expensive than others. In Chapter 5, we look at two reports that detail the costs of running traditional and cloud data centers. Using this same set of numbers, we calculated the costs of the areas. The results are quite interesting. The greatest expense in the traditional data center is server and storage hardware, which accounts for 36 percent of the amortized costs. The second biggest expense? Power distribution and cooling. Amortized over a year, power and cooling are 20 percent of the total expenses. Both networking and electricity each add 12 percent to the total expense number per year. Add hardware and its supporting power and cooling, and you have 56 percent of the technology related costs. ...

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