Back home, quite exhausted after three days in Brühl … not because of the rollercoasters, although they were running during the Webhosting Days event at the theme park Phantasialand in Brühl near Cologne, Germany. No, we launched our brand new PRIMERGY CX1000 Cloud eXtension server two days ago.
This is a major addition to our PRIMERGY product family, specifically for use in Cloud and large scale-out environments. And the Brühl event was only one of several Fujitsu press events around the world to introduce the PRIMERGY CX1000. Launch briefings are also being held in Japan, Italy and Spain, and an event is planned for the Nordics. At the international event, we had excellent speakers who explained how the PRIMERGY CX1000 opens up new dimensions for cloud computing.
Speakers such as our CTO Dr Joseph Reger: “This is an innovation in the infrastructure – not a server-innovation. This is the start of a new product line particularly designed for the needs of Dynamic Infrastructures and Cloud Services.” Joseph continued: “Cloud computing is everywhere. Every self-respecting presentation needs to mention Cloud. However, let me say very clearly, from the technology perspective it doesn’t always have to be cloud. If there is a hype that doesn’t live up to expectations, the technology associated with it is still likely to stay – so whatever happens, the technology will have relevance. Even if everything does not move to the cloud, it’s not wasted time – as the technology will stay with us. ”
Explaining that virtualization is one of the drivers for the latest technology evolution, Joseph added that shared dynamic infrastructures enable customers to move away from dedicated resources, towards virtual or shared environments. “I tell you right now, there is no cloud computing without sharing and if it does not achieve unprecedented levels of sharing, it will not be attractive,” he stated.
However, Joseph also commented that discussions about the differences between public or private cloud were becoming tiresome. “Mature industries have a portfolio that responds to all needs, and that’s what staring to happen now in the IT industry with Cloud services,” he said.
Explaining the Fujitsu Integration Platform for Cloud Services, which outlines the entire product portfolio from product and solutions through Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Joseph talked of the “spectrum of answers” to a wide variety of customers’ needs. “We don’t classify our offerings only according to product but also to service. Our strategy contains answers for the diverse needs of IT including cloud services,” he added.
It would be misleading to think that cloud hype may lead to ultimately only one universal cloud. Joseph explained: “All of the large IT vendors beg to differ … and before that’ll ever happen, there is a long way to go. In fact, we believe it will never end in that situation. There is a place for what’s called a private cloud. Although it sounds like cheating, enterprises can use cloud technologies even if they don’t want to, or cannot use a public cloud.”
After setting the scene, Joseph handed over to my boss Jens-Peter Seick, Senior Vice-President, x86 Server Product Unit, to explain how the PRIMERGY CX1000 fits into our product portfolio. “This is a completely new range, designed for cloud infrastructures. It’s designed both for hosting and for the traditional large datacenter infrastructure needs of large corporate customers,” said Jens-Peter.
Describing the PRIMERGY CX1000 as a “simplified architecture”, Jens-Peter explained how Fujitsu, together with technology partner Intel, developed the product line to meet changing market conditions and needs. Codenamed Ben Nevis, after the Scottish mountain that is reputed to be the world’s cloudiest location, the PRIMERGY CX1000 is an open environment designed to deliver customer flexibility, allowing the integration of specific environments, on demand.
But why has Fujitsu developed a new product line, asked Jens-Peter? “One of the requirements is that it needs to be highly scalable. This was an opportunity to develop a product that’s designed for highly-scalable large environments – the complete datacenter environment. It’s not focusing on one rack server but delivering a solution for hundreds of identical server environments. And at the same time it needs to be highly efficient in power consumption, and to be based on integration to the datacenter facility environment, and all this integration should lead to cost optimization. Because it’s simpler, it must be cheaper.”
Highlighting the unique Cool-Central™ architecture, Jens-Peter added: “One specific point might not be so obvious. We talked to a lot of customers to identify their need and understand the footprint of such a system. The result is an architecture where we put two machines back to back and avoid the hot aisle in the middle, reducing floor space needs by 40 percent, and pumping out hot air from the top of the rack, allowing the CX1000 to be directly connected to the warm air channel from the datacenter air conditioning system.”
To wrap up the strategy presentation, Jens-Peter handed back to Joseph to outline Fujitsu’s outlook for a Service-Oriented Platform strategy, and a look at the roadmap for further in 2010.
Officially unveiling the PRIMERGY CX1000, Joseph highlighted some of the key features – such as the lack of the cabinet door, and the front-side cabling. He also made it clear that the PRIMERGY CX1000 is a complete unit. “No, you can’t have it half full!” he exclaimed. “It doesn’t come half-populated. It comes as a unit.” he stated.
The guest speaker at the press event, Intel’s Raejeanne Skillern, Director of Cloud Computing Marketing, pointed out: “My job does not involve crossing out the word ‘grid’ and inserting the word ‘cloud’. I try and learn how to be a better partner for companies like Fujitsu to enable technologies for the next-generation datacenter.”
Raejeanne also mentioned that on the same day as the PRIMERGY CX1000 launch, Intel was introducing a new series of server processors, the Xeon 5600 Series codenamed Westmere, with a flagship press event in San Francisco. “We design our processors for the cloud,” she said. “We try to be a system-level partner … we want to enable products to run in this type of environment.”
Processor technology advances and efficiency since 2005 have improved to the point where 15 racks of single core Xeon servers from 2005 can now be replaced by a single Xeon 5600 series-powered rack, while performance also matters, said the Intel speaker.