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A True Datacenter In A Box

While there's no doubt that virtualization has changed the way data centers are managed, bare metal configuration of systems can still take a lot of time. And in some highly dynamic environments, moves, adds and changes account for a substantial portion of data center management costs.

While Cisco has been beating the drum loudly for a different kind of server, it appears that Liquid Computing may have stolen the beat with its LiquidIQ system. Early adopters report pretty astounding results,such as cutting operations staff by 50% while reducing environment build times by 90%, without substantial impact on capital costs. That's what a large Redmond-based hosted-partner data center is claiming, thanks to a new LiquidIQ rig.

We had access to a LiquidIQ chassis for this review.After a brief tour, a spin around the planning guide and basic instructions had us up and running. Liquid pre-configures all systems for clients with varying degrees of customization,from base OS builds to tailored gold masters incorporating site-specific specs. Liquid's engineers work with clients to size and configure the chassis before it's shipped, then spend time on site to ensure integration. The standard package includes pre-build and post-build customization to incorporate client network parameters, porting physical servers to logical servers,and migrating VMs onto hypervisors running on logical servers within the LiquidIQ system.

Liquid's gear is well positioned to provide flexible virtualized hardware for large-scale, complex, highly volatile (in the revenue-generating sense) environments-- say, a vendor hosting site or a travel industry clearinghouse with dozens of partner-site front ends. Or how about any shop looking to run an internal or external cloud where customer demands necessitate the rapid setup and tear-down of physical servers?

Read more in the current digital issue of Network Computing. [registration required]