From Pet Systems to Cattle Farm — What Happened to the Data Center?

There’s something about craftsmanship. It’s personal, its artistry, and it can be incredibly effective in achieving its goals. On the other hand, mass-market production can be effective in other ways, through speed, efficiency, and cost savings.

The story of data centers is one of going from craftsmanship – where every individual machine is a pet project, maintained with great care – to mass production with big server farms where individual units are completely disposable.

In this article, we take a look at how data centers have changed shape over the decades. We examine the implications for data center workloads, and for the people that run them – who have now lost their pet systems. We’ll also review the cybersecurity implications of the new data center landscape.

Pet system with a big purpose

For any sysadmin who started their career before the advent of virtualization and other cloud and automation technologies, systems were finely crafted pieces of hardware – and treated with the same love as a pet. Read more:

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