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back to article The world's most fantastic, imaginary server start-up

Some hacks have immense amounts of ambition. I don't. And it's that lack of ambition that's keeping me from making millions of dollars in the server market. Those of you with stronger wills and bigger dreams will want to pay attention to this story, as I'll lay out a map that could lead to untold riches. (Then again, this could …

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Google beats MS because...

Google beats MS in the data centre because they run Linux and Microsoft can't do that.

Windows is more hardware hungry and therefore more power hungry too.

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Well, actually...

Google beats MS because Google focuses on results delivered to the customer - which results in loyal customers, which results in lots of advertising revenue.

Microsoft focuses on building proprietary apps and services which are intended to trap the customer into a single-vendor operating mode - which results in resentful customers, who move to Google and other non-Microsoft providers whenever possible (or whenever the customer isn't too cowardly to take responsibility for his own decisions), which results in lost advertising revenue opportunities.

Very interesting and amusing article.

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We've seen this kind of thing before

There there, it's just a phase you're going through. Everyone has a datacentre phase, you get into three phase power and various gas based fire suppression systems, and all that. I imagine green grocers build shopping malls in their heads at some stage in their career also.

Soon you'll either have to move to a cottage in the countryside or do the other thing.

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Ashlee Vance

You do have a good article in you in fact I think you're the best they have at the moment keep it up. BTW servers are coming along fine, do you know where I can get a facebook application sharpish. Check is in the mail.

kthxbai

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Anonymous Coward

Grab that $30m check and get cranking on the hardware.

Or, like many in the business world, pay yourself $20m dollars per year, let the thing go pear shaped and go live on an island in the bahamas.

Why dick about with hardware?

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Alert

Dammit!

Now you've given the game away! I'll have to change my business plan again!

Luckily, most of the meaningless Web 2.0 buzzwords and completely reusable in the context of any old crap.

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The Mac Mini

We host lots of Mac Minis. 35-40W for a complete Core2Duo server, Gig Ethernet, small form factor so they stack quite well. We also do the AppleTV, at 16-20W it's half the performance/W of the Mac Mini, but as a dedicated server you're unlikely to get anything with a lower current draw.

http://www.mythic-beasts.com/resources/macmini/

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Heart

"batshit crazy VCs"

Classic line, and oh yes there's lots of them.

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Microsoft to blame!

Is there any other comment around here? Some evidence suggests Linux is more power hungry:

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=880&num=2

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Gates Horns

Underpant Gnomes

Excellent, another example of the South Park underpant gnome, 3 step guide to economic success:

1. Build cheap low power servers out of comodity components.

2. ?????

3. Profit

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Re: The Mac Mini

> AppleTV, at 16-20W

> you're unlikely to get anything with a lower current draw

My 1 GHz VIA C7-M webserver, with solid-state hard drive, takes about the same. The key is finding an efficient power supply: even ones that claim high efficiency turn out to be rather poor if you're this far below their design power.

If that's not low enough for you, these people: http://www.embedian.com/ run their web site from one of their own 400 MHz ARM-based servers. (The site's a bit slow; not sure if that's due to the server or the damp string linking Britain and Taiwan.)

I have the impression that many people have massively over-spec co-located servers for their web sites (but of course I have no data to back up that claim). Unfortunately, the service providers make more profit from hosting over-spec systems, and the cost difference is sufficiently small that your typical medium-sized business will play it safe and choose the bigger box. Software bloat (*cough* PHP *cough*) is also largely to blame.

Anyway, as for Ashlee's proposition: yes, good plan. Personally I'd run my massively-parallel web application on boxes full of VIA chips. I think the biggest challenge is persuading people to pay a profitable price for it: if you're offering a "high performance" solution, with the right marketing you can trigger some sort of visceral reaction in the customer that will make them pay a premium. Selling low-power kit is much less "sexy", and you'll really need to sell it based on the bottom-line numbers in your spreadsheet. That gives you less space for profit.

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Stop

I didn't read anything after "fiber"...

...this is theregister.co.UK after all...this misspelling has no place here.

As if it didn't kill me enough having to write Serializable and living with the fact that "tabify" is considered to be a word.

I demand the article is withdrawn immediately and the author subjected to some serious waterboarding action (video-taped of course) or I will withdraw my subscription to The Register forthwith.

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