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The Five Stages of Highly Effective Datacenters

  • By Art Sedighi
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Adaptation: Cloud and Beyond

What's next for your datacenters? You need to go beyond planning and provisioning. I am not suggesting foregoing datacenters, but rather making them more adaptive. This is the promise of Cloud computing: the ability to adapt to users' needs without intervention or much planning.

What is added here is the ability to foresee changes; an added layer of self-monitoring where changes are anticipated; where sharing of resources goes beyond job placement but rather the ability to tailor underlying resources to meet the need of your job(s). This is not as futuristic as you might think.

The xFactor Factor

Recall what you seek at each stage:

  • Stage 1: Availability
  • Stage 2: Utilization
  • Stage 3: Performance
  • Stage 4: Scalability
  • Stage 5: Seamlessness

What you need is a platform that will guide you thru these stages of enlightenment. It does not make any sense for a large organization to go right to stage 5. Smaller organizations can skip a couple of steps, but a large organization needs to go through the initial planning stages. This is due to the fact that all large organizations have legacy hardware and software applications that need to be dealt with. It's that whole migration and integration step that prevents you from jumping right into a Cloud, so to speak.

Most commercial platforms are able to add order to chaos; some are able to achieve performance at the cost of scalability. xFactor's ability to scale and integrate with external available cloud vendors makes it ideal for a growing organization. Keep in mind that scalability and seamlessness must go hand-in-hand; in other words, avoid the scenario where the next resource added to the datacenter is "the straw that broke the camel's back."

xFactor provides enterprise-class solutions to the High Performance Computing (HPC) domain, with the goal of optimizing client's datacenter investments. The SoftModule xFactor Grid management software package provides organizations with a method to optimally run and manage compute intensive applications across thousands of CPUs. Leveraging xFactor's distributed architecture and dynamic resource allocation techniques, clients can achieve dramatic improvement in application performance and resource utilization.

To achieve linear scalability, xFactor creates logical clouds that allow on-demand access to neighboring clouds, but decoupled if not necessary. This on-demand feature allows organizations to access and configure external available resources (Clouds) to meet SLAs without the need or advanced-planning duly required to do so today.


In this article, you explored the challenges of datacenter investment and evolvement. It is neither an easy task nor a problem that can be solved overnight. I do believe that most organizations have to go through the process that I outlined in this article. The goal is to know what you are up against, and plan.

About the Author

Art Sedighi is the CTO and founder of SoftModule, a startup company with engineering and development offices in Boston and Tel-Aviv and a sales and management office in New York. He is also the Chief Architect for SoftModule's xFactor product that has risen from a current need in the market to manage excessive demands of computing power at a lower cost.

Before SoftModule, Mr. Sedighi held a Senior Consulting Engineer position at DataSynapse, where he designed and implemented Grid and Distributed Computing fabrics for the Fortune 500. Before DataSynapse, Mr. Sedighi spent a number of years at TIBCO Software, where he implemented high-speed messaging solutions for organizations such as the New York Stock Exchange, UBS, Credit Suisse, US Department of Energy, US Department of Defense, and many others. Mr. Sedighi received his BS in Electrical Engineering and MS in Computer Science, both from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

[1] I will cover this "proper"-ness in another article.

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This article was originally published on December 24, 2008

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