IBM's SUSE powered X6 Servers make me feel old… in a good way.


Some time back, in the 1980’s, I had little PC clone with a 12 MHz, 286 processor and 50 MB (not TB, or even GB) MFM hard drive. Running some random version of MS-DOS. It was a beast of a machine. A true powerhouse.

Flash forward to today. Specifically IBM’s recent announcement of the new X6 series line of servers. What are they using for storage? Oh, nothing crazy. Just 12.8 TB of storage — all flash — situated in DIMM slots, with data access times measured in microseconds.

Now, comparing a 30+ year old high-end consumer PC to a modern, high-end, enterprise grade server… that’s not exactly a fair fight. But, still. Think about that for a moment.

These servers can have roughly 256,000 times the storage capacity of that old, top of the line, PC. And I don’t have the hard data on the read-times of that old MFM hard drive but, based purely on how much time I spent waiting for files to load with that machine (not to mention the loud, grinding noises the drive made), my guess is this flash/DIMM system is about 256,000 times faster as well.

[Not to mention that the new X6 server can run SUSE Linux Enterprise. Not DOS. Which is a good thing.]

Just incredible. Sometimes the technology behind high-end server hardware amazes me. And makes me feel really, really old.

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