It has been a couple weeks now and just in case anyone may have forgotten, Nehalem rocks. In my job I talk to customers every day and even though I have become a bit jaded by the numbers associated with the new Xeon 5500 series processors, customers constantly remind me just how significant this change is. The leap in performance is unprecedented in the history of the "Xeon" family. The opportunity that this creates for businesses is tremendous. Chris has blogged a lot about the economics of refresh and anyone who is not paying attention has a job that is just too cushy. For the rest of you that actually worry about performance, data center power capacity, data center space, etc - please pay attention.
Data center space is for many businesses the single most expensive "office" space they own. Consider this coupled with the reality that demand for computing continues to grow, and 81% of businesses report line of site to data center capacity ( power or space ) overflow.
Any data center owner who is facing capacity challenges and not aggressively refreshing and consolidating should be "made redundant". (opinion)
some very very round numbers to consider:
If you have servers that are 4 or 5 years old, the new Xeon 5500 series processor based servers can be as much as 10 times faster.
Those old servers ( if they are typical enterprise servers ) are setting at about 10% utilization.
When you refresh and consolidate you are going to virtualize - so now, lets do the simple back of napkin math on the opportunity :
you have 1000 servers that are at 10% utilization.
with virtualization you could boost up to 50% utilization - 5 to 1 consolidation - now you have 200 servers
the new servers are 10 times faster - so with an aggressive refresh - now you have 20 servers
Demand is not going away, and eventually you will fill up all this new capacity and of course in the real world this isn't all going to happen day one,
BUT, anyone complaining of capacity issues AND using old hardware, must not be paying attention. Please wake them up.