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Stretch Those Quads

Usually, I hold down the number of news items that I include in the newsletter, as do all of my colleagues--we figure that skimming the cream for you is the best use of your valuable time, and you can always get more headlines at the Server Pipeline news page. But this week was hard: There was a ton of stuff going on, so I tossed in a few more than usual this week.
Which ones matter the most? In the long haul, I'd say that the moves by Intel and AMD around quad-core chips will matter the most to you. Quad-core will take a little while to command the server market; those two companies have to get them to sufficient reliability to release them, x86 server makers will have to build systems around them, and your server packages (whether Linux, Windows or something else) are going to need to be updated to take advantage of quad-core instruction sets. The real slowdown will come after that: Application coders are always the slowest to adapt their packages to a technology boost of this nature.

But once that all happens (and many of those moves will come in tandem, shortening the time frame somewhat), quad-core will be at the base of your servers unless you're running high-end machines. You won't be able to resist the efficiency, power control, and reduction in server deployment that you'll get by running your server operations through quad-cores. I'll just say it--you won't be able to dump your single-processor servers fast enough once quads are available. The initial costs won't matter, because you'll make those up in budget savings in no time, all while increasing your server productivity. A brave new world is around the corner in your server rooms; you just have to resist holding your breath while you wait.