Venture Capitalist Forecasts Major Changes For The Data Center

With a background as one of the first engineers at Veritas, as the CEO of XenSource and as general manager of Citrix’s data center business, Peter Levine was part of the evolution of the data center long before becoming a partner with prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

Now, Levine’s involvement is continuing as an investor and advisor to companies that are shaping the future of IT.

He certainly has some thoughts about where the data center is headed—and they might not be what you’ve heard before.

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As Levine told CRN last week at his firm’s Menlo Park., Calif., office, data center hardware of the future could look very different from today’s infrastructure.

’I can imagine a data center having, literally, 100,000 mobile phones all connected together—they won’t have screens on them—but all connected together with a very sophisticated software layer on top, that effectively turns these mobile phones into a supercomputer,’ Levine said.

’What we’re seeing is the data center really being about commoditized components,’ he added.

Levine said hardware will likely ’shrink down dramatically,’ with software sitting on top, due to power and cooling issues in data centers, along with ’cost curve’ factors.