2016 was a huge step forward for server technology. There were also some huge events that showcased some of the weaknesses that the tech community must address in its server infrastructure. Here are some of the year’s most notable moments.
The Yahoo Server Breach
Although Yahoo reports that the actual hack may have originally occurred in 2013, the breach was made fully public in 2016. Yahoo had become quite a hub for breaches in the second half of 2016, but this one was the doozie. The data of one billion users may be compromised, and the source has yet to be identified. Chief security officer Bob Lord hypothesized that hackers may have been successful in forging cookies to break into some accounts.
Mainstreaming Multiprocessor Systems
In 2016, enterprise level applications expanded beyond the capacity of single processor systems. Although multiprocessor systems were definitely around before 2016, this was the year that they became mainstream. The result is that computing power is soon to expand exponentially in the commercial world over the next few years.
Microsoft Redesigns a Major Center
Enterprise level server farms always have a problem with climate control, but Microsoft changed the way that many companies will “cool their jets” in later years. The seminal tech company completely overhauled its Generation 5 Data Center Design with a full fan wall that gives a more efficient airflow to the servers without using more energy.
Amazon and the Acceleration of Cloud Networking
During the later part of 2016, Amazon began to roll out the semiconductor chips that it developed specifically to accelerate its cloud network. These chips may be made available to other companies, or they may reverse engineer the process – the end result will certainly improve server speeds exponentially in the future.
Bitcoin Mining Causes Power Rate Hike
Early 2016 saw a hike in people mining for Bitcoins, one of the heaviest activity loads that an individual can pass to a server. In Washington state, the activity was so rampant that a local power board tried to substantiate a rate hike for people who use more power than normal. The fact this initiative did not pass yet may help to protect the ability of heavy users of data centers and individual servers across the nation.
Memory Tech Improves
ReRAM and Phase Change Memory are two of the major improvements in memory technology that were implemented more roundly in 2016. This new memory class provides access times anywhere from 2 to 10 times the overall capacity of traditional memory. These new types of memory are also more cost effective with lower latency. The result of Persistent Memory as well as Storage Class Memory will give us the ability to enable a whole new application class. The performance is sure to be exponentially higher than traditional servers. The Linux community is actively working to overcome the new architectural challenges of this exciting format within the next year to 2 years.
Servers Deployed on Hybrid GP and GPU Processors
Security functions and machine learning functions are far too inefficient on traditional processors, and 2016 saw many companies move to hybrid GPU and GP processors with higher levels of performance. The result is that many enterprise data centers will migrate into heterogeneous server farms. Each application will have its own server instead of the general processing that is trending down as companies consolidate their operations while expanding their capacity.
The Hillary Clinton Hack
First it was Wikileaks, then it was Russia. Stories are becoming more convoluted as time moves on, and no one may know exactly what happened to Hillary Clinton and the DNC. John Podesta’s email was perhaps the biggest hack, exposing waves of alleged political corruption, and it was supposedly accomplished through a simple phish. What we do know is that not implementing modern server technology can cost one of the most powerful people in the world a Presidential election. The real takeaway here is that any business that wants to remain private and viable must keep up with the latest iterations of security and server technology in order to keep a company performing well.
Server technology is set for many leaps forward in the new year, but 2016 was definitely a year to remember. The expansions in capacity and security that this year brought out will only accelerate improvements in the future!