Chances are, at one point in your life, you’ve been required to read Samuel Beckett’s magnum opus, Waiting for Godot. Often described as a “tragicomedy” by those in the hallowed halls of the humanities, the play focuses on two characters who spend their time on stage waiting for the eponymous Godot. The play has been the subject of a broad range of interpretations, ranging from the existential to the extremely popular, “I’ll never get those two hours back,” since the day it was published. For those within the less ethereal data center industry, the story can be viewed as a metaphor for the prolonged period of waiting for rack densities to reach the lofty levels that pundits have been forecasting for the past score of years.
For those of you still reeling from my decision to use a play — a play whose meaning has vexed high school and college students for years — as a metaphor for the state of rack density in the data center industry, let me just say that I always think it’s nice to class things up when you get the chance. Plus, if you ever took AP English, you might as well get some use out of it. As you may remember, many in the data center business have long predicted that rack density was poised for a growth spurt similar to those of seemingly harmless animals that have been exposed to radiation in 1950s sci-fi pictures. Unfortunately, for the purveyors of things like liquid cooling, so far no one has found the need to use a bazooka to take down a marauding 50kW rack.