The Trouble With Tribbles: Data Center Growth and Controlling the Population

By Scott Shadley - 2015-07-14

In my last blog I made some references to the BORG as it related to data center development. This time around, in keeping with my Trekkie theme, I thought I would look at the furrier side of things.

Data centers continue to grow and, if left to their own devices, will overtake space that should be used for other resourcing (for example, taking a corn field and pouring concrete for servers). While some of this is necessary, if not managed, it could result in a situation like when the Tribbles from Star Trek consumed all the grain meant for people.

You may be wondering—how do these two things truly relate? Let’s look at what is causing the growth of the data center footprint. Is it storage or performance or both? Is there a way to mitigate this and slow the footprint sprawl while still driving growth? There is, and Micron is introducing a new SATA SSD to help with this—the M510DC. We want to avoid poisoning of the process (like the solution in the Star Trek episode). We want to ensure the ecosystem is intact, and the natural way of things is maintained or restored.

Consider a standard server rack that has 42U of vertical space. Once you run out of that space, you add another one. Taller doesn’t work, and adding floors (sky scraper data centers) is not feasible or cost-effective. So what are the options? Better management of the 42U of space available per rack. How is this accomplished? The answer is solid state drives (SSDs) and, specifically, SSDs that are tuned to the needs of that 42U of space. Whether it’s mission-critical data where the Micron M500DC product is living today, or that growing read-centric data searching space where the new Micron M510DC now plays, SSD architectures allow for continued growth management in data centers.

Getting back to the furrier part of the discussion—we recently asked a few IT professionals in the Spiceworks community to evaluate our latest drives. Troy Collins, IT Director at MedVet Medical & Cancer Centers for Pets leveraged the Micron M510DC SSD in its DICOM imaging servers. MedVet was looking to improve the efficiency of image streaming and speed the image loading time of high-resolution images from X-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, and MRI scans. “My initial findings were amazing,” said Collins. “I pulled images that normally took 15 seconds to stream, and they loaded so quickly, I couldn’t even time the delay.” Without increasing scale and actually decreasing footprint, the M510DC enabled them to add revenue and save time.  “The average life span of our servers is four years, which works out to $640,000 more revenue per server over the life of each server,” Collins said. Read the entire case study.

The Micron SSD portfolio is going to continue to evolve and provide solutions to our data center and enterprise customers that enable them to manage sprawl, increase efficiency, and drive consolidation. With a focus on innovation, partnerships, and thought leadership, Micron and our M510DC SSD, will continue to pave the way. So, stop the spinning and ensure your Tribble trouble is mitigated.  Solve existing problems without large IT uplift spending and let Micron and our storage team help grow your efforts!

I welcome your questions and comments related to solid state storage and how it can deliver results for your enterprise data center. You can find me on Twitter @SMShadley.

You can also follow our main storage handle @MicronStorage to get insights and news related to the data storage industry or send us an email at

Scott Shadley

Scott Shadley