Could the traditional application server soon be a thing of the past?
A company called Pivot3 has just released the Serverless Computing system, which uses a series of x86-based network storage nodes to house large data workloads, cutting down on both the servers that traditionally move this data as well as the fabrics they rely on.
The system node, based on the company's RAIGE platform developed for the video surveillance market, combines a CPU, RAM and the Xen hypervisor into what the company calls a "cloudbank," a replacement for the standard databank. Applications are run from virtual machines inside the node.
This is essentially layering processing, storage and I/O onto a single device, reducing not only hardware but the power consumption and heat generation that go with it. It's an innovative idea, but one that could take a while to gain traction considering data center managers are generally loathe to just toss their hard-earned hardware aside at the drop of a hat.
Look for production versions to be out in a few months.