There is an emerging trend in hybrid data centers whereby growth is looked at from the perspective of applications criticality and locality. As an example, if a data center is nearing capacity, rather than begin the project to define and build another site, workloads are assessed based on criticality to the business, risk of loss, easy of migration, and a determination is made to move some workloads either to co-location facilities, hosting, or even to a cloud type service. This frees up floor space in the existing site for future growth, both solving the scale problem, and deferring capital spend for potentially years. An alternative to this is for older data centers to begin migrating critical work off-site, thus reducing downtime risks and business interruptions, while freeing up the old data center for additional work (non-critical), or for a slow, in-place, retrofit project.
5. Client server: In the PC world of the last quarter century, both the operating system and application were primarily resident on the desktop (some large and complex applications such as ERP were located on servers that could be remote from clients). Today, anything goes! The operating system -- as well as the application -- can be executed on the PC or a server -- or streamed to a PC when needed. Choice of architecture is dependent on user needs and the time frame for implementation. No longer does one size fit all.
Regarding Windows 8 deployments, 90% of enterprises will bypass broad scale deployment, and will focus on optimized Windows 8 deployments on specific platforms (e.g., mobile, tablet) only. Servers have been undergoing a long-term evolutionary process. They have moved from stand-alone pedestals to rack-mounted form factors in a rack cabinet. The latest step in x86 server hardware evolution is the blade server. It has taken hardware from just single servers with internal peripherals in a rack cabinet to a number of more dense servers in a single chassis with shared back plane, cooling and power resources. A true component design allows for the independent addition of even more granular pieces like processors, memory, storage, and I/O elements.
As blades have grown, so has the marketing push from server providers to position blades as the next most advanced technical step in server evolution and even, in some cases, as the ultimate server solution. It always take a closer examination of multiple factors -- required density, power/cooling efficiency requirement, high availability, workload etc. -- to reveal where blades, rack and skinless really do have advantages. Moving forward this evolution will split into multiple directions as appliance use increases and specialty servers begin to emerge (e.g., analytics platforms).